I'd heard so very many bad reviews of dud banquet dinners at MBS so it was with the lowest of expectations, and a little bit of dread, that I attended a dinner at the Sands Grand Ballroom. Maybe it was the low expectations, or maybe because I was with great company, but to my surprise, I didn't hate the dinner. Unlike most banquets in Singapore, dinner started ON TIME. Sure, there were pockets of inordinate time lapses between courses, but the dinner still ended on time, so that was very appreciated. And, the fact that there were more hits than misses made this a relatively decent banquet.
Dinner kicked off with a ubiquitous starter platter, cheesily named 'Oriental Exquisite Platter', with Sesame Jellyfish (superbly done, well-seasoned and soft but bouncy with a bit of bite), Roasted Duck (moist for the most part but dry-ish for a bit part), Mini Octopus (springy and refreshing), Seafood Spring Roll (more batter than filling but still nice), Spicy Scallops (overcooked).
The Braised Seafood with Fish Maw in Chicken Broth was lacking in punch and depth, and the ingredients sorely miserly. I could hardly make out the hair-like shreds of seafood.
The Wok Fried King Prawn with Macadamia, Peppers & Asparagus was pretty decent, the bouncy prawns played up the crunchy texture of the greens and nuts, and the XO sauce lent a spritely kick.
The Braised Mushroom with "Xian Zhi Zhu" and spinach was my favourite dish. The gravy was rich and balanced the metallic element of the spinach, and the mushrooms were plump and juicy.
The Baked Cod Fish was very well-received as well. The fish was cooked perfectly, and the honeyed soy sauce complementary.
The Golden Crispy Chicken was nice but unmemorably pedestrian. It got dry around the breast areas, and needed a little gravy to get through. The thigh portions, while moist enough, still required a bit of seasoned salt for taste.
The Braised Ee-Fu Noodles with shrimp roe in abalone sauce was sadly overcooked to the point of mush. It was vapid and I couldn't taste the abalone sauce in this either.
The Mango Sago Pomelo was run-of-the-mill, but I liked it. It was sweet and refreshing and light, just what I needed to round off the dinner.
Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre
Level 5, Sands Grand Ballroom