Great Value Alacarte Semi-buffet (Beyond Expectations) @ Tim Palace SAFRA Toa Payoh on 24Nov2015

roast duck, char siew & roast pork 烧味

roast duck, char siew & roast pork 烧味

went with my sis & b-i-l to tim palace @ SAFRA toa payoh to try out their ala carte semi-buffet on 24.11.2015.

buffet is S$25.80pax. the added attraction is S$5 discounts for SC aka senior citizens! ^^

there’s a S$2pax for water, tea & peanuts (S$2.50pax or more if other drinks). so it was S$22.80pax for 3 of us, S$27nett each.

tim palace

tim palace

tim palace is at level 3 of SAFRA toa payoh clubhouse building.

tim palace

tim palace

it is quite large in capacity, good for functions, tour groups??

roast duck, char siew & roast pork station

roast duck, char siew & roast pork station

i did not have high expectation of the roast meat 烧味 station.

but surprise, surprise, the roast duck was really, really good! very flavourful.

char siu

char siu

so was the char siu!. i think this one of the best char siu i had. as good as the excellent chargrilled pork neck at imperial treasure nanbei or (better in fact than) any other good char siu places.

roast duck - second helping

roast duck - second helping

i actually went for a second helping of roast duck, after taking the other food! 🙂

roast duck, char siew & roast pork 烧味

roast duck, char siew & roast pork 烧味

i was quite tempted to taste the salt baked chicken 盐炬鸡, but really no space left. sigh!

appetizer station

appetizer station

nothing much to say about the cold station. prawns was large, plump, fresh & sweet.

scallops & mussels all the frozen type, nothing worth taking.

appetizer station

appetizer station

the scallop tips (front) were quite nice. the prawn & squid salad were ok. sos so la!

cold flower crabs

cold flower crabs

the flower crabs were soft, mushy “nua nua”, the frozen type, not worth taking also. all these i took very little just to try.

sushi/sashimi station

sushi/sashimi station

salmon sashimi was ok. quite sweet. colour didn’t look that great.

i skipped the sushi.

appetizers

appetizers

so, mainly prawn was good, salmon sashimi ok too, squid/prawn salad & scallop tips passable.

braised small abalone with brocoli

braised small abalone with broccoli

i ordered most of the dishes that they allowed only one order.

small abalone with broccoli was good restaurant standard. no complaints. 🙂

sharksfin soup

sharksfin soup

sharksfin soup was better than most cheaper sharksfin soup, not very gluey & stock quite tasty.

sea cucumber with yam

sea cucumber with yam

sea cucumber with yam was decent competent dish.

scallops & celery in xo sauce

scallops & celery in xo sauce

the scallops & celery in xo sauce was pretty good.

crayfish

crayfish

crayfish was poor!

crayfish

crayfish

meat has no taste. this dish (thumbs down)!

char siu pao

char siew pao

we did not order the char siew pao, but somehow it was marked on the order sheet, the marking very different from our order markings, think some previous customers marked on it.

anyway no big deal, so we took it. the char siu pao were good!

steamed seabass with sambal sauce

steamed seabass with sambal sauce

i read that the deep-fried flower garoupa not so good, so we ordered the steamed seabass with sambal sauce.

steamed seabass with sambal sauce

steamed seabass with sambal sauce

seabass not such a great fish. but this preparation quite ok…so again a competent dish. maybe i will try the garoupa next time. don’t mind coming back again. 🙂

honey ribs

honey ribs

the honey ribs were ordinary. as good as any zi char stall i suppose. not my favourite.

honey ribs

honey ribs

cannot really criticise thsi dish, but the char siu was many times better than this.

drunken prawns

drunken prawns

surprisingly also the drunken prawns was very good. must be a very good quality shaoxing wine 绍兴酒.

braised lamb pot

braised lamb pot

the braised lamb pot was competent dish, but no more.

lamb still retain the gamey taste, and not specially flavourful.

braised lamb pot

braised lamb pot

i would say it’s a robust dish like a beef stew, so unless the herbs & preparation is special (like say at majestic), it’s not a dish i am particularly fond of.

dessert station

dessert station

dessert station the usual fare, with fruits, custard puffs & red bean pan cake etc.

sea coconut & longans

sea coconut & longans

i took the sea coconut…quite refreshing.

lotus seed red beans dessert

lotus seed red beans dessert

and a bit of the lotus seed red beans dessert. pretty ok.

