Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Palace Chinese Restaurant, Hotel Excelsior

Palace Chinese Restaurant is located on the fifth floor of Excelsior Hotel. They have been in the business for quite some time but I am not sure whether have they undergone a change of management and kitchen team. They used to offer some weekday set dinner to boost business as they rely very much on wedding dinner on the banquet hall.
They definitely have renovated the place. The ambient lighting is warm and not too bright. They have a lot of folding walls to separate a zone for your private function

 It is my first time having Fruits Yee Sang.What made is so different is everything is natural instead of having pickles and dyed stuff you normally find on conventional Yee Sang dish. Pineapples, water apples (jambu air), green apples with some romaine lettuce were the few key ingredients, doused in similar plum sauce. It would be better if they shredded the fruits in thinner slices or smaller cubes. Nevertheless, still a very mouth-watering appetizer to kick start the meal. We were given gigantic chopsticks (those used for deepfrying) to toss this auspicious dish.

This is the Braised Stuffed Sea Cucumber with Abalone. A humongous piece of sea cucumber enough to satisfy the cravings for a table of 10 is stuffed with minced meat. This is what they call as "Gue Poh Sum" grade, am I right?

The filling is similar to “loh bak” with a strong punch of five spice powder. Looks like some giant meat loaf to me with the sea cucumber appearing to be pig skin. I love the gelatinous texture of the flavourful sea cucumber, proof that it was braised for quite substantial time.

Couldn’t recall when was the last time which I had abalone. I may not be the right person to comment on it since it is not my staple diet. But judging from the size, this seems convincing as a "6 head" abalone grade. Just to enlighten how do they measure "head" for abalone grades, I am sure some of you would remember this term after watching the TVB series "Tung Sum Fong Bou (Heart of Greed). The figure of the "head" is the number of pieces of abalone one can find in a 500g packet. If its 6 head means there are 6 pieces in the 500g packet, approximating to around 80grams each. If its those 10 head grade, it means its just merely 50g each. So the bigger the head figure, the lighter weight is the abalone thus smaller in size. So imagine the "seong hao bao" (twin head) grade featured in the TVB series mentioned, its a whopping 250g per piece! Can you recall the scene Moses Chan and family is waiting for the chef to prepare it in the claypot during the first few episodes?

Not just any "pak cham gai" but this is Poached Castrated Chicken. Served with premium soya sauce and drizzle of shallots oil and sesame oil, the flesh is slightly on the tough side. The texture is not like the typical chicken you normally have and the meat has its own distinct aroma. The skin has a darker yellow hue with minimal or absence of fat. I was surprised this dish made its way to the menu list because my students' parents has family business related to this.... and mind you, a famous brand from Ipoh. I shall not disclose it here though :)

The prawns were fresh despite being slightly small in size. It was cooked in sweetish like tomato gravy which I do not really like as the gravy did not complement well with the prawn flesh. Maybe it was meant to complement the fried man tou instead? I still prefer typical styles like pan fry with soya sauce or deep fried with butter cream or salted egg.

The Tiger Garoupa Steamboat is something very unique indeed. Slices of the flesh of the fish were thinly sliced before adding into the soup.

The soup was well flavoured from the balance of fish – the bones, head, tail and fins were fried and added to the broth to boil alongside some other ingredients. Mix in the assorted mushrooms, bean skin (fu chook) glass noodles and fish slices and a scrumptious assemble is complete!

Without waiting long after the few slurps of the fish soup, we were served with the Hakka Noodles. Noodles cooked to near al dente pairs well with a generous topping of minced pork and mushroom. Very good serving arrangement as I can take a sip from the fish soup while filling up the void of the stomach with this carbo-laden dish.

The chilled pumpkin sago dessert which was not overwhelmingly creamy but was refreshing at the same time. I would anytime prefer a chilled dessert over the warm and starchy generic red bean soup anytime.

The duo pastry combination platter comes in the form of baked mini chicken pie and petite mochi with peanut filling. Both were very addictive despite my stomach is quite filled to the brim. I still prefer the chewy mochi over its savoury counterpart. 

This is definitely the top few most memorable Chinese banquet dinner I have ever tasted. I would rate this to be the #2 in my all time list. If I manage to squeeze in the time, I will post another post on the most posh meal in Menglembu East Ocean later this week. Till then, happy eating, stay healthy and stay fit :)

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