Hai Tien Lo
Pan Pacific Hotel
Yeah, so the second Chinese meal during this CNY period is settled at Pan Pacific Hotel with K and G. Haven’t seen them for more than a month already as we seem to be taking turns to go overseas either for work or holiday. And nothing beats having a delectable and plush dinner at Hai Tien Lo. Have always wanted to go to this restaurant and this CNY festival calls for a visit there! We were deliberating between the CNY menu for 3 people or 4 people as the one for 4 is slightly cheaper (if there’s 4 ppl) and has a yusheng as the first course while the other courses seem to be slightly superior than the former menu. The 3 person menu costs $324 in total while 4 ppl one costs $398. So we did the Mathematics and if we want a Yusheng, the four people menu would be more worth it and so we settled on the 4 ppl menu.
The final yusheng! I really like the condiments used there. I usually have those normal yusheng and I like this one which is more elaborated. Fried fish skin was so crunchy and fragrant and isn’t greasy. Not only is salmon used, a kind of shellfish is also used which has a springy texture and I like that! Very delicious, or rather the most delicious one I had so far.
The three of us lao-ing! We didn’t want to lao too high as the ingredients are not cheap! HAHA! The caucasian couple beside us was really nice as they offered to take a picture for us and wished us happy new year. we said bye to them before they left! Hope you guys also have a good stay in Sg.
Next was this super delicious soup that is indescribable really. I guess I need to use the word umami here. Really fragrant and concentrated broth, every spoonful is so enjoyable and you can just imagine how many hours did they cook this broth for and how many ingredients were used. Its flavour is just SO intense. The chicken in it doesn’t taste too dry too although it has been simmered for so long. Guess that’s because they use thigh meat. Love the ingredients in it and we slowly savoured every single bit and drop. Love the abalone in it too; springy! There’s fish maw in it too.
The next dish is scallop with prawns stir fried with beans and ebi. While the beans and scallop taste really good and refreshing, I was quite disappointed with the prawns. It looks succulent at first sight but when I had it, I knew that they used certain chemicals to make it springy. It doesn’t taste naturally fresh. Didn’t enjoy the prawns.
The san ping with jellyfish. Roast pork skin is just so crispy and I like the taste of it. Char siew is surprisingly very lean actually and I like that! Though it has mostly lean meat, it is still moist and tender. The almond bits complement its taste too. I like the soy chicken a lot actually as it is really well marinated. Every bit is penetrated with the fragrance of the sauce and needless to say, meat is super tender. Chilled Jellyfish is springy and at the same time crunchy!
Steamed fillet sea perch with dried oyster and green ginger. This dish was super good but slightly marred by the oyster I thought. I don’t like oyster and this dried oyster just tastes unpalatable to me. Actually all three of us did not have the oyster at all. Also, it looks a little bit like aliens in those sci fi movies. Then again, the fish is really commendable. Very smooth, moist and fresh. It also has a slight creamy taste. Very well made fish, so just remove the oysters if you don’t like it.
The final dish is crabmeat with udon and celery in superior broth! It’s meant to be a less heavy tasting dish I suppose unlike those stir fried noodles which requires more oil and soy sauce. As it is in a superior broth, it still tastes pretty fragrant and intense and I love it. Crab is definitely fresh while udon is of a good texture too. It’s not those super fat udon that we have at Japanese udon bar. Instead, this is quite flat. Good bowl of noodles to end the savoury courses!
The other dessert has a striking resemblance to yang zhi gan lu but it isn’t at all. It’s actually pumpkin puree sago with grass jelly. Doesn’t taste that creamy and milky as pumpkin is used here and isn’t as sweet. It’s lighter in taste but still very viscous. Some people may find this bland but it worked for me.
Hai Tien Lo is definitely a good restaurant to go for Cantonese cuisine. There were a bit of misses in this CNY menu I felt such as the prawns and unpalatable oysters but I felt on the whole, they still serve good quality Cantonese cuisine and we have enjoyed ourselves thoroughly throughout all the courses. Service felt slightly short staffed as there were only 2 or more staffs serving our area. But the waiters were not at all impatient towards us. Going to such fine dining restaurants would usually remind me of Lung King Heen. Though it fell short of LKH standard, I felt that the Cantonese scene in Singapore is still pretty competitive against their HK counterparts. With that, Happy Chinese New Year everybody!