I don't know about you, but I generally don't enjoy the food served at a wedding dinner. Really, the ang bao you give to the wedding couple is not so much about paying for the food, as it is to wish them well, because the quality of the food served is usually not worth the ang bao value. Unless you're a miserly cheapskate.
A wedding dinner that I recently attended at the Shangri-La was no different, very run-of-the-mill and relatively unspectacular. I'd expected better, considering that the food was catered by the award-winning in-house Chinese restaurant, Shang Palace.
The only exception was the dessert, which I shall start this post with, although it was served last. I'm not a fan of chocolate, but the Chocolate Tart with Raspberry Sorbet and Berries Compote was a dazzling creation of pure decadent indulgence. The chocolate tart was rich without being overwhelmingly so. The use of semi-sweet cocoa, coupled with the tart frosty sorbet, controlled the sugar content of this nuanced and balanced dessert.
The starter Shangri-La Appetizers Delight was limpid and cold, like it had been left out in air-conditioning for some time.The roasted duck tasted slightly gamey and tough, the clams were rubbery and the suckling pig was too fatty and not crisp enough. The only thing I liked about this was the jellyfish, chewy and seasoned lightly.
I won't go so far to say that I'm averse to eating shark's fin as I'll eat it if someone else has ordered it, but I make a conscious decision not to order it on my own. The Double-Boiled Shark's Fin with Chicken Mushrooms, Bamboo Pith and Cabbage wasn't the best I've tried. The clear soup with a chicken base, though choc-a-bloc with shark's fin, was a tad saccharine and without depth of flavour. I liked the fleshy Chinese black mushroom hidden below though.
I liked the Steamed Fresh Soon Hock in Superior Soya Sauce garnished with Coriander Leaves, but then again, as long as the fish is fresh, it's quite difficult to get this dish wrong. Obviously, the fish was fresh and flaked right off, so it had a very delectable clean and clear taste.
The Sauteed Crispy Scallops with Shimeiji Mushrooms and Kailan was up next. Scallops were succulent and done just right, soft and not rubbery. The dish was smeared with a light soy and cornstarch gravy which complemented the delicate scallops and earthy mushrooms.
The Crispy Mongolian Chicken "Pik Fong Tong" Style, with the flavour of the salt seeped into the flesh surprised us with its moist texture and tastiness.
The only thing I ate in the Braised Sliced Abalone with Seasonal Greens garnished with Wolfberries was the spinach smothered in a lusciously thick oyster sauce gravy sweetened by the red wolfberries. Never took to abalone.
The Shang Palace Fried Rice was largely left untouched. I think glutinous rice was used, because it was sweet and sticky. I would have preferred this to be more savoury than sweet.
Shangri-La Tower Ballroom
22 Orange Grove Road
Tel: 6737 3644