Tucked away on the ground floor of Park Regis Hotel along Merchant Road, Royal Pavilion is a 142-seater modern Cantonese concept restaurant with seven private rooms. The hotel itself is just a five-minute walk away from Clarke Quay MRT station, though we did hear stories from other members of the media present about cabbies getting lost en route.
Tip: You might want to scope the area out on Google Maps prior to your visit.
This year, Royal Pavilion is proud to roll out a brand-new menu just in time for Mother’s Day. Here’s what the Mother’s Day “Pocket Of Love” dim sum menu is offering:
It’s overwhelming, yes. Here’s a look at what stood out (and what um.. didn’t) on the menu:
The Baked Cod Puffs with Black Pepper are full-flavoured firecrackers, though only slightly larger than your thumbs! The crispy, flaky skin almost guarantees a mess but it’s totally worth it.
Possibly the furthest venture from traditional dim sum on the menu, the Baked Chicken Pies in Black Truffle Oil has a good balance between filling and skin. None of that thick, impregnable pie crust nonsense on this mini pastry… nope! Also, plus points for that elegant plating on these two dishes.
Hmm… are the Baked Swiss BBQ Snow Buns just crispy skin Char Siew Paos trying to impress with a fancy middle name? While these buns may look identical to (popular dim sum chain) Tim Ho Wan’s signature dish, Royal Pavilion’s version boasts less sweet skin (thank God) and more char siew filling.
The one to end them all: the Steamed Foie Gras and Meat Dumplings “Xiao Long Bao” are anything but “xiao” (“small”). While they’re not as ridiculously huge as those which require an actual straw for the broth inside, these sizeable dumplings are still large enough for you to be worried about breaking the skin (*gasp*). The spoons provided were also too small for this task and made tackling it a tad inconvenient.
The Steamed Mixed Vegetables Dumplings reveal nothing about its peculiar shape in its title (though its Mandarin name does contain the “fish” character: “鱼”), but who wouldn’t love these cute, goldfish-shaped dumplings? Totally Instagram material.
This should speed things up: in clockwise direction, Steamed Foie Gras and Meat Dumplings “Xiao Long Bao”, Steamed Mixed Vegetables Dumplings, Baked Swiss BBQ Snow Buns, Steamed Fresh Crab Meat and Minced Shrimp Dumplings, and Steamed Fresh Scallops, Asparagus, and Egg White Dumplings.
The star of the afternoon: the Royal Smoked Duck (S$68++) is incredible. The Mandarin name (“招牌荔枝木熏鸭”, literally “Signature Lychee Wood Smoked Duck”) reveals more than just its blessed ancestry, though it could most likely rule the menu. The smoky flavour of the duck is a delight, and the crispy, thin skin goes perfectly with the sour plum sauce. Note: the “lychee” here refers to the type of wood used. No actual lychees were
harmed used in the making of this dish.
Most photogenic: the Stir-Fried Coral Clam with Asparagus in “Lao Gan Tie” Sauce (S$38++) might sound slightly vulgar (“Lao Gan Tie” translates to “Old Godfather”), but the visually-appealing dish is anything but offensive. The firm, snappy asparagus offers a nice counterpoint to the soft and chewy texture of the clams, though the sauce might have a more memorable name than taste. Is the “Lao Gan Tie” sauce just a oyster/soya sauce combo?
Maybe skip this: the Classic Cantonese Claypot Rice with Waxed Meat & Chinese Sausages (S$38++) may complete the “rice/noodle staple dish” prerequisite in a Chinese meal, but the separation of the rice from the other ingredients makes for a mediocre bowl not unlike cai png (“mixed vegetable rice”). Maybe just stick with the tried-and-tested japalang (“everything together”) method?
Dessert came in the form of the Fish-Shaped Panna Cotta in Mango Sago. Don’t worry, I Googled it (I’m just a music writer after all): “Panna cotta (from Italian cooked cream) is an Italian dessert made by blending thick cream, egg white and honey”. A pretty cool and refreshing dessert that’s just the perfect ending to your Mother’s Day meal.
Specially created for Mother’s Day, Royal Pavilion’s special “Pockets Of Love” dim sum menu features seven new creations by chef Chen Man Wing (formerly from The Four Seasons’ Jiang Nan Chun) and his team. Available from 1 May to 10 May 2015, prices for the new cast of dim sum range from S$4.80 to S$5.80 per serving.
Royal Pavilion is situated at:
Level 1, Park Regis Singapore
23 Merchant Road
Tel: +65 6818 8851
Email: [email protected]
Mon – Sun : 11:30AM to 2:30PM, 6:30PM to 10:30PM
This was an invited media tasting.