my 2 close buddies organised an early birthday dinner for me & for my wife on 22.10.2014. :-)
the friend suggested xiyan private dining. i looked at the menu. the cheapest was S$88pax, and it goes up to S$188pax. it didn’t make sense to me.
my wife & i had tried xiyan though it must be 10 years ago. only dish that impressed (as also for my friend) was the very nice hokkaido tomatoes. last year we went to hong kong & the guys came back complaining the food at xiyan private dining hk was expensive & average (i did not join that lunch).
knowing my “lor li lor sor” friend, if i were to say it’s too ex, we would go into a protracted dissertation good enough for PhD, so i simply whatsapped back “i would like to try chef chan’s 神厨三绝”..end of story. haha! :-)
i looked up chef chain’s menu. the S$88pax for 4 looked about same or better than xiyan. i guessed i was biased. anyway since the guys really wanted to buy me a nice dinner why take the cheapest set, so i picked the S$80 for 2pax 5-course menu (above photo), which looked about alright. :-)
chef chan’s restaurant was located at national museum. nice colonial building. nicely furnished & decorated interior.
#1 deep fried belly pork with fermented bean curd was quite an excellent dish. deep fried pumpkin with pork floss was pretty good too. it’s a bit like variation of deep-fried egg plant with pork floss which i liked too.
#2 braised compoy thick soup with 4 treasures was very average though, not tasty enough. i was expecting a much better soup at chef chain’s since 1 of his 3 signatures (三绝) was a soup. the ah yat abalone seafood soup was way better & most of tunglok & imperial treasures lie tong (例汤) would be better than this.
the #3 steamed cod with preserved olive vegetables & black beans was good. the flavours were excellent.
#4 the signature chef chain’s famous crispy roast chicken. the skin was crispy & chicken breast was moist & sweet (a test of whether chicken was good, quite a few restaurants turned out dry roast chicken).
the #5 fried rice with seafood wrapped in lotus leaf was also a tasty dish & had a lot of diced prawns etc.
my wife liked the #6 doubled boiled pear & aloe vera with red dates served chilled. it was light, refreshing, not too sweet. :-)
my friend brought an apple millecrepe from classic cakes. it was good. initially i felt it was not as smooth & creamy as the one at lady M. but actually with the apples, there was a bit more bulk & the combination tasted better, c/w with eating what felt like all cream.
looked like there were only 2 tables for this evening. our neighbour was a well dressed couple about our age & they joined in singing happy birthday. the husband quipped that the children were away & no one reminded him to buy cake. so we offered to rent him our cake for the photos..haha just kidding! :-) anyway we got the restaurant to serve them 2 slices of the millecrepe. the restaurant followed up with a longevity bun (寿桃) with a candle & my friend took the photos for them. :-) great service!
overall, it was an enjoyable evening with my wife & close friends over a nice quite dinner & nice ambience. food was mostly above average, maybe not so refine as majestic & tunglok, and cheap & tasty as imperial treasure.