Saturday, November 17, 2012

冠華 Majestic Bay Seafood Restaurant ... Novel Cantonese Live Seafoodat the Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay

The Majestic Bay Seafood Restaurant is another attempt by Chef Yong Bing Ngen to reach another pinnacle from his previous successes at The Majestic Restaurant and Jing. This almost 2 months old live seafood restaurant takes a spot in the Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay. Along side Pollen, a fine diner just round the corner, The Majestic Bay Restaurant provides the Chinese dining option to Singaporeans and tourists alike who flock the Gardens like bees to flowers. Hotelier and Restauranteur, Loh Lik Peng, has gotten out of his comfortable Bukit Pasoh and Keong Saik empire in a big way. He seems to want to work on the dining scene around the Marina Bay. Jing is his collaboration with Chef Yong and Pollen is his venture with Michelin star chef Jason Atherton and now The Majestic Bay Seafood Restaurant, another partnership with Chef Yong.

As we walked into the restaurant, live fish and seafood were stocked up in tanks waiting for hungry folks to pick them up.

Emptied Geoduck shells used as a decor as a water feature among the tanks.

The Majestic Bay Restaurant has a seating capacity of 110 and is a good dining option for a gathering of family and friends.

The round mirrors lining one side of the wall  reminds me of portholes in a ship and quite befitting of a seafood theme of the restaurant.

There's even a private dining room at the far end with a round 14 seater table.

辣椒蟹生煎包 Seared, chili crab meat bun. We've seen and tasted seared meat buns before but chilli crab meat buns is a first for me. For someone who thinks chilli crab is exotic, may be this can be a little sampler to the taste of chilli crab. I liked this dish for I'm a lover of chilli crab. The taste wasn't too fiery for the uninitiated so it'll be nice for tourists who doesn't have a stomach for chilli and yet wanting to try the chilli crab.

Here's what you see in the meat bun revealing the obvious colors of the chilli crab.

上海小笼包 Steamed, shanghai dumpling, pork. In fact I had steamed Shanghai dumpling from Ding Tai Fung a few days before I tried The Majestic Bay Restaurant's rendition of the dumpling. Even though we spent sometime shooting the food before we come to actually taste it, the soup in the dumpling still didn't dry up. Like my usually style, I'll place the dumpling on the spoon, bite a hole in the skin and suck out the soup to taste before I chomped up the rest. I thought the soup in these dumpling has all the essence. The soup is more flavorful than that from Ding Tai Fung, slightly more intense and savory. The skin was thin which is essential for a good steamed shanghai dumpling.

叉烧焗餐包 Baked BBQ pork bun. When these buns were served, I knew they were buns but they looked too uniform in size and have that "polished" finish just like when I got my car out from the car spa. The bun was soft, not the normal soft, but exquisitely soft. The sweetness of the BBQ pork filling was perfect for me. However, I thought the filling portion a bit too little. 

瓦煲老火汤 Soup of the day. We tried the soup of the day that is a familiar taste that my Cantonese mother-in-law would cook for me and regularly. When I tasted it, I knew that a few of the main ingredients would be pork bone and dried oysters with a melon. My MIL would usually used 老黄瓜 Old Cucumber as the melon for this soup. Chef Yong uses the 节瓜, translated to be zucchini, or hairy melon. Sometimes, MIL would add too much of the dried oyster which made it taste too much of seafood. This is one of my favorite home cooked soup and this one was executed perfectly with good balance of dried oyster and probably some red dates..

When the ingredients was scooped out on a plate, I see the familiar ingredients that were added to my MIL's soup. I thought I saw red dates as well, possibly used to sweeten the soup.

金银蒜蒸开边生虾 Steamed, live prawns, minced garlic. These live prawns were steamed with garlic, light soy sauce and egg white and then topped  with a sprinkle of spring onions and coriander. Steamed fresh prawns is the best way to taste the best of live prawns. The flesh was sweet and I regretted not grabbing more to eat.

冠华咖啡焗肉蟹 Live crabs, Bay’s signature “Kopi” sauce. Folks are familiar with Chef Yong's cuisine at The Majestic Restaurant in Hotel Majestic and his days in Doc Cheng's in Raffles Hotel would know that he has a flair for creativity. This signature crab dish is probably seen in only The Majestic Bay Restaurant. As the dish was served, everyone of us can smell fragrances from the coffee. When the dish was lighted up with a flamboyant fanfare, some caramelization seemed to take place. Many of us smelled Butter Caramel Popcorns and this is definitely unique for a crab dish!

As we go at the crab, the fragrance of caramelized pop corn lingers with a faint aroma of coffee. The Sri Lankan crab was fleshy and sweet by itself (I tasted some be picking at some flesh with my chopsticks without tainting the white flesh with the sauce) The sauce was mostly sweet and the fragrance follows you on your fingers. If you'll like to go for a unique crab dish, this is definitely the one.

蒜茸野菌炒芦笋 Sautéed, wild mushrooms, asparagus, minced garlic. The most understated dish of the evening was this vegetable dish but I thought it was simplicity at it's best. Though I'm not a fan of vegetables, I ate a lot of the asparagus as it's sweetness peers through the flavors of mushroom enhanced by the fragrance of the minced garlic. This was light, simple, yet delicious.

海鲜大烩焗饭 Baked rice, assorted seafood, chef’s recipe sauce. Chef Yong got inspiration for this baked rice dish from Macau and it's Portuguese influence from the colony days. There was distinct curry and cheese flavors with this dish and the seafood like crab, mussels and scallops added a layer of seafood flavor. This was my favorite dish as I am a curry lover and I thought this baked rice tasted like Japanese curry rice.

Here my portion of the baked rice. Notice the little scallops that was mixed u in the rice. The rice seemed to be pre-fried and then baked and every grain of rice was coated with the chef's recipe sauce. 

甜品诱惑 Sweet’s temptation. This includes the Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Yam Paste Stuffing, Shredded Coconut; Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Fresh Cream Stuffing; Steamed Custard Bun, Salted Egg Yolk; Bay’s Chinese Pancake, Red Bean Paste. My two favorites among the four would be both Glutinous rice dumplings. The dumpling with the yam paste stuffing tasted like burbur hitam consolidated into a kueh kueh. I was most impressed with the dumpling with fresh cream stuffing for the light mochi texture that almost melt in your mouth.

As it was fusion style Chinese cuisine, it's almost predictable that eveyone of us have their own favorite dish. My choice was the baked rice and several chose the Signature Kopi Crab. It goes to show that everyone got a different palate and at The Majestic Bay Seafood Restaurant, Chef Yong understands that and provide a galore of creative taste to suit each and every one. So will you be adventurous enough to try his novel Cantonese cuisine? I know I will and definitely be back for their dim sum as I had caught a glimpse of their dim sum menu.

Thanks to Janice and Sherman from Foodnews for the invitation to this Food Tasting.

18 Marina Gardens Drive #01-10 
Flower Dome, Gardens By The Bay
Singapore 018953
Tel : +65 6604 6604

1 comment:

FoodieFC said...

interesting. kopi crab!


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