Located on the side of the walkway leading to the swimming pool, this restaurant was on the 6th storey of Novotel Hotel at Clarke Quay.
Came here for Dim Sum lunch with my friend today. It has been more than 10 years since I last visited here in 2000 when one of my suppliers brought me here for lunch. The restaurant serves ala carte dim sum from 10.30am to 2.30pm (not the buffet style and each item is charged at different prices).
Upon arriving, we were ushered to our seats as we have made an advance reservation. The ambience of the restaurant was almost similar to that 10 years ago except that with more paintings and works of calligraphy being hang on the wall and playing sentimental music, typical chinese restaurant setting.
Since only the 2 of us and I am going back home for dinner, so we decided not to order a lot but just focus on those we like and of course will not overeat. There were 22 items on the dim sum menu. Generally, I must say that the dishes we ordered were good with some that were even considered as "excellent".
Among those we ordered, we like the Har Kow (Prawn Dumpling) and Chee Cheong Fun with Prawn best. The prawns were fresh and skin were think and unlike others with a thick skin. They were steamed perfectly and just tasted great. The sauce of the chee cheong fun was good too, blending well with it and not salty. The imperfection of this was that there was no "appropriate" chee cheong fun chilli (something like the sambal balacan chilli) that came along with it. Even though they provided another version of chilli sauce (like those of bottle ones), it didn't go well with it. If sambal chilli was provided, it would be heavenly.
The mini egg tart was lovely and cute and tasted well, not too sweet or blend. My friend commented that it the egg tarts came with a little "charred" (burnt), it would be much better as it would be more fragrance but I supposed for healthy reason, all the egg tarts were nicely baked and no char part was seen. Haha!
The deep fried prawn dumpling and custard buns were quite good too. They were deep fried appropriately and tasty nice. Carrot cake was ok though this time round, there were some parts being "over-fried". The Fu Pi Juan was a bit bland and they provided a black sauce but we didn't what was it but definitely not soy sauce or vinegar according to our tastebuds. Perhaps it was fish sauce?
The century egg minced pork porridge was nice, smooth (cooked to the way I like the porridge - rice not too watery or too solid). However, we overheard the next table commenting that their bowls of porridge was way too salty. Being very sensitive to saltiness, I didn't feel our porridge was salty (as also we didn't feel thirsty thereafter if the food was salty or carried too much MSG).
Overll, the good was good and we enjoyed them.
As for the service, generally ok as the serving crew were mostly middle aged aunties with 1 or 2 younger servers. They were polite and smileful though their speed of serving was a bit slow. On 2 occasions they forgot our request (asking for mayonnaise from one auntie and when we asked for it with another younger server, she could not understand what mayonnaise was and we told her "dan wang jiang" (the chinese name of mayonnaise which she also could not understand. then she said "was it salad cream?" and we smiled and nodded). Another time was when we have finished our tea, our teapot was not refilled on time, as it took quite a while. And when we left the restaurant, even though there were staff whom we met as we walked out and manager at the counter on the side of the entrance, they did not greet us or bid us "good bye" or "thanks for coming". Perhaps they were busy or "day dreaming". Other than these, service level was overall satisfactory.
Value for money? Ok, with the promotions on. However, we were told by the servers that the promotions will be ending on 31 Aug and based on the pricelist, it may not be that "good value for money" then. (besides this, every person is charged $2 for the chinese tea and $2 for the steamed peanuts which we don't eat but chargeable. If they serve us prickled cucumber or raddish, it might be better).
Also if they can add on 1 or 2 more desserts in the dim sum menu, that would be great too.
In conclusion, quite a nostalgic place to have dim sum with quite good quality. Hope to come back here again and look forward to the future promotions.