Sherman's Food Adventures: Shoom


Talk about perfect timing.  I had just returned from my 3-week vacay in Europe and really needed excellent Chinese food.  I had been anticipating our dinner service tasting at Shoom since the beginning of August (when I made the plans).  Shoom is actually one of my favourite Cantonese spots in town where they dish up large portions of expertly-prepared plates.  We recently did their late night (Da Laang) menu and that served as only an appetizer of things to come.  I rounded up the foodie fam and we planned to feast!

To start things off, we were served the Fish Maw & Crab Meat Soup.  This featured a starch-thickened broth that had the perfect viscosity where it coated the ceramic spoon but was not clumpy.  The broth was mild with some sweetness and being not overly salty.  There was a bountiful amount of diced fish maw that was slightly on the crunchier side.  Small strands of crab meat were strewn throughout the soup.  Naturally, I did the red vinegar and white pepper thing (makes thing taste even better!).

Next, we had the Appetizer Platter sporting roast suckling pig, sliced pork hock, marinated jellyfish, salt & pepper wok-fried shrimp and marinated woodear mushrooms. Solid dish where the sliced roast pork was fatty and gelatinous.  The crackling was airy and crispy.  Shrimp shells were crispy and edible while coated with plenty of seasoning with some spice.  Sliced pork hock was tender and went well with the spiced vinegar on the side.

Getting down and serious right off the bat, the next plate that hit the table was the Creamy Lobster with Yee Mein.  Loved that there was enough starch-thickened sauce to coat all of the fried lobster as well as the abundance of yee mein underneath.  Sauce was just thick enough and balanced in flavour.  The lobster was springy with its classic sweet brininess.  Although yee mein tends to be soft, this one here was not so much that it couldn't be picked up with chopsticks.

Why not also have the other crustacean as well in the Dry Curry Dungeness Crab?  We were actually served 2 large crabs, so there was more than enough for all of us.  They were fried up where the body meat was slightly crispy while still moist and bouncy underneath.  It was coated in a dry curry mix which also included chilis and plenty of garlic.  The aromatics of this dish were apparent and the seasoning was on point with some spice.

Another classic dish we find in Cantonese restos these days is the Truffle Chicken.  At Shoom, it is similar to other spots but they hand-toss the truffle sauce table side.  Hence, you really do see how much black truffle there put into the dish.  There was no denying the woodsiness of the truffle as well as the tang and saltiness from the filler ingredients (olives and mushrooms) in the sauce.  The chicken itself was free-run and had a tender chewiness as well as gelatinized skin.  It could've used a bit more seasoning beyond the truffle sauce though.

So "The" dish to have at Shoom is their Plum Sauce Pork Chops and after one bite, it was completely confirmed that this rocked.  The manageable-sized slices of pork chop were super crispy despite being coated with sauce.  The meat itself was tender and had a nice rebound texture.  As for the sauce, it was tangy and sweet with the unmistakable essence of black vinegar.  Loved how there was just enough sauce to coat each piece. 

Yet another "must-order" at Shoom is their Broccoli with Egg Whites & Scallops.  Not sure how much more perfect this dish could be as the egg whites were pillowy soft with on point seasoning.  The scallops were tender with a sweet bounce texture.  Loved that they put a raw egg yolk on top to mix into the egg whites.  This added another layer of creamy silkiness.  As for the broccoli, they were seasoned and still crunchy.

Continuing on with the luxuriousness of this meal, we had the Black Pepper Beef with Foie Gras.  The cubes of beef were super tender and coated in a savoury black pepper sauce that was also garlicky and slightly spicy.  The red onion and peppers added some vibrant crunch.  As for the foie, it was cubed, coated and deep-fried.  Hence there was a contrast of crispy and fattiness.

Next dish was a personal request by myself in the Sweet & Sour Pork.  I've always enjoyed the version here and this time was no different.  The cubes of fatty pork were bouncy and juicy.  Just the like the pork chops, the exterior of the pork was crispy despite being coated in sauce.  This time around, I wished there was a bit more sauce, but despite that, it was still flavourful with a balanced sweet tanginess.

Onto some veggies, we had the Stir-Fried Garlic Pea Tips.  This was a huge portion and if you know the vegetable, you need a lot of it to yield such a large dish (it cooks down quite a bit).  The pea tips were fresh being tender with a slight crunch.  They were cooked perfectly where they were wilted but not too soft.  The dish wasn't overly greasy and had enough seasoning as well as garlic.

Our last dish was the Dried Scallop Fried Rice which sported green onion as well as tobiko on top.  Normally, this dish can be pretty plain, but they didn't skimp on the dried scallop (that had been rehydrated, then wok-fried).  Hence, the nutty and chewy rice was the beneficiary of the briny and slightly chewy strands of scallop.  This made each spoonful of rice interesting, full of flavour and also texture.

For dessert, we were served 2 items including the one I chose, Mango Pudding.  Loved the glass jars as they looked rather cute.  In terms of viscosity, the mango pudding was rather light and almost soupy, but I'd rather have that over hard gelatin.  It was lightly sweet and only had a mild mango essence.  So I actually returned to Shoom only a few days later for dinner with the fam (on my own coin) and it was just as good as this meal.  Yet really, I didn't need to reconfirm anything as I have always maintained that Shoom is one of, if not the best, mid-range Cantonese restaurants in town.

*This meal was complimentary*

The Good:
- Solid Cantonese cuisine
- Large portions
- Consistent

The Bad:
- Prices aren't expensive, but definitely mid-range, so it is creeping up to the higher end restos in town


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