the food quality & cooking were pretty ok, not that much different from (i would say better actually) say peach garden miramar’s ala carte buffet, and certainly better than the ala carte buffet at ban heng orchard central.

the outstanding dishes for me here were the roast duck, char siu(tops), drunken prawns, abalone.

the sea cucumber & scallops were pretty good.

c.h.e.f andy

++++++++++++++++++

Tim Palace

Address : 293 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh #03-01 Safra Club Singapore 319387
Hotline : 6253 5515 (Reservation is needed on Saturday and Sunday)
Fax : 6253 0266
Email : timpalace@gimtim.com.sg

OPENING HOURS:

Mon – Fri: 11:30 – 14:00; 18:00 – 22:00

Sat, Sun & PH: 11:00 – 14:30; 18:00 – 22:00

 

 

Protected: RI G20 23pax Dinner @ Ban Heng Orchard Central on 25Apr2014

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23pax Dinner @ Ban Heng Orchard Central on 25Apr2014

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braised small abalones with broccoli

had our dinner get-together for 23pax at ban heng @ orchard central on 25.4.2014. we had 3 tables. sure looks like our monthly dinners are gaining traction and we have sustainable numbers coming together to catch up each month. 🙂

i had never been to ban heng, the original at boon keng & the now many new outlets. they have a weekday ala carte buffet at S$26.80pax i emailed the link to the organiser & he arranged to do it at the orchard central outlet.

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chilli crab

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sharks fin soup

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stir-fried frog legs

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drunken prawns

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stir-fried scallops with asparagus

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garlic steamed scallops with tanhoon

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deep-fried soon hock

we started with the list of chef’s recommendations above. for me the best dish was the abalone. 🙂 it was about or almost the normal good restaurant standard, not better.

the rest of the dishes were kind of below par or maybe i should say just ok. however everything is relative. the price of S$26.80 is i guess pretty alright for the number of dishes, though these days there were more talks of worthwhile calories & worthwhile cholesterol and focus was more on quality than quantity. 1 friend i asked during dinner said pretty much the same, that relative to price it was ok. another friend commented on FB post afterwards – “The food was actually quite satisfactory for the price and place”.

1 place though i would consider a whole lot better than (after trying) ban heng would be the ala carte buffet at peach garden.

the chilli crab was pretty ok though not spicy (as we were told by the servers), but it was not a dish that the ladies took much nor the rest.

the sharkskin soup was gluey like sometimes served in wedding dinners. i took <1/2 of the portion served.

the drunken prawn was among the better dishes. 1 lady on my table commented that it had nicely herb flavoured soup. the prawns were quite ok.

the frog legs were a bit below par (say) c/w the plump, meaty ones at ah yat turf city.

likewise the garlic steamed scallops with tanhoon. this should be a pretty standard dish if using live scallops, but somehow the scallop & garnishing were not tasty.  i do a much better tasty dish using IQF frozen razor clams from giant, but of course i always prefer razor clams to scallops for this garlic steamed preparation.

the stir-fried scallops with asparagus was also an average dish. the asparagus were quite good in texture & taste. scallops were just average. like the frog leg, this dish was lacking in ‘wok hae”, which was surprising as the baby kailan dish that came later had very good wok hae.

the deep-fried soon hock was also quite average. this was also a standard dish at many restaurants. couldn’t say it was poor but while the fishes were crispy outside, the inside were not moist & tender as the usually good ones at most restaurants, & the sauce were not so tasty as well.

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roast duck

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steamed sea bass

the lady who commented on the drunken prawns went to spy on the other tables…haha…& we ordered the steamed seabass & the roast duck. good food-spotting, well done!

the 1/2 seabass with spicy bean sauce was good. 🙂 though 1 friend commented that soon hock was a better & more expensive fish…but it goes to show that quality of cooking/preparation is equally or sometime more important than quality of ingredients. 🙂

the roast duck was good too, flavourful but just a tad salty. 🙂 (but compare this with the really good roast duck at noodle restaurant at centrepoint!) it prompted the lady friend to say perhaps the trick was to mine the non chef recommendations.

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stir-fried baby kai lans

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spinach with superior stock

the 2 vegetables dishes we ordered were quite good, above average. the baby kailan had very good wok hae. & the spinach with superior stock was good. nice tasty stock.

