Thursday, July 10, 2008
Weekend Dim Sum Brunch at Shang Palace
Sunday brunches are getting so ridiculously expensive that it's refreshing to find a place that actually gives you a 30% discount (for an early seating 10.30am to noon). It's the newly renovated (in late 2007) Shang Palace at Shangri-la Singapore. But note that this isn't a buffet, just really good dim sum. And good dim sum makes a great brunch, any day, in my books. Ah, I really shouldn't laud this place, as getting reservations are tough enough as it is.
We had quite a few items, so this will be a bumper post. Shang Palace does their staple dishes quite well - the siew mai (S$4.80, all prices before discount) was delicious, large and juicy.
Har gau (S$4.80) all perfectly formed, not a single tear in sight. The gently chewy skin held the large shrimp within along with its juices very well.
Ah delectable cubes of fatty joy. These were excellent! Probably the most crispy skin ever on any roast pork I've had. To think these cost pretty much the same (S$8) as those you get in pedestrian Crystal Jade! We almost immediately wanted another portion.
Pan-fried shredded taro (S$4.50) I chose because I wanted to try something different. The waitress suggested the deep-fried taro pastry (wu kok) instead, saying that was better, but I stuck to my choice. Hmm, so what did this taste like? Well, like yam rice without the rice. Embedded within the taro were dried prawns, which made it quite savoury. However, the texture was still a little too dry for our liking.
My weakness - deepfried prawn rolls in beancurd skin (S$4.50) - I almost always have this during dim sum. But I'm starting to think they all taste the same everywhere. Still, what's not to like about crispy beancurd skin and plump, juicy prawn filling? Nadine ate this with relish.
Scallop dumpling with lobster and roe (S$6.50). Doesn't the name alone just tease up expectations? The flavours are more subtle than strong though.
True to its name, the steamed chicken feet (S$4.50) with black pepper was indeed redolent of the spice.
This was probably the only letdown. Rather bland spring rolls with crabmeat and egg white (S$4.50). It was a creamy white mess inside, with only mere traces of crabmeat.
Now these innocuous little things were stunning. Salted egg yolk and custard buns (S4.50) - so very skilfully made! Hubby loved these so much, he used such explicit praise which I cannot repeat here, lest children are reading.
Just look at how thin the skin is! I was amazed how it managed to hold the contents of deliciously hot, molten liquid gold. Salty yolk and sweet custard. Simply kitchen alchemy!
As you cast your eyes heavenward in savouring the delicacies, you will notice that the ceiling is a feast for the eyes as well.
Even the lazy Susan has character. Silvery black glass that looks like it's still bubbling. Mildly uneven surface but plates do just fine on it. Gorgeous piece of art.
We finished off with a cold dessert. The avocado pudding with mango sauce (S$6) was very colourful on a heart- or peach-shaped plate. The rich sauce complemented the firm pudding while the strawberry added tartness and bite.
We quite enjoyed the meal. Service was generally up to expectations, although we had to serve ourselves the gourmet Chinese tea after the first cup. The restaurant is bustling and full. Reservations are not only a must, but best be made a couple days ahead at least. They have three lunch seatings for weekends which fill up quickly.
10.30am to noon (dim sum early bird 30% discount applies here)
12.15pm to 1.30pm
1.30pm to 2.45pm
22 Orange Grove Road
Lunch : 11:30 am - 2:30 pm (Monday to Friday)
Lunch : 10:30 am - 2:30 pm (Saturday, Sunday and public holidays) - hmm this should be 2.45?
Dinner : 6:30 - 10:30 pm
(info off their website)
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