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We were late. For the annual Chinese New Year reunion dinner booking frenzy that is. Trying to get a table about a month before the actual day proved to be an exasperating effort and with our options limited, we settled for Yan Ting. To be honest, I wasn't too optimistic about the quality of food as my previous dining experiences at Yan Ting (> 20 times in the past 2 years) only yielded disappointment with the ala carte menu (dim sum is above average though).
To accomodate the CNY reunion dinner crowd, Yan Ting has replaced a few of the cosy 4 seaters with round tables for 6 pax as well as opened up the nearby ballrooms for bigger groups. The usual peace and calm in the restaurant was replaced by the hustle and bustle of wait staff madly dashing around serving customers and the incessant chatter from families (us included).
Prosperity Yusheng with Norwegian Salmon - I'm usually not too picky about yusheng but Yan Ting's offering was seriously underwhelming.The flavours were bland and I couldn't make out any sweetness from the plum sauce and even the crackers were tasteless!
Double Boiled Chicken Consomme with Abalone and Fish Maw - Presentation was almost non existent for this dish and it looked like a plain, simple bowl of soup. No fancy soup bowl, garnishes, nothing. Having said that, the broth was light yet tasty with a reasonably sized piece of abalone, fish maw and chicken slices.
Hong Kong Style Steamed Coral Trout - I had expected a whole fish to share but all we got was 3 slices of coral trout each (too expensive probably?), served up in a dim sum steamer. The trout's flesh was sweet, smooth yet firm with a mild saltiness from the shreds of jinhua ham (金華火腿).
Stewed Pig's Trotter with Moss and Prosperity Oyster in Brown Sauce - This is honestly the first time I've seen pig's trotters in a reunion dinner menu and I can't say that I'm thrilled. Though tender, the trotters were bland due to the lacklustre brown sauce. Not a big fan of dried oysters so I'll reserve my comments.
Crispy Roasted Chicken with Truffles ($30++ for Half) - This dish was an add on on top of our 6 course dinner and the description had me all salivating. Imagine the prospect of juicy chicken meat coupled with crispy skin and the fragrance of truffles - a match made in heaven in my humble opinion. Alas, reality proved otherwise. Sure, the skin was a tad crispy and the meat wasn't too salty. However, the meat was a bit too dry while the truffle smell was barely existent. Whilst I appreciated the black truffle slices, they seemed to play a more decorative role than a functional one; they were bland and void of the strong, earthy aroma that I normally associate with black truffle.
See my entire review pictures here.
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