Friday, February 12, 2010
Chandeliers are hardly what you'd associate with a local seafood place, but they are the first thing you'll notice when you step in here. Unlike the usual no-frills set up of many seafood restaurants, Palm Beach sports an upmarket, contemporary interior, complete with tasteful tablescapes and yes, chandeliers.
If al fresco is more your style, there is a chic terrace area where you can dine under the stars. Did I mention the magnificent view of Marina Bay?
Fruit blends ($3.80 each)
The moment I saw these Fruit Blends, I felt like a kid at a wedding dinner. Cold drinks galore! We had a choice of longan, mango, lychee, lime and soursop. They go so well with seafood, and were refreshing palate cleansers in between courses.
Crispy Fish Appetisers
Paired with a special chilli sauce, these Crispy Fish were seriously addictive. They are called 美人鱼 in chinese, meaning, "mermaid", which of course, made everyone chuckle. I would have been happy just munching on them and slurping the fruit blends all night. But no, our generous hosts would never have allowed that. The first main dish was already a precursor of the sumptuous meal ahead.
Alaskan King Crab Yusheng ($58 for a small serving, $88 for a large serving)
A whopping 25 ingredients go into this, including fresh Alaskan crab meat (the 2 small plates behind the platter). You can also opt for salmon ($38 / $58) or abalone ($68 / $128) if you so prefer. After the waitstaff performed the mini "ritual" of pouring the different sauces and uttering words of good fortune, we dug in.
Lo hei!!! Toss, toss, toss! The higher the better!
The messy aftermath. It was a delicious Yusheng, by the way.
Seafood Deluxe Combination ($23 per person for a selection of 5 seafood items)
Cold prawns, Scottish bamboo clams, New Zealand king salmon sashimi, Hokkaido scallop sashimi, Canadian fresh oysters. Treasures of the sea from all around the world, and might I add, spectacularly presented. Every bit was outstandingly fresh.
Pretty as a picture ... I always appreciate little touches like flower garnishes. There was so much Hokkaido scallop sashimi that we could all go for seconds and thirds.
"Coco Lobo" Australian Lobster with Vermicelli in Superior Stock ($16.80 per 100g)
The broth looks fiery and menacing, but no, it's not laksa or curry. Trust me, it's all bark and no bite ... very mild and sweet, actually.
A generous serving of fresh Australian lobster completes this award-winning dish.
Honey Tangy Marble Goby ($7.50 per 100g)
This was awesome, awesome, awesome! Perfectly crisp on the outside, moist and so succulent on the inside. With or without the sauce, this dish was sublime.
Prosperity Vegetables ($48 for a small serving, $68 for a large serving)
Huge battered oysters proudly perched atop a bed of broccolini and black moss. Lovely! It was more "prosperity" than "vegetables" if you ask me. But who's complaining?
Double Baked Crab a la Singapura ($4.50 per 100g)
Three cheeses went into this crab dish. I wasn't expecting to like it but I did. The cheese coating the crab was baked to a yummilicious crisp ... umami-rich and finger-licking good!
Sri Lanka Chilli Crab ($4.50 per 100g)
This monster of a crab must have weighed a ton. It was huge! Honestly, I have never cared for Chilli Crab, and this version didn't change my mind. I only managed a small piece. But that didn't stop me from enjoying the pillow-soft, golden mantou that accompanied this dish.
Two Preparations of Nian Gao ($18 for a small serving, $28 for a large serving)
I preferred the Nian Gao on the right. It was done the way my mother-in-law would prepare - sandwiched between sweet potato and/or yam slices. Very nice! The one on the left, which we all mistook for Kueh Kosui, was - gasp, I'd never thought I'd say this - too sweet for me.
White Fungus, Red Dates & Dried Longan Served in a Coconut ($5.80)
Dessert, take two. This tasted like regular tong soi my mom would make. The coconut bowl was a cute serving idea, though. One of us asked if they would be washed and recycled, which of course drew gasps horror from our hosts. They'll have you know that Palm Beach at One Fullerton has a kitchen that is certified with food safety standards, thank you very much!
By this time, I had eaten enough for hibernation. Thankfully, a cup of hot Chinese tea was served and it did wonders to settle the party in my tummy. To say it was a lavish meal is an understatement. This has been, by far, the most sumptuous, satisfying seafood meal I have had in a very long time.
Palm Beach Seafood Restaurant has lined up a list of Chinese New Year specialties. They are available for the whole month of February. The set menus range from $168 for 4 persons to $1,588 for 10 persons. Taxes apply.
Reservations are highly recommended. We were there on a Wednesday evening, and diners were streaming in non-stop, up till almost the time we left!
Palm Beach Seafood Restaurant
1 Fullerton Road
#01-09 One Fullerton
Tel: +65 6336 8118
Fax: +65 6338 6278
Many thanks to hosts, Karin and Gail, for the splendid dinner, and to The Fullerton Heritage, for arranging this.
One on the Bund