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At the time of review, the main dining room was undergoing major renovations. The main entrance is elegant, with a good balance of modern elegance and traditional accents that mark the establishment out as a refined Chinese restaurant. As the dining room was under renovation, the alternative room that was used was functional and minimally decorated. Tableware and settings are of reasonable quality. Lighting is well planned and table arrangements provide ample space and privacy for diners. Linens and soft furnishing are also of good quality. Furniture is comfortable, if a bit dated.
The Peking duck with traditional Chinese crepe features duck skin that is a glossy, honeyed brown; the soft and tender flesh pairs perfectly with handmade pancakes, which are soft and chewy with just a tinge of charring. A beautiful combination of smoky, savoury, sweet, crunchy textures and flavours in a mouthful.
Bird’s nest dumpling in consommé features a large dumpling filled with prawn, minced meat and birds nest in a deliciously seasoned soup stock. Every mouthful is a well-balanced ambrosia of meaty and seafood flavours—to the very last drop.
With the deep-fried prawns with black truffle mayonnaise, the fresh, crunchy prawns are fried in batter and coated with a truffle-infused mayonnaise that lifts the dish to a rich, heady amalgam of savoury flavours.
Easily the star of the meal, the wok-fried beef tenderloin features plump, juicy, flavourful meat with a contrastingly light wasabi sauce; further lifted by the freshness of the chilled pear marinated in sour plum reduction. A refreshing, memorable and successful contrast of flavour profiles.
The wine list boasts of an impressive selection of over 400 wines from Old and New World sources—an exceedingly generous choice of western wines for a Chinese restaurant. There are also more than a dozen housepours featuring whites, reds, dessert and sparkling wines. Wine service is professionally executed here, and wines are served at their perfect temperatures. The service here is excellent, with a well-trained, knowledgeable, articulate and bilingual sommelier in attendance. This sommelier is especially skilled in pairing wines with Chinese cuisine—indeed a rare find in a Chinese restaurant in Singapore.
Service at booking and the welcome to the restaurant is courteous and a little formal. Tableside service is very personable and warm. Service staff display a good knowledge of the menu items, and are able to make good recommendations depending on the diners’ preferences. There is a slight dip in the standard of service mid meal, but overall, the service is very friendly and attentive. The restaurant has a well-trained sommelier, which makes wine pairing with the food a breeze.
A very reasonably priced meal given the quality of food served, the attentive service and the accessible, central location of the restaurant.