Monday, July 24, 2006

Majestic Restaurant

C says:

Another place on our ‘must-try’ list satisfied – we went to Majestic Restaurant, at New Majestic Hotel on Bukit Pasoh Road, on Saturday for dinner with Y&J and W&M. It was a rare night out for Y&J without the kiddies in tow, so we decided to go to a slightly fancier place. I’d read nothing but good reviews about the place, so I suggested it for their ‘Parents Gone Wild’ night.

The décor of the restaurant is very nice and quite un-Chinese restaurant. No red banners with dragons and phoenixes in sight. Instead, it is done up in muted green, khaki and brown tones, and of course the highlight is the ceiling, which has a few skylights that look out into the hotel’s swimming pool. It’s a bit disconcerting to know that you could glance up and see the (ahem) underside of a breaststroke-swimming half naked person, but it is quite a novelty all the same.

The restaurant has 3 degustation menus - $65, $85 and $125, each with about 6 courses. A and I decided not to have the degustation menu because I specifically wanted to try some dishes that weren’t offered in any of the set menus. I had the much-lauded starter trio of a deep fried wasabi prawn, peking duck skin and foie gras. To me, this definitely lived up to expectation. The prawn was lightly battered and nice and crispy, and the wasabi mayo was just right, not ‘go up your nose’ hot. It was served on a watermelon disc which made for a nice refreshing pairing. The duck/foie gras combi was amazing – the peking duck skin was light and thin, and paired with the foie gras that was crispy on the outside, and rich and creamy on the inside, and served with a drizzle of hoi sin sauce. A had a crab meat salad with sake as his starter. The presentation was amazing – a shot glass of the salad embedded in a huge plate of ice chips, but the taste was just passable.

Next came our meat courses. We shared an order of the pan-fried rib-eye with sesame sauce, and the house special grilled rack of lamb in Chinese honey, served with pan fried carrot cake. First the beef. This was recommended by my friend L, and it was pretty good. The beef was quite thin and very tender, and the sauce was nice and fragrant. However, it paled in comparison with the lamb. This is definitely one of their signature dishes for a reason. The lamb was melt-in-your-mouth tender, and it was sweet without being too cloying. And while the accompanying carrot cake was, quite simply, glorified chye tow kuay, it was still very tasty. This is not a dish for the health conscious though, because the lamb rack was quite fatty, which accounted for the flavour and tenderness.

A ordered a braised tofu with whole garlic, which was ok but not something we’ll order again. After that came our stewed lobster noodles, which 4 of us (Y&J, and A and I) shared. The lobster was $15 per 100g; they served us 2 lobsters between 4 of us, half each. This one single dish caused our dinner bill to soar, and frankly, while it tasted ok, it definitely wasn’t worth the hefty $210 price tag ($52.50 per person).

Finally came dessert. We had the red bean pancake and A had an almond cream with papaya as well. The red bean pancake was HUGE, and we had to doggy bag most of the second plate. It tasted even better when we had it for breakfast the next day.

All in all, I'll definitely return, if just to have the lamb and the duck/foie gras again. You can rest assured I’m steering far away from anything that needs to be weighed, though.

A says:

Décor of the hotel was more interesting than the restaurant. The view into the swimming pool is pretty cool though.

The wait staff are all pretty good, but the wait for the food is bloody freaking long.

Most of the food is really good, although the portions are small and sometimes – not specified – the dishes are meant for more than one (as in our tofu for four). And the bloody lobster was a rip off.

I’ll only go back when we have time to kill and really, really feel like splurging. There are definitely places ahead of it on my list.

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