First of all, a Happy 2012 to all readers of foodiedoo! How time flies, as foodiedoo is gearing into its second year of food blogging. I still remember the main reason why I started out this food blog on the Christmas Eve of 2010, which was, and still is, to share the best food I’ve tried with my loved ones (wife especially!), friends and relatives. Fast forward to today and being this blog entry as my 40th, foodiedoo has since been a reference to hundreds of foodies every month and I simply did not expect it to gain such an amount of readership. Glad to say that my passion for food photography and the will to hunt for good local food is still as strong as Day 1. I hope the following entry would entice your taste buds further.
Best of health and keep the good food coming!
– Jimmy, foodiedoo
I remember just a few weeks ago, someone asked me “where can I enjoy really good food that comes with an awesome view?” I did thought of a few good places, including Si Chuan Dou Hua and some others but it looks like I have the answer to that question.
Here’s the multiple award-winning and popular Hai Tien Lo (海天楼）, where exquisite Cantonese cuisine awaits.
The chef behind this popular Cantonese restaurant is currently under the skilful hands of Master Chef Lai Tong Ping (below) but just to give abit of history, Hai Tien Lo was first made famous by a certain Malaysian Chef by the name of Yong Bing Ngen.
I was invited to Hai Tien Lo by a close family member who frequents this popular Cantonese restaurant and also had the opportunity to dine in absolute privacy in one of the restaurant’s many private rooms.
When I stepped into the room I was totally awed by the harbour and cityscape view. I must admit that it took me quite awhile to settle down as I simply couldn’t take my eyes out of the view from those windows. I was then informed that occassionally some politician / embassy members would dine in these private rooms due to the fantastic view.
Arguably the national symbal of China, the Beijing Duck is an absolute classic Chinese cuisine and to me, this dish must have two things – very thin & crispy skin, which the chef here absolutely delivered it very well. This is one of those dish that I would consider as “one is never enough“. I love the homemade pancakes which the thickness is right-on and really compliments the duck skin. There’s a light touch of the sweet bean sauce in there and not to mention the spring onions and crackers to accompany the duck skin.
What you have here are very generous servings of braised Shark’s Fin and crab meat. Of course, given the choice I would have avoided this dish to save the sharks but it wasn’t really a call of mine to say no. The soup base is not overly-starchy and the overall texture is just right.As usual, add in pepper and dark vineger to your liking and you are on your way to some really awesome delicacy.
First, let’s talk about the Spare Ribs. Thick, juicy, extremely tender and comes with a bit of rib bones. As my teeth sinks into the spare ribs I can instantly feel the firmness of the meat around the ribs. Marinated with the chef’s Homemade Szechuan Spicy, the sauce is not as spicy as I initially think it is and t goes really well with the spare ribs. I’m totally impressed by this.
Some say that when it comes to cooking and eating fish, steamed method would considered to be the best because by steaming, it retain its natural flavours and keeps the meat firm and tender. However, the time taken to steam the fish also makes a whole lot of difference to the overall taste, which of course the chef here definitely has mastered the skill to make the fishes on the plate extremely tasty and the Homemade Soya Sauce is light yet fragrant which helps get rid of the fishy smell. This is probably Steamed Garoupa at its best.
One of Hai Tien Lo’s signature dishes, the Braised Sliced Abalone with Homemade Beancurd and Pan-Fried Foie Gras really lives up to its name as a signature dish. Maybe its just me and might sound surprising to you but the highlight here is neither the abalone or the Foie Gras but instead, its the beancurd. Now, I have to admit I really dig soy-bean based food and the beancurd here really blew me away. It’s tender on the outside yet wonderfully soft on the inside. Pop one into the mouth and it instantly melts aways.
This is my first time trying out the Foie Gras and I would say, it tastes alot nicer than I imagined. The flavour is rich but not overwhelming and more importantly it doesn’t taste too oily. The Foie Gras holds itself firmly also. Somehow or rather, the spinach and abalone became the accompaniments instead!
Roasted or Marinated Chicken? How about having best of both worlds? If I were to make a choice, I personally prefer the Roasted Chicken better but both types of chicken in this dish have something in common – pure and tender chicken parts.
By the time this dish was served I was already maximizing the capacity of my stomach but the Ee-Fu noodles here is good enough to make me eat just a little bit more.
Cold, refreshing and very soothing to the throat. The combination of aloe vera with crystal jelly makes this dessert a fantastic after-meal choice. The bits of strawberries adds some sweetness to enhance the overall flavour by a few notches.Conclusion Hai Tien Lo delivered exceptionally well in various aspects when it comes to dining, including the overall ambience, food quality and service level. Only have I tried this popular restaurant personally that I am convinced that it is this good. My dining experience was indeed uplifting and will definitely recommend this restaurant to those who have yet to give this place a shot. I also read that Hai Tien Lo serves weekdays and weekends dim-sum buffet which, I got to admit, am really looking forward to try it out someday.
Ratings: 5.0 foodiedoos out of 5.0
Hai Tien Lo
Pan Pacific Hotel, Level 37
7 Raffles Blvd
Tel: 6826 8240
- Operating Hours:
- Lunch: 12noon to 2.30pm (Weekdays)
Dinner: 6.30pm to 10.00pm (Daily)
Weekday Dim Sum Lunch: 12.00pm to 2.30pm (Mondays to Fridays)
Weekend A La Carte Buffet Brunch: 11.30am to 2.30pm (Weekends and PHs)