The Lunar New Year is just around the corner and Chinese restaurants all over the country are offering new menus for reunion dinners. Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant at PARKROYAL on Beach Road has done something different and launched a new Reunion Imperial High Tea menu for $32++ per person that offers a full-fledge menu of auspicious dishes for friends and family who are looking to enjoy some time together during the festive period without burning a hole in their pockets.
Like any reunion meal, Yusheng is a must-have in the Reunion Imperial High Tea. The Prosperity Ikan Parang Yusheng has an added taste of the sea with the addition of crispy fish skin. Premium Dragon Well (Long Jing tea) is served at the start of the course to cleanse the palate.
The next dish served on the table is the Camphor Tea Smoked Chicken. Camphor tea is commonly used in Szechuan cuisine and often prepared with duck meat to make the Camphor tea smoked duck. This time round, the choice of using chicken is something different. The Camphor tea fragrance is very subtle in this dish.
The Deep-fried Radish Puff with Conpoy is one of my favourite dish in this course. It's hot and crispy on the outside with rich and moist radish on the inside. You can definitely taste the conpoy (dried scallop) with every bite of radish.
Next on the menu is Steamed Abalone Dumpling with Wasabi Sauce. Experience is key to steaming abalone because it is very easy to overcook the abalone and lose all its flavours. Not to mention the abalone becomes very tough. The chef does this dish perfectly because the abalone is delicious. Very little wasabi is used and is easily overpowered by the abalone.
Together with the Steamed Abalone Dumpling with Wasabi Sauce, another bamboo steamer basket containing Steamed Fish Ball with Black Moss is also presented. The fish ball looks very simple and elegant with the hairlike black moss embedded in the fish ball and a small piece of broccoli placed on top. The fish meat is very fresh and the black moss gives a little crunch to every bite.
The Double-boiled Superior Soup is very rich with all the flavours condensed in the soup with an option to opt for no shark fins. The dumpling complements the soup perfectly with the fresh seafood used in the dumpling. The richness of the soup and freshness of the seafood creates a perfect dance on the tongue.
Before the next dish is served, the Dragon Well is replaced with Red Robe (Oolong tea). Tea lovers know that both teas are in the 10 Great Chinese Teas. The Red Robe is pre-brewed and served in a small pot. The reason for the change in tea is because the next few dishes in the menu are much heavier in taste and more oily. It's like drinking white wine with white meats and red wine with red meats.
The Fried Rice with Assorted Sausages wrapped in Lotus Leaf is served in individual portions, packed in lotus leaves. The fried rice is very tasty and generous in portions. If you take a sip of the Dragon Well after a mouthful of fried rice, the tea would be too bland and probably taste like tap water. By introducing the Red Robe with the fried rice, the aroma of the Oolong holds the separate flavours of the sausages, spring leaves, fried rice and egg together and creates a well-rounded taste.
Moving on to desserts, a bowl of Glutinous Rice Balls in Chinese Rice Wine is served. This dish represents sweet reunion and the roundness of the rice balls signify a complete circle of harmony and unity within the family. Not everyone would appreciate the use of Chinese Rice Wine in the soup because of the taste of fermented rice wine. Dried osmanthus and rock sugar helps to reduce the strong taste of rice wine.
The last dish is Pan-fried New Year Cake with Glutinous Pearls which is symbolism of raising oneself taller in each coming year. Unlike the traditional brown New Year Cake, this dish is much more colourful and goes very well with the Red Robe.
If you are looking to consider an alternative to the usual reunion dinners, try the Reunion Imperial High Tea by PARKROYAL.
The 8-course menu is available in the Reunion Imperial High Tea (新春团圆宫廷下午茶) at Tian Fu Tea Room from 2.30pm to 6.00pm, from 30 January to 14 February 2014 at just $32++ a person. NTUC and PAssion Cardmembers enjoy a “1 dines free with 3 accompanying diners” offer at all three outlets
For reservations, please contact Tian Fu Tea Room by Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant.
Tian Fu Tea Room
7500 Beach Road
T: +65 6505 5724
Tian Fu Tea Room
181 Kitchener Road
+65 6428 3170
Tian Fu Tea Room
Raffles Place, #60-01
UOB Plaza 1
+65 6535 6006
This is an invited food tasting. Opinions are as always, our own.