Although Majestic Restaurant is somewhat a "new kid on the dining block" (it's about 4 years old), it has garnered an impressive number of culinary awards. Unlike the usual communal dining in most Chinese restaurants, this stylish but cosy (its quite a tiny space, it IS afterall in a boutique hotel) restaurant serves modern Cantonese cuisine that are individually plated. It's housed in the artistically restored conserved shophouse that is Majestic Hotel, owned by the lawyer-turned-hotelier Lok Lik Peng. He's one of those lucky ones who has had the luxury of pursuing his passion for design. I still remember him telling me, when I was just a third-yearer in law school, that I really should just quit law school there and then and do something I truly love with passion, instead of slogging it out in the humdrum of the legal profession.
I've noticed that the restaurants in his hotels are usually very good, like the award-winning modern European Restaurant Ember housed in his first hotel, Hotel 1929. The guy's got good taste.
CC, Mr J, Beeps and her hubs, the BF and I went out to dinner together after work one day. CC, though not a huge fan of Chinese cuisine due to the use of MSG in most restaurants, likes Majestic Restaurant for its simple, clean, not-too-MSG-ish food.
As Mr J, the BF and I were the first ones to arrive and our tummies were rumbling, we started first with a couple of appetizers from the ala carte menu. The first was the Crispy Whitebait with fine Salt & Pepper ($12), which heralded the very delicious and enjoyable meal. Golden, airily light and subtly spiced, this was a hit.
We also had a Deep-Fried Crispy Fish Skin with Thai Sauce ($12), which titillated the tastebuds with its piquant and tangy flavours. The pungent but sweet fresh shallots, the heat of the chilli padi, the still-green julienned mangoes, the plum, chilli and lime seasoning and the savoury fish skin were a perfect harmony of controlled flavours and textures.
We all got different soups from the ala carte menu. Mr J and I got the Crabmeat Broth with Fish Maw and Mushroom ($12). This is the bisque-style roe-infused thick soup, which would have been really comforting and yummy, if not for the ginger after-taste that didn't quite gel with the creamy soup.
Beeps got the Double-Boiled Ginseng Soup with Duck Drumstick ($12), full of nutrient and homestyled goodness.
CC and Beeps' hubs got the Shark's Bone Soup with Fish Maw and Beijing Cabbage ($24), a collagen-rich milky broth that was delicate but with depth of flavour. I'm not a fan of the thin milky film the soup leaves on the tongue though.
The BF got the Lobster Broth with Scallops and Crab Roe ($12), a creamy bisque-like soup thick with the essence of lobster and chock-a-bloc with fresh seafood. Baby-bottom soft beancurd and crunchy sliced melon added textures.
We chose the Majestic Degustation Menu B at $128 per person, but switched out the chicken and ham consomme with a fish dish instead because we'd already had our soups. The starter was a Combination of Sliced Peking Duck with Passion Fruit Salad and Pan Seared Scallop with Sauteed Egg White.
I liked that they were very generous with the almost-fat-free Peking Duck skin and how the exotic medley of strawberries, grapes, jambu complemented the crackling duck skin.
The Sauteed Egg White was dressed with the distinctive scent of truffle oil, but was kept light with refreshingly crisp lettuce strips. Oh and I loved the succulent, perfectly seared scallop, simply seasoned with salt and pepper to bring out its natural sweetness.
The alternate fish dish was Sauteed Sliced Grouper in X.O. Sauce with Snow Peas, the spicy seafood-based X.O. sauce accented without overpowering the mild grouper. I liked how the soft grouper contrasted well with the crunchy snow peas.
The Braised Boston Lobster with Creamy Milk and Lime Sauce was a hit, in particular with the BF who loves lobster. The lime sauce and sweet mangoes managed to keep the creamy milky crust over the lobster light.
The Seared Waygu Ribeye, marinated in coriander, soy, honey was served with Broccoli and a side of Kimchi was really quite a yummy dish, with sweet and spicy Thai chilli sauce on the side.
The perfectly medium-done beef was mild and incredibly fatty, just the way I like it. No chewing required.
The Stewed Ee-Fu Noodles with Shredded Abalone, Mushrooms and Truffle Oil was lovely and delicate, with exquisite truffle oil accenting the chewy soft noodles.
Although we got to choose from a selection of about 10 different desserts, we somehow all had the same idea and ended up choosing either 1 of 2 different mango-based desserts. The first was the Chilled Mango Pudding with Black Glutinous Rice sweet but controlled and light. A tart raspberry topped the refreshing dessert.
The Chilled Mango Puree with Sago Pomelo and Ice-Cream was my favourite, refreshingly sweet while bitter pomelo cut through the creamy vanilla ice-cream.
New Majestic Hotel
31-37 Bukit Pasoh Road
Tel: 6511 4718
Open daily from 11.45am to 3pm for lunch and from 6.30pm to 11pm for dinner