Today is a special day for all mums. In many countries around the world, the second Sunday of May is dedicated to honour this tireless lady for all her contributions that she has done for the society, the family, and for the child that she has placed all her efforts in raising.
And for me personally, I celebrated Mother’s Day with a lunch buffet feast at the Singapore Marriott Hotel Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant. Tucked away in a cozy little corner on the third floor, the restaurant’s main entrance prominently shines with the engraved artwork of Chinese calligraphy.
In the buffet, there are four specialty soups in which one can choose from. Dad had the Mini Buddha Jump Over The Wall. Herbal in taste, the individual serving comes with a whole abalone to relish. Clear and refreshing, it was an immediate favourite.
For me, I had the Shark’s Fin Dumpling Soup. The soup arrived with a gigantic mushroom and vegetable stuffed dumpling floating in the center. And garnished around the sides were pieces of Shark’s fin that were enough to make anyone hungry. A little sweet in taste, the dumpling itself was a delight as the first bite burst open to reveal juicy goodness within.
Mum had the more traditional creation of Shark’s Fin with Crab Meat and Bamboo Pith. Simply Shark’s Fin in a slightly thick seafood consommé with swirls of egg white and crab meat lacing the top.
For this a-la-carte buffet, there was a selection of six Chef’s Recommendations that could only be ordered once per table. The Drunken Prawns which we had were exceptionally well done. Juicy, sweet and very herbal with the light fragrance of wine embracing the meat, it was very good.
The Scallop and Asparagus in Spicy XO Sauce featured large juicy scallops that were sea sweet and very meaty. It carried a flavour on its own that complemented well with the spicy sauce and crunchy texture of the asparagus.
The Beef Tenderloin with Black Peppercorns was nothing much to rave about except for the meat that was nicely done and easy to bite through. Presentation was a little lackluster in colour with all the tones being brown, black or dark purple. Spiciness of the sauce was mild and more of a sweet pepperish flavour. Not entirely a thumbs up for this.
Still, the next Chef’s Recommendation of Sea Perch Fillet with Garlic was nicely done with the fish being naturally flaky and oily to the touch. The light drizzle of garlic and soy sauce exposed the true flavours of the perch to the tongue. Pairing it with the slices of tofu contrasted the entire texture for a delightful experience.
The US Kurobuta Pork was nicely done with the slices of meat being thick and easy to the bite. Flavours were mild and not overtly strong.
For the Chilli Prawns with Crispy Buns, this was perhaps the restaurant’s adaptation of Chilli Crab with Deep Fried Mantou Buns. Still, the prawns itself was delectably crunchy with a zesty spicy flavour embracing the meat all around. For the buns? Dip it in the sauce. That’s the best way to enjoy it.
Finally, the creme de la creme of the entire menu – Char Siew So. Flaky, wonderfully baked with a good toss of sesame seeds on the outside and a touch of sweet glaze that will tickle the tongue, this Char Siew So was served piping hot! The filling itself was also sweet, savoury with the char siew pieces being rightfully fatty yet meaty, giving a good complementation to the entire dish by itself.
The Siew Mai was also acceptably done. The skin was not dried up and thick but soft and just like a coating to the prawn and meat paste on the inside. For the filling, it was juicy, savoury with a good crunchiness that gave this Siew Mai a smile.
The Ha Gau was served in a Golden Red crystal dumpling skin that seductively exposed the prawn stuffing within. It was wonderfully done except for one piece which was served with its skin slightly torn apart.
Another must order is the Char Siew Bao. I just think that Wan Hao got the recipe for Char Siew filling done up just right. All the goodness from the Char Siew So, except this time the stuffing was in soft cottonlike portions of buns that was a delight to the entire family.
Now, the Chicken Claw was simply average. I admit that after being impressed after dishes of Dim Sum came out, it was hard to believe that this dish was only okay. Naturally soft and tender, the failing point was the mild flavours in the sauce that could seriously do with a spicy kick. It didn’t make me want to go back for more.
For the Spare Ribs, I think its nice to say that I personally polished off the plate. Yes, the spare ribs were very meaty with just each portion not being too fatty. The marinade was also well done with the flavours not being overly salty or sweet.
The Spring Rolls were unique on its own as they were served as two long sticks stuffed with black pepper meat filling. Very crispy on the outside, it was a crunch of delights. The only sad point was the slightly oily texture.
I thought we were done but mum wanted to try more dishes. So she ordered the Seven Spices Sea Perch Fillet. I found it a little oily to the touch and the seven spices were literally lacking in flavour despite its quantity. Still, the redeeming point would be the perch itself as the flaky texture was a good contrast to the crispy fried batter.
I know that showing the appetizers now might seem a little inappropriate but hey, better late than never. The roast pork was served up warm, crispy and not too fatty in portions. Nice. The Honey Glazed Pork and Roast Duck were average to the bite with the pork being a little tough.
The Chicken Roll with Black Peppercorns is by itself a unique dish though I seriously cannot take it when they glaze it with such a standard fare black pepper sauce. More work could be done. The Jelly Fish with cucumbers is nothing to shout about, but a refreshing starter if it came at the start.
Dad simply had to have the Yang Chow Fried Rice. I found it very flavourful with a wok-hei fragrance that shrouded each fluffy grain.
The Abalone with Seaweed Beancurd and Conpoy was also a good dish. For the seaweed beancurd, it was a creation of tofu with a skin of seaweed that carried a strong flavour of umaminess. Pairing it with the abalone and its sauce was simply enhancing the refreshing sea flavours. Good.
For the desserts, we first had the Mini Egg Tarts. Well done, with the pastry being flaky yet firm to the bite. The filling of egg custard was also not too sweet.
The Yam Paste with Gingko Seed and Pumpkin was also well done. Smooth and velvety thick, the pumpkin sauce added good colour and a light fragrance to the sweet earthy yam paste.
Herbal Jelly – nothing much to talk about unless you like Gui Ling Gao. Just a point to note, this version is not very bitter.
Lastly, the Mango Pudding. Surprisingly meaty, it was a dessert that complemented well to the entire meal. The sweet, refreshing fruity flavours of the prince of fruits is a delight on its own.
The Lunch Buffet which I had at Wan Hao is priced exquisitely at $55++ per person.
With over 60 varieties in the buffet menu and for the cozy classy ambience to begin with, I would say this was well worth it. It being more so that this was to celebrate Mother’s Day with my family.
For all mothers, who have played a significant main role in spinning the fabrics of the family, this is a day of honour and remembrance. And as all of us are children, we thank you for being there all the time. A very Happy Mother’s Day to all.
Many thanks to Penny (2nd from right) and her colleagues for providing excellent service throughout the lunch.
|Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant
Singapore Marriott Hotel
320 Orchard Road
Tel : 6831 4615