Summer Palace 

We had the chef’s tasting dinner menu (SGD 76 per person).

The first course was a variety of starters. On the left, suckling pig with the skin and meat served separately. This was decadent. The skin tasted like a long crispy strip of lard whilst the meat was tender and juicy. In the middle, deep fried soft shell crab wth chicken floss. The crab was well fried, keeping the meat intact and juicy. The floss gave a melt in your mouth sweetness to the dish. On the right, prawn with wasabi mayo. The prawn was large and bouncy in texture and the wasabi sauce gave it a nice lift from being to greasy. This helped cut the fattiness from the first two starters. This was a good start to the rest of the night.

Double boiled ginseng  with fish maw, conpoy and bamboo piths. This soup was beyond excellent. The fish maw was extremely tender and gelatinous, and the bamboo piths provided a nice crunch and lightness in contrast. The conpoy was meaty and provided the soup with an extra level of umaminess. The ginseng flavour was strong yet delicate at the same time. I was never fond of ginseng but wow, here, the soup had a layer of numbing bitterness yet it was not dominant enough to allow the flavours of the seafood to shine through. Good stuff and stunningly executed.

Black pepper beef. We requested this in place of the venison. This was executed well, with each cube retaining its juiciness under the coat of punchy black pepper sauce.

Homemade beancurd with garoupa fillet,bean gluten and vegetables. I love the textures in this dish, the fried casing of the tofu gave way to its soft delicate innards, the soyabean flavour was prominent in this one, the tofu also tasted really fresh. The bean gluten was good, absorbing the flavour of the gravy with its numerous layers that was a joy to bite thru. The garoupa was meaty, coming away in thick flakes. The chinese spinach was a convenient vehicle to mop up the rest of the sauce.

Fried trio rice with seafood. I thought the gold puffed rice was a smart way to adorning an otherwise less than elegant dish like fried rice. The rice contained several varieties of grains, allowing a nice chewy bite. The puffed rice was crispy and lifted the dish. This was very more-ish.


Dessert was unfortunately rather boring. Mango puree with pomelo on the left, aloe vera with mango in a somewhat refreshing liquid in the middle and osmanthus jelly on the right.

All in all a pretty excellent meal. The soup course is , as usual, the strongest course in the menu. Looking forward to my next visit.

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