The great thing about the CBD being expanded into the Marina Bay area is that the food choices around my office area at Shenton Way has increased exponentially. The newest office building sprouted up in the area that's quickly becoming the next prime hub of the CBD is Asia Square Tower, which houses the Super Peking Duck branch of the Imperial Treasure group of restaurants. Finally, an award-winning Cantonese restaurant that's within convenient walking distance from the office! It really was a no-brainer then, that I decided to host our December L.A. Lunch here.
As usual, Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck didn't disappoint. Service was attentive and courteous, food was close to perfection, and the ambience was, as with most Cantonese restaurants, rambunctious and loud (and so, it was conducive for us to yak away).
We started off with the restaurant's namesake, a whole Peking Duck ($68). This was, of course, brought to our table whole, and carved by the chef right in front of us.
This is the best part of the skin, also called the "jing hua", a mere 8 pieces of the crisp glistening skin. Apparently, according to my colleague Jay, the best way to savour this is to add a dash of sugar before biting into this. He's right, it's delicious this way. Somehow, the sweet elements of the refined sugar balance out the savoury tones of the skin.
Toasted flour wrappers are used by Imperial Treasure to wrap a bunch of the duck, fresh cucumber stalks and some chives. These were delicious.
We opted to have the remainder of 1 duck cut up into pieces, which looks a little gross but is really good. The meat was tender, fresh and tasty.
We had the other duck fried into Ee Fu Noodles ($15 for medium portion of noodles), flavoursome and cut with fresh yellow chives and beansprouts.
I thought the char siew fared better than the roasted pork in the 2 Meat Combination ($36 for large). While the BBQ pork was delectably soft, sweet and yet savoury, the roasted pork had a tough chewy layer of fat that I had a hard time getting through.
At my recommendation, my colleagues had the Crabmeat with Conpoy and Diced Melon Soup ($8 per person portion), which turned out a hit. The clear chicken and seafood based broth had depth of flavour, which earthy white button mushrooms, bamboo pith and diced winter melon helped ground the soup. Dried scallops and crabmeat lent sweetness and flavour.
The Baked Prawn with Salted Egg Yolk ($78 for large portion) is a perennial favourite, large juicy prawns coated in a salted egg yolk batter were flash-fried to retain the prawns natural juices.
The Steamed Egg White with Mushroom ($28 for large), a yummy treat for most kids, was a wobbly egg white custard that was richly accented with diced assorted mushrooms, oyster sauce and coriander. I'd asked that the kitchen hold off the coriander but they obviously forgot those instructions. Nvm, the rest still liked this anyway...although, some of my colleagues (who aren't as averse to coriander as I am) did say that they would have preferred this dish without the coriander accents. Somehow, the heady herb overwhelmed the delicate nature of this dish.
What's lunch at a Cantonese establishment without dim sum? We started off with platters of Crispy Silver Fish with Salt and Pepper ($8), lightly seasoned with a little salt and pepper, spring onions and miniscule fried garlic.
The Steamed Pork Dumpling "Siew Mai" ($4.40) were succulent morsels of bouncy fresh minced pork and diced sweet prawns.
The Steamed Prawn Dumpling "Ha Kau" ($4.80) had a thin, mildly chewy skin which complemented the fresh juicy prawns inside.
Although The Professor preferred Lei Garden's version of the Steamed Rice Roll with Scallops ($5.50), I liked this just the same. The rolls were thin but not filmsy, with a little bite, and scallops were succulent and sweet, while the soy was delicate enough to impart just the right amount of flavour but not overwhelm the mild scallops.
The Steamed Glutinous Rice in Lotus Leaf ($3.80) was oversteamed, so this didn't have its usual moistness. Still, I thought it was yummy.
The Pan Fried Carrot Cake ($3.50 for 3 pieces) was moist and soft, with just enough charring on the sides for just a little crunch. Diced Chinese sausage provided flavour to the julienned strips of radish.
The Fried Hongkong Kailan Stems ($21) is a seasonal delicacy. While I'm not a fan of vegetable stems (I prefer leafy greens), this was addictively crunchy, with a slight hint of sweetness. Copious amounts of garlic lent aroma and flavour.
The chilled Mango Sago ($5) was a lightly sweet and refreshing way to round off the very satisfying lunch.
Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck
8 Marina View
Asia Square Tower 1
Asia Square Food Garden #02-08
Tel: 6636 1868
Open daily from 11.30am to 10pm