In another burst of a short week, the Lunar New Year of the Snake will soon dawn upon us. And as families and friends get busy to come together for reunion dinners and a great catch up for the year gone by, good food at the Park Palace restaurant is set to make that comforting event a little more special. The restaurant, located at Grand Park City Hall, is conveniently located at City Hall making it a central location for almost anybody in Singapore to be at. With a snazzy setting decked tastefully with New Year decorations, almost everyone seems ready to usher in the Snake! Talk about Auspicious Glutinous Rice with Foie Gras (cover photo), this is a year of prosperity to come.
At the Park Palace, the key specialty of the restaurant each Lunar New Year is the Golden Shunde Yu Sheng ($88++). This year, the Shunde Yu Sheng is topped with gold leaves to add a little sparkle to the festive signature. With a base of fried vermicelli, the Yu Sheng is complete with fresh Yellowtail fish, ginger, spring onions, an array of julienne coloured capsicums, peanuts all mixed in fragrant peanut oil and soy. The delicacy, from the town of Shunde in Guangdong, was a particularly savoury Yu Sheng in its own right. While I am used to the sweet variant with plum sauce and fragrant spices, this was a refreshing take. Don’t expect any crispiness from the vermicelli as by the time everything is tossed, the noodles soaked up the liquids and juices well enough. Though a thumbs up has to go for the lasting savoury flavour that warmed the entire palate, cajoling me to finish more than a single serving. And do look out for the sliced You Tiao, that is a well deserving crunch!
The first course for the table of ten was the Imperial Suckling Pig ($238++). Well done with each piece of skin excessively crispy and a good layer of fat under to give mellow undertones of delightfulness.
One dish worth highlighting is the Golden Happiness Crispy Garoupa. The entire fish was served deboned but in its full glory. It looked impressively tall when the dish come to the table, though it doesn’t end there.
The staff next took the dish aside and separated the meat into smaller portions before drizzling a good serving of sweet and savoury sauce all over.
For something a little more extravagant and to impress guests, Park Palace is presenting this year the Prosperity Flambe Pen Cai ($268++/$428++). Just before serve, a pan of cognac is heated and lit with a flame, before pouring it all over the pen cai. With the pen cai already infused with cognac, this is a double serving of rich alcohol to create another layer of flavour of caramelized sweetness tinged with tang. Tuck in to exquisite ingredients such as sliced abalone, sea cucumber, duck web, fatt choy, and Gingko nut.
Very rich flavours. The broth was thick and good to the last sip.
The rest of the Imperial Suckling pig was then served again, this time round oven baked with lemongrass sauce for a different dimension of flavours. Crisp, tender, sweet, strongly savoury with a hint of porcine, this was an enjoyable feast in its own right. Though I would strongly recommend just taking a few pieces as too much of it can get a little overwhelming.
Another touch of class presented to the table was the Auspicious Glutinous Rice with Foie Gras and Preserved Meat. I was quite surprised by the serving as it went beyond my impressions on how it should be served. With the glutinous rice shaped like a ball and seared at the bottom, each portion hid the preserved meat well stuffed within. The foie gras was more symbolically flavourful than an exceptional piece but it was good enough to provide a contrast in flavours with the fragrant preserved meat and the chewy savoury rice.
The dessert of Steamed Mini Pumpkin Dumpling with Green Bean Paste was almost too nice to be eaten. This dish is symbolically prosperous with all its bright colours and meaning behind the name.
Park Palace’s Master Chef Chan and me
For a selection of cuisine that is a twist from the norm, Park Palace at the Grand Park City Hall promises to deliver a delectable variety to choose from. Go for the Shunde Yu Sheng for its intricate presentation and savoury flavours and partake in the Golden Happiness Crispy Garoupa for that meaty flavours and prosperity all year round. And if you feel like it, there is the Cognac Flambe Pen Cai that will wow all guests alike when the flame is high.
Thank you Park Palace for the invitation
Grand Park City Hall
10 Coleman Street
Tel: 6432 5543