Sorry for the two off-tangent posts earlier on politics and poop! Back to food! In fact, very good food. Food connoiseurs will recognise Li Bai as one of the finest and understated Chinese restaurants in Singapore. Dining here can get expensive but it's always a treat. We came here today for a spot of dim sum.
These were recommended by the waitress and they were delicious. Very crunchy and colourful, with softly elastic crystal skin - I love crystal dumpling skin. S$4.20.
Oh these were my absolute favourite! Very tasty rolls of minced scallop wrapped with delicately crispy noodle threads. The epitome of umami!
The usual suspects, har gau and siew mai (both S$5.20 each), were expertly done. The har gau is close to how I feel har gau should be like. Good balance of texture and taste. Most importantly, there is no floury residue inside. The siew mai might look a bit odd with the black fish roe (caviar?) but don't let that detract you from eating it.
The beancurd skin (fu pi) on the prawn roll (S$4.80) here is extremely fine and delicate, quite different from what's offered elsewhere. Fresh pieces of prawn inside complete the savoury treat.
A small palmsized portion (S$8) but the crackling skin is well-done and meat not too fatty or salty. The accompanying mustard sauce is very strong, and threatens to block out the whole taste of the meat.
This was so-so only. The cubes of radish cake tasted a bit too thick but you can discern actual slices of radish in it. The sauce wasn't spicy at all. I prefer Asia Grand's version.
We also had steamed chicken feet, which had a richly complex sauce. But it hadn't been steamed or pre-fried well enough that the meat slid off the bones easily. Sorry no pic because it turned out too blur.
The almond jelly with strawberries (S$6) at first tasted plain but then we added the fresh cream that came with it, and the whole thing was totally transformed. Heaven! Mango pomelo sago (S$6) was nice but normal. Lei Garden's is much better.
Mother-in-law and I liked the food here but hubby was less impressed. I do have to make special mention of the stellar service at Li Bai. The staff are very patient and professional, knowledgeable about the menu and always anticipating your needs. The waiter even discreetly offers you information about the credit card promotions when it is time to settle the bill. At some places, it's hard enough to ask and get answers!
I have always liked the decor here too - it's elegant, sleek and contemporary, with comfy black lacquer and leather seats (right down to the matching baby chair). Li Bai is a lovely place for special occasions. Private dining is of course available. Reservations are essential.
B1, 39 Scotts Road
Monday to Friday: Lunch, 11.30am to 2.30pm
Monday to Sunday: Dinner, 6.30pm to 10.30pm
Saturday: Yum Cha, 11.30am to 2.30pm
Sunday: Yum Cha, 10.30am to 2.30pm