Sherman's Food Adventures: Royal Palace (Dinner Service)

Royal Palace (Dinner Service)

After a fairly good Dim Sum service at the newish Royal Palace, we decided to come back for a casual holiday meal.  We considered the set meals, but they were pretty pricey (for a casual meal that is, it is pretty standard for set menus at Chinese restaurants).  Hence, we decided to order off their regular menu.  However, we were presented with the holiday special menu and despite the limited selections, we were able to find things we liked.

Starting off with the Fish Maw & Crab Meat Soup, it arrive shockingly small.  Turns out that the person taking our order didn't alert us that the one on the special menu was not the really big bowl (we would've gladly paid more for a bigger bowl).  No matter, we just rolled with it (albeit with half-full bowls).  The soup was decent but the fish maw was lower quality hence being a bit crunchy despite soaked and cooked through.  The base was decently flavourful, but the seasoning was light.  There was a general lack of crab though.  Viscosity was bang on with just enough starch.

Interestingly, the Wok-Fried Pea Shoots with Garlic arrived next.  This is not what we were expecting after the soup, but whatever, we dug in.  It was prepared properly where the wok heat was enough to ensure no excess moisture was at the bottom of the plate.  Furthermore, the shoots themselves were fairly fresh being tender with a crunch.  Seasoning was on point while the dish wasn't too greasy.

We ended up getting a fairly big Lobster with consomme on a wonton noodle base.  The noodles were a bit soft and the ample amount of sauce probably didn't help.  The sauce did taste good though with plenty of seasoning and a plethora of aromatics from the onions.  The lobster itself was fried just enough that the meat was cooked through without sacrificing the buttery snap texture.  Lots of natural lobster flavour in the dish.

Also unexpected, the Yeung Chow Fried Rice arrived right after.  Hey, I'm not complaining, as I want to eat the rice with the dishes, but usually it comes later.  Dry and nutty, the rice was subjected to enough wok heat so that it was caramelized.  The rice was plenty seasoned and as you can see, there was enough shrimp, BBQ pork, peas and egg nestled within.  To top it off, the dish wasn't greasy either.  One of the better versions we've had of late.

Before I could even dig into the Black Pepper Beef Tenderloin Cubes with mushrooms, cucumber, peppers and onions, my mother-in-law scooped up her portion with her own spoon.  Ew...  At least she was quiet.  Anyways, the dish was also the beneficiary of "wok hei" and it had little moisture on the plate.  It also helped they thicken any moisture with starch too.  The beef was tender while the veggies were crunchy.  I liked how they kept the seasoning mild.

Even though it is a rather defaultish dish, we had to the the Sweet & Sour Pork.  This version was made with pork cheek, hence the texture was fatty and full of rebound.  Even though it was plenty sauced, there was still a bit of crispiness from the batter.  I liked how each piece was fairly large, hence it retained plenty of juiciness within.  As for the sauce, there was just a touch too much, but it was nicely balanced.

To get more meat into the meal, we ended up with a whole Crispy Fried Chicken.  As evidenced in the picture, the skin was fried to golden brown.  It was beautifully rendered and it appeared that they air-dried it enough for the skin to be thin and crispy.  The chicken itself was lightly-brined so that it was flavourful and mostly tender.  The breast meat was not juicy per se, but wasn't dry either.  I much prefer the dark meat anyways.

Our last dish was the Ling Cod Hot Pot.  It featured big pieces of flaky and buttery ling cod that was only lightly-battered in a starch coating.  There wasn't any "sauce" per se as all of the seasoning had absorbed into the batter.  hence, there was plenty of sweet, salty and umaminess going around.  This dish was mainly fish with not much filler.  Overall, we thought the food at Royal Palace to be decent and acceptable in portion size.  Definitely an option in the area for Cantonese eats.

The Good:
- Generally good dishes
- Decent portion size
- Service was okay, but like Dim Sum, they are lacking in staff

The Bad:
- A bit lacking in staff (understandable these days though)
- Person taking our order could've offered more advice (ie. about the size of the soup and possibly ordering more dishes as we had no leftovers)



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