With so many new restaurants opening in Singapore every week, it takes a good restaurant to survive amidst the competitive market, and an even better one to continuously stay at the forefront of the industry. Hai Tien Lo at Pan Pacific Singapore is one of them.
A stalwart in the local dining scene, Hai Tien Lo sets high standards for quality Cantonese cuisine and remains one of the best Chinese restaurants in Singapore. It is the kind of place where you go for a smart yet casual luncheon with your business associates, to have dim sum with your friends during a gathering, or to celebrate your family member’s birthday.
Since joining Hai Tien Lo in 2004, Chef Lai Tong Ping has taken on the duty of lifting the restaurant to greater heights together with his team of chefs. It is no mean feat to straddle the line between sticking to classic Cantonese cooking and coming up with new and innovative creations to satisfy the ever-growing demands of diners.
To celebrate Chef Lai Tong Ping’s 10th anniversary at Hai Tien Lo, he has created ‘A Glorious Decade’ – an sophisticated six-course menu (S$108/pax, minimum of two guests) which showcases his signature hand-crafted creations, the dishes that best represent the cuisine and food philosophy at Hai Tien Lo.
Prelude to Gastronomy Discovery
The first course is an exquisite display of an appetizer trio, featuring Sliced Barbecued Duck and Shredded Jelly Fish, Braised Homemade Beancurd with Minced Pork and Pine Mushrooms in Chef’s signature XO chili sauce, and Crispy Prawn in sesame sauce.
It is a wonderful play of flavours and textures that is worthy of a palate explosion – the barbecued duck was perfectly roasted and utterly delicious; the rich and intense broth that has been simmered with chicken, turkey and bacon for eight hours complemented the silky smooth homemade beancurd so perfectly; and the fresh and crunchy prawn comes with a coating of a special sesame sauce that is particularly addictive.
Next, we had the Braised Fish Maw with Dried Scallop in Supreme Chicken Stock. Soups are the best gauge of the standards of a Cantonese restaurant, and Hai Tien Lo’s rendition easily passed the test with flying colours. Rich, deep and jam-packed with flavours, this is perfect food for the soul, indeed.
The Perfect Pairing
Succeeding the soup was a dish of Sea Perch that was filleted and presented in two ways. When dining at a Chinese restaurant, we always have difficulty trying to decide on the cooking style for fish. Should we go for a light and delicate steamed fish or should we have a deep-fried fish? Decisions, decisions, decisions…
Chef Lai Tong Ping’s ‘The Perfect Pairing’ solves the dilemma. Steamed with green minced onion sauce, the first slice of sea perch was light and delicate on the palate. The deep-fried sea perch was wonderfully flavoursome and not greasy at all. Enhanced with a homemade champagne sauce, this version is fit for royalty.
Slow-cooked for four hours, the fork-tender Braised Pork oozed with flavours and a comforting aroma, reminiscent of Grandma’s cooking. The addition of preserved vegetables added an element of surprise and completed the dish with a depth of flavour. Accompanying the pork ribs was the well-loved deep-fried bun – perfect to mop up the pork ribs sauce. We won’t be forgetting this dish any time soon.
A Class Act
Wok-fried Fish Noodles with Sea Cucumber and Scallop – it is hard to not fall in love with this dish. The fish noodles were made up of long strips of fresh fish paste that had an unparalleled sweetness that complemented the luxurious combination of the sea cucumber and scallop. Talk about having the best of both worlds!
To end the six-course meal, we experienced Chef’s Signature Dessert – a trio of Mango Sago, Osmanthus Jelly with Wolfberries and Avocado Cream. Mango Sago, a popular Chinese dessert, is always a must-order, and Hai Tien Lo impresses with this classic dessert. Osmanthus Jelly has always been food for the Queen, and yes, you are Hai Tien Lo’s esteemed diner, so please help yourself to this. And the Avocado Cream – so smooth, so rich, and so creamy with a hint of soya bean is so very heavenly.
A Glorious Decade is available at Hai Tien Lo during lunch and dinner from now till 31 December 2014. For the latest updates, follow Pan Pacific Singapore on Facebook and Instagram, and like Hai Tien Lo on Facebook.
Hai Tien Lo
L3 Pan Pacific Hotel Singapore
7 Raffles Boulevard
Tel: +65 6826 8240
Daily: 11.30am – 2.30pm, 6.30pm – 10.30pm
Nearest Station: City Hall/Promenade
This post is brought to you by Pan Pacific Singapore.