Friday, July 06, 2007

Golden Peony, Conrad Centennial

Dinner with fatpig & friends. I do like Chinese food, but am usually not a fan of big Chinese restaurants. Maybe I don't know where are the good places to go to. This leads to the impression that I have of them being mostly unimaginative with the menu and exorbitant in prices with little to showcase of their food beyond Peking ducks, suckling pigs and their pricey treasures from the sea (read as abalone , lobsters and shark's fin soup) which apart from contributing to the slow but sure debilitating mercury poisoning in my body, leaves a smouldering hole in my wallet as well. If you are deconstructing the last sentence still, trying to decipher the context in entirety, don't.

Golden Peony bears her badges of honour upon the walls featuring endorsements and awards from Wine & Dine Asia and certain magazines proclaiming various accolades the restaurant has received. These sights are not a rarity in itself; the true gem is finding one that provides the experience which makes me feel that the establishment is deserving of the awards. This leads to the impression that awards of these nature are fundamentally unreliable because many of such accolades are accrued from planned visits allowing a beyond normal level of experience to be prepared for. That will be for another time though.

peking duck

deep fried prawns in salted yolk batter

hand made tofu with stir fried mushroom and asparagus

tea smoked ribs

minced remnants of the peking duck

lobster noodle

tau huay

Here goes the summary descriptions of the food. There was little to fault with the Peking duck apart from the fact that there seemed to be a darn little amount of skin and flesh for a whole damned duck. I have my suspicions which I will not embellish here. The skin was crisp in a delicate manner. The salted egg battered prawns were disappointing. The prawns were okay, but hardly bursting with the exuberance of freshness which I expect from a restaurant of this calibre.  Coupled with a very weakly flavoured batter that was more salty rather than salted egg in flavour. I suspect that not much of the actual salted egg went into the making of the batter.

Tea smoked ribs were like any other regular barbecued ribs in Chinese restaurants. This one was probably a much larger piece than the usual and was totally devoid of smoke aroma. And I didn't think that the smoked flavour was suppose to be subtle in any level for this dish because to plan so would be utter stupidity as there are accompanying sweet sauces that should overwhelm underlying flavours. The lobster noodle if you were wondering, was uninspiring and apart from having some lobster meat, was really unremarkable. Pretty damned unremarkable for $120 if you asked me. Tau huay was light and this was one of the instances deserving of the overly whored "melt in your mouth" description. Texture was kinda rough though.

Another place where I can scratch off and not return.


Anonymous said...

Bummer..!! expected Conrad to be way better than other restaurant..! I did have dim sum there many moons ago.. and it wasn't too, too bad.

red fir said...

Golden Peony is better known for their dim sum and double boiled soups. Used to frequent this place quite a bit many moons ago too and I just went yesterday! Prices for dim sum I must say are still alot more affordable than Yan Ting and Royal China. Service is tops.