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thai deep-fried tofu

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prawn cocktail salad

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braised goose

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hae chor

10294413_10152348756534494_6515834032046957718_n the deep-fried tofu with thai sauce was much below par, both the tofu & also the sauce.

the mayo prawn salad was quite ok & refreshing though not a favourite with me.

the hae chor looks were not so appealing. the taste was just ok.

the braised goose was to me below par, which is kind of surprising for an establishment that started out as teochew restaurant 42years ago in 1972. it was not “pang” i.e. flavourful & texture was over boiled. my favourite is the braised duck at imperial treasure teochew restaurant at ngee ann city. my own teochew braised duck is also more flavourful than this. 1 friend asked whether one could tell between goose & duck. couple of us felt that (say) when eating goose in hong kong the more gamey & fragrant taste was quite apparent. 🙂

desserts were provided on a self-serviced buffet table. the ice jelly was quite refreshing. i had 2 helpings topped up with sea coconut. 🙂

overall, food, ambience & price were quite ok for such a get-together.  ala carte buffet was quite convenient, one price, easy to manage for groups & don’t really have to plan or pre-order the food, pretty much order anything you fancy. we were mostly more interested in talking, with food as a good accompaniment, so i was not paying much attention to the menu too.  it’s probably not a place i would go much or soon.

c.h.e.f andy

Reunion Dinner on 30.1.2014 (& CNY Day 1 Breakfast)

teochew braised duck

teochew braised duck

decided to record this year’s 2014 reunion dinner & cny day 1 breakfast. this a really good tradition & important occasion for families to get together & spend time with their loved ones. 🙂

we had been doing reunion dinners at my elder brother’s house all these while, but had varied a little with cny dinners at joyden restaurant (former west coast seafood) for a few years. last year we decided to go back to homecooked reunion dinner & did the same this year.

for myself, as i grow older & memories fade it is good to have a record to see what i do & how i spend my time from 1 year to the next. 😉

braised tofu (beancurd)

braised tofu (beancurd)

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braised large intestines

braised large intestines

my brother’s m-i-l does excellent braised dishes, and their indonesian domestic help now does it very well. the teochew braised duck was excellent! meat was tender & sweet. i did a braised duck for the reunion dinner last year (2013) but it was not good. now my braised duck is consistently good & i think same or better than this and more “pang” (flavourful). the braising sauce was made to good use for the braised tofu, egg & the large intestines.

broccoli with fa cai (moss)

broccoli with fa cai (moss)

fried leek with hae bee (dried prawns)

fried leek with hae bee (dried prawns)

hör see fat choi (dried oysters with moss)

hör see fat choi (dried oysters with moss)

the broccoli with deep-fried tofu, mushrooms & fa cai 发菜 (which in chinese sounded like striking fortune) was very good. my eldest daughter was not much into meats & more into bread, tofu & vegetables so she enjoyed this dish especially.

the leek was always a great dish, a very sweet vegetable i liked from young.

my wife does a good hör see fat choi (dried oysters with moss) & she does that for reunion dinner & chinese new year every year. fa cai 发菜 is supposed to cause top soil erosion & sand storms in beijing & is forbidden to farm so not sure probably this was not the real fa cai.

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teochew steamed pomfret

teochew steamed pomfret

drunken prawns

drunken prawns

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my sis brought a eu yan san canned buddha jump over the wall?? (not sure if it was really). the soup was tasty, though most of us felt it was canned & not the type one would drink much. there were whole small abalones & other cut ones/shellfiah etc & mushrooms. i guess it was ok to try.

my brother did a teochew steamed pomfret. it was good. the drunken prawns looked very fresh. i took some soup, don’t take much of this dish lately, & did not take the prawns. the abalones were the usual canned nz abalones, quite ok for me. 🙂

breakfast - the morning after

breakfast – the morning after

it was very good dinner get-together! 🙂

next day we gathered as usual on cny day1 at my brother’s place. we had some of the braised dishes leftover from reunion dinner, some fresh fried vege, the rabbit fish 知县鱼(which was a favourite during cny & very expensive for those with fish semen..i didn’t see them much these days & these ones were cheap fish w/o the delicacy..haha..). my wife cooked & brought some black fungus tanhoon mushrooms with fermented beancurd. very nice!

after that we dropped by a friend’s place & then another friend in the area (a close friend of my wife & we visited every cny) for laksa lunch. in the afternoon we went to watch the lion men – quite a good locally produced  movie about lion dancers(& massively sponsored by advertisements…haha), certainly worthy of support. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy