This old established institution specialising in Cantonese cuisine has been around since I was a kid (probably even before I was born) and it’s a popular haunt of many businessmen and families (mine included!). I wanted to try the dim sum but disappointingly, it’s only available during lunch. Is it weird unconventional to want dim sum for dinner?
The Roasted “Pi-Pa” Duck ($35++) made an appearance shortly after we ordered since it barely needed any preparation besides plating and serving. By consensus, this was the favourite dish of the night. Though I think this was quite a skinny duck, the winning formula lies in its crispy oily skin which was relished with delight.
The 1st comment when the Braised Deluxe Dried Seafood ($20++) was served? “Wa! Such a small bowl!” With delicacies such as sea cucumber and scallops in it, I dug in with gusto. Within minutes, the pot was wiped clean. Note to self: order a larger serving next time!
A common dish to be found in Chinese restaurants, the Sauteed Scallops with Broccoli ($22++) was faultless with the fresh ingredients used and simple execution by the chef.
The Fried Noodles with Prawns & Egg ($16++) came in a large portion. I like the runny scrambled egg with asparagus and mushrooms though the sodium level was a tad too high. Prawns were large and succulent too!
I love anything and everything pumpkin so the Braised Pumpkin Casserole with Seafood ($18++) is my personal favourite. Steamed till soft, the whole sweet pumpkin acts as a bowl to contain the savoury braised seafood. Two thumbs up!
I was fully prepared to like it (since I like yam almost as much as I like pumpkin) but the Deep-Fried Yam Ring ($20++) didn’t make the cut. Everyone agreed that the yam was bland to the point of being tasteless. The only saving grace was the stir-fried mixture of assorted veg, chicken cubes and cashew nuts.
In my dictionary, no meal is complete without desserts. I was surprised to like the Chilled Mango Pudding ($3.50++) since it’s not as gelatinous as I had expected. Milk was added to complement the sweet mango.
I felt cheated when I saw the Chilled Sago Cream with Mango & Pomelo ($4.30++)! I thought it would be the type sold at “Ji De Chi” since its Chinese name on the menu reads “Yang Zhi Gan Lu”. This is more like honeydew sago cream with a change in fruits. Disappointing, to say the least.
A bitter dessert is an oxymoron but I take my Chilled Herbal Jelly ($3.80++) without honey since I like its bitterness. The best herbal jelly eaten in my life is in Hong Kong (let me know if you want the address!); this doesn’t even come close but it’s not too bad.
It’s nearly always a must to have the Yam Paste with Ginko Nuts ($3.80++) at every Cantonese Chinese restaurant. I like that the paste was not overtly smooth as I like texture in my food. Mixed with liquid lard and coconut milk, this is definitely artery-clogging in every bite but so worth it!
This being a weekday night, we practically had the whole place to ourselves. Which was great because it means the staff had only us to be attentive to! If there’s a chance, I’ll love to come back for a sample of its dim sum!
Yan Palace Restaurant
Blk 531, Upper Cross Street
#01-49, Hong Lim Complex
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