“Traditional Cantonese dining with contemporary twist”
One will never rule out Hai Tien Lo when it comes to dim sum and Cantonese cuisine. Located in Pan Pacific Hotel, the restaurant is donned in red and gold elements exuding a grand and majestic feel. Under the new Dim Sum Chef Lee Siaw Cheen, Hai Tien Lo has revamped their ala-carte dim sum lunch buffet ($48++) menu with 35 dim sums creations, soups, Chinese dishes an dessert . Ala-carte dim sum lunch buffet is available from 11am to 230pm, not only is there a decent variety of dim sum, Hai Tien Lo Specialty and Dim Sum Chef’s Specialty dishes are available as well. Unfortunately, they do not serve the Singaporean all-favorite golden custard bun on the weekday menu, but is available during the weekend. I will begin with the Dim Sum Chef Specialty dishes, which are limited to one order per person. Baked Egg Tart with Swiftlet’s Nest & White Fungus (one serving per diner). The bird’s nest and white fungus concoction gives off a pleasant fragrance. Goes really well with the baked pastry, and the egg custard not overly sweet. Overall a delightful dish. Deep-fried Yam Paste with Foie Gras (one serving per diner). Replacing the classic minced meat and yam filling with foie gras instead. The fritter is pretty decent and cripsy. Though I couldn’t really taste it, the filling probably tasted more luxurious and creamy because I knew there is foie gras inside. Steamed Berkshire Pork ‘Char Siu’ Buns (one serving per diner). The filling wasn’t exceptionally special, tasted like any good Char Siu bun. The bun layer was rather fluffy and not too hard, although I’d prefer the skin to be slightly thinner.
Stir-fried Carrot Cake with Dried Scallops in Chef’s Signature Homemade XO Chili Sauce (one serving per diner). Didn’t really look like a specialty dish, but it is indeed delish. The carrot cake has a mildly crisp layer and the inside has that right soft and chewy consistency. The smell is also very tantalizing.
Traditional Double-Boiled Soup. A generous portion of lotus root pork rib soup, a comforting bowl of Cantonese-style soup. What is there not to like?
Lobster with Shredded Abalone and Vegetables in Thick Broth. A starchy seafood broth filled with mouthfuls of lobster and abalone meat, with occasional taste of seasonal vegetables. An interesting take on traditional thick broths. Next mention will be on Hai Tien Lo Signatures, which you could choose one serving of any three items on the menu and the kitchen will prepare according to the number of diners at the table.
Deep-fried Soft Shell Crab with Peppered Salt. Really crisp and the seasoning gives a nice flavorful kick to the usual batter of soft shell crab.
Wok-fried Grouper Fish Fillet with Assorted Bell Peppers in Black Bean Sauce. The meat flakes off nicely and goes well together with crunchy bell peppers and onions. Not too salty on the palate, this dish is rather delightful.
Homemade Beancurd with Crab Meat and Eggplant in Supreme Stock. One of my favorites on the menu. silken smooth tofu made from scratch is really delicious. The eggplant and crab meat provided varying textures, the wolfberries and the supreme stock made from carrots gave traces of sweetness. Very satisfying indeed. Finally, on to the dim sum selections which allows unlimited servings.
Steamed Bun with Abalone, Minced Pork and Vegetables. A rather big portion which I recommend sharing so as to save stomach space for rest of your dishes. The restaurant is pretty generous on the ingredients because yes, it’s an abalone within the steamed bun. The up-market version of a normal pork steamed bun. The filling is quite flavourful with decent amount of chives and ginger. Steamed Prawn Dumplings. Ordinary prawn dumplings with well seasoned whole prawns, nothing too special but still as scrumptious.
Deep-fried Dumplings with Shredded Turnip. Another of my favorite on the menu. Kind of an amalgamation of flaky pastry sou and soon kueh(turnip dumpling) fillings. The light crumbly crust pairs really well with the slight juicy, well-seasoned turnip fillings.
Related post: Hai Tien Lo 海天楼 (Pan Pacific) CNY menu 2014 : Singapore Food Review
Chinese-style Tuna Buns with Pork Floss. Quite savory due to it’s combination of canned tuna meat and pork floss, but nothing fantastic to rave about. Wok-seared Spinach Dumplings. I appreciate the spinach dumpling skin which gives a exquisite taste to the otherwise ordinary pan-fried dumpling skin. The meat filling is decent and balances well with spinach.
Double-boiled Osmanthus Tea with Pears and White Fungus. A lighter option on the menu as compared to the traditional Cantonese desserts like Mango Sago and Pomelo or Black Sesame Paste. Really pleasant and fragrant dessert which is light on the palate. One drawback is that the kitchen sometimes do miss out some items on your order, but I feel it isn’t a big issue because the waiters did rectify almost immediately and serve our item.
Overall Hai Tien Lo’s ala-carte dim sum lunch buffet menu provides a satisfying range of traditional dishes and interesting creations which leaves you pleasantly surprised.
Related post: Best Dim Sums in Singapore History
Expected Damage: $57/pax weekday | $80/pax weekend