A tea experience for the new year

 

The Chinese New Year season has arrived, and there’s no better way to spend some time with your loved ones than over a good leisurely meal. Back for its 8th year, Tian Fu Tea Room at PARKROYAL Hotel’s Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurants will be rolling out their popular Reunion Imperial High Tea set from 8 to 22 February 2016, 2.30pm to 6.00pm. Best of all, it is priced at a pocket-friendly price of only $38 per person!

Featuring exquisite teas brewed by skilful Tea Connoisseurs, paired with delectable dim sum morsels from the adjoining Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant, the high tea promises a blissful experience to kick off the CNY festivities.

 

Prosperity Salmon Yusheng with Crispy Fish Skin

 

My first Lo-Hei of the year was tossed here, and boy am I glad! The shredded vegetables were fresh, the scattered fish skin gave a satisfying crunch with each bite, and the plum sauce used was fragrant with a slight tinge of sourness that whet my appetite.

It was the perfect start to a wonderful meal.

My advice would be to eat the crispy bits quickly because they get soft after a few minutes. And come on, we all know those little crunchy golden puffs are the best part of Yusheng!

 

Salted Egg wrapped with Sliced Duck , Chilled Chong Qing Chicken with Spicy Bean Paste

 

Served next was an authentic Sichuan dish, the Chilled Chong Qing Chicken with Spicy Bean Paste, more commonly known as 口水鸡 (saliva chicken). It is aptly named as just thinking about it causes my mouth to water.

Composed of sliced tender chicken steeped in a heady sauce with intricate flavors both savory and spicy, it leaves your lips with a comfortable buzzing sensation afterwards. Super shiok!

For those who love spicy food, I was told that the dish ranks 5/6 in spiciness levels for Sichuan dishes. Woah, hey hot stuff! 

Served on the same platter was another dish that saw 2 pieces of well-marinated duck encasing a glorious salted egg yolk centre. Unfortunately, the generous amount of salted egg yolk was overpowering, causing the subtle sweetness of the duck to be masked.

Nonetheless, as long as you do not pop the entire piece into your mouth at once, it makes for a strangely addictive item.

 

Steamed Sliced Prawn in Black Bean Sauce, Steamed Fish Balls with Black Moss

 

Presented elegantly in a dim sum basket was the Steamed Sliced Prawn in Black Bean Sauce. Looking at the menu, I initially thought the dish would just be thin slices of prawn. However, out came a large juicy crustacean that was glistening tantalisingly, wrapped in a thin layer of translucent glutinous skin. Yum!

In terms of flavour, I felt that the dish was lacking an extra oomph, but my colleague was thoroughly impressed by it! 

The Steamed Fish Balls with Black Moss was extremely bouncy, having the delightfully springy texture that can only be achieved in handmade fish balls. While I couldn’t really taste the black moss, this CNY-essential ingredient immediately enhanced the aesthetic appeal of the dish.

 

Pan-fried Glutinous Pancake with Minced Camphor Tea Smoked Duck, Deep-fried Radish Puff with Dried Scallop

 

Up next was the Pan-fried Glutinous Pancake with Minced Duck Meat. The filling, made of duck and mushroom, had a savoury smokiness, with a fragrance that wafted out deliciously after the first bite.The soft covering reminded me of mochi, surprisingly being able to hold in the abundance of minced meat. This was hands down my favorite of all the dishes! 

For the radish puff, I was extremely surprised as the pastry was beautifully light and flaky, yet did not easily break apart. While I usually do not like radish, this rendition was moist and flavorful without the bitter taste that sometimes accompanies it.

 

Fried Rice with Waxed Meat and Matsutake Mushrooms

 

It’s common to see glutinous rice wrapped in lotus leaf, but it was my first time seeing fried rice served this way! Being able to taste the individual grains of rice meant I was able to fully savour each coated grain that was tossed with a generous serving of ingredients. The mushroom was fresh, and the cubed wax meat succulent and juicy; fried evenly, every mouthful was a divine balance of sweet and savoury.

 

New Year Cake in Honey Glazed Pastry Puff, Deep-fried Crispy Custard Bun

 

Initially, I had my doubts about this item as I never imagined pastry and nian gao could go so well together. Looking deceptively like a BBQ Pork Pastry, it did not strike me as a sweet dessert.

Thankfully, all my doubts dissipated after the first bite. The nian gao (New Year Cake), a staple treat of CNY, was of just the right sweetness and managed to be firm without being too hard. Surprisingly, the golden pastry also allowed the nian gao flavor to shine through. Everyone, i’ve officially found my new favorite way of eating nian gaos! 

To end off the meal, the restaurant has created their own version of the liu sha bao; and I must say, it is pretty dang good! The exterior of the salted egg yolk ball was fried to crispy perfection, yet retaining a mochi-like consistency that was thin but sturdy. I was fascinated by how beautifully round the little globs of goodness looked sitting serenely on the platter.

The flowy custard inside was not cloyingly sweet and had the creamy consistency of buttery golden lava. The entire ball reminded me of an edible Christmas bauble, except 10 times better!

However, a suggestion would be to shake it a little before eating. This is to let the oil and egg yolk mix well as it tends to separate after a while!

 

Teas

 

Along with the food, the set comes with 3 premium Chinese brews specially chosen to enhance the meal. I cannot claim to be a tea connoisseur, but my amateur taste buds thoroughly enjoyed it! The teas were light, subtle, and elegant. Though seemingly simple, the well-brewed teas elevated the meal to a whole new dimension!

 

Ushering in prosperity and good fortune with loved ones

 

Despite serving individual portions of dim sum, the entire meal was surprisingly filling. If you are looking for an unforgettable meal to spend time with your loved ones over this CNY, Tian Fu Tea Room may just be the place to go – even the fussiest eaters will be satisfied!

Note that all 3 outlets have different menus for their Reunion Imperial High Tea set, so if you’ve gone for one and are desperate for more, you’ve got 2 other outlets to try out! Woohooo, more dim sum is always good, especially if it’s dim sum of THIS standard.

Verdict: 8.5/10

 

More information

 

The restaurant is currently having a promotion where UOB Cardmembers enjoy a 4-dine-1-free privilege. For more information or dining reservations, contact Tian Fu Tea Room at:

PARKROYAL on Beach Road
7500 Beach Road, Singapore 199591
Tel: +65 6505 5724

PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road
181 Kitchener Road, Singapore 208533
Tel: +65 6428 3170

TOP of UOB Plaza
80 Raffles Place #60-01, UOB Plaza 1, Singapore 048624
Tel: +65 6535 6006


This post was brought to you by Tian Fu Tea Room.