Sunday, July 15, 2012

Royal China Tai Thong, Ipoh

Mom and I did not have even one good dining experience in Royal China-Tropicana Grand Ballroom after attending a few wedding dinners. The "lang pun", first entree platter normally served on Chinese banquets consisted of mainly frozen/processed stuffs like dumplings, siew mais, meat rolls. Mom experienced an "under-steamed" fish whereby the flesh of the fish is still stuck on the bones, hardly inseparable. We always thought that hotel line or rather HALAL Chinese restaurants normally are not up to the league when compared with conventional Chinese restaurants. Maybe they need to hire a lot of Malay chefs, particularly those MARA Culinary College to fulfill the HALAL criteria.

We decided to give Royal China another shot since this advertisement on Tai Thong Facebook page caught my eye. After all, I haven't really dined in Royal China restaurant (ground floor). The ground floor is a Non Halal restaurant. They have a seperate halal kitchen which caters to the grand ballroom on the 6th floor.

Upon seated down, I got to know that they are currently still having some economical set meals which includes rice, soup, chinese tea and dessert. We decided to have the RM66 set for 4 people whereby we can get to choose 3 dishes from 3 different category - 1 meat, 1 vege and 1 tau fu/egg. In the meantime while waiting for the food, we munched on these braised peanuts. A good snack rather those conventional fried ones.

From the meat category, I chose the roasted duck and char siew platter to savour the best of both worlds. Char Siew was not very up to its mark, the roast duck being okay. Portion is quite substantial, there's actually quarter of a duck being served.

This is some spicy sauce Tau Fu. Lightly braised with some thin slices of pork belly, mixed vegetable. This is just some average dish you will come across in some chinese "dai chow" stall.

Mix Vegetarian With Nam Yue (Fermented Bean Paste). I'm not a fan of Nam Yue but my parents said that this dish is well cooked, very good to go along with rice.

3 dishes for 4 people ain't enough. Especially meat lovers will be deprived from only a single dish. Hence, we topped up one of the promo priced dish of the day. This is the Sweet and Sour Chicken which was actually Gou Lou Yuk, chicken cubes instead of pork. Although not very spectacular, but it did in a way 'exorcised' our trauma past unpleasant Chinese wedding dinner meals.

Dessert which was included in the set, Kwai Fa Gou. It's actually jelly with some scented flower petal infused with tea essence, cloud ear (suet yee) and wolfberries (kei chi).

I side ordered a Chinese Pancake for RM12 per portion! Well, you can forget about the ala carte desserts they have to offer. Most desserts need around 15-20 minutes to prepare - namely your tong shuis like frog jelly/hasma (suet kap) or those sea coconut with ginseng. The only thing ready on the spot was the Guai Ling Gou (RM8.90) and it was really hopeless.

On the ala carte menu, you can indulge in their offerings like Shark Fin's and Abalone and Sea Cucumber to name a few. They have a variety to cater to your budget, the cheapest abalone dish is RM38/pax for a Sap Hou Bao (10 mouth abalone). Sap Hau Bao means that you have 10 pieces of abalone in the packet amounting to 1 kati (600g) meaning the abalone of this "grade" is approximately 60g, so you can guess the size and portion of a RM38 grade serving. Higher grades can fetch up to over RM100/pax, so get your credit cards ready. Will I come back again? Maybe YES maybe NO. Till then, I will leave you with a photo of their mooncake boxes. Yes, the Chinese have already started  the Mooncake business!

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