Ten years at Chinatown, Majestic Restaurant has moved to Marina One, occupying the four level of the West wing in a structure that looks like a pod on a verdant futuristic planet. Chef-Owner Yong Bing Ngen, with more than 35 years of experience, presents contemporary Cantonese cuisine including his signatures such as the Majestic Trio Combination (东瀛芥茉虾拼鹅肝片皮鸭) of crispy wasabi prawn, pan-seared foie gras and crispy fish-skin with caviar ($20 per pax); Roasted Ireland Silver Hill Duck in Peking Style (京式爱尔兰鸭 馍馍皮,葱,青瓜, $88 whole, $48 half); and Stewed “Mee Sua” Baby Abalone, Vegetable and Crab Roe (小小鲍鱼焖麵綫, $22).
Dim sum is available for lunch, with its new creations such as Radish Roll with Chicken, Button Mushrooms and Cheese (藕断丝连, $4.80 2 pcs), Organic Brown Rice Roll with Prawn, Hakka style (擂茶糙米鲜虾肠粉, $6.80) and Lobster Soup Dumpling (龙虾灌汤饺, $9.80).
Set lunch goes for $48, $68, and $128; set dinner $68, $88, and $128, with a minimum of 2 pax for both lunch and dinner. They have two private rooms (accommodating up to 10 persons in each room) or you can also book the entire restaurant for up to 100 guests with a minimum spending of $6000+ (lunch) or $8000+ (dinner).
For our tasting, we tried several new dishes as well as their signatures. For starters, we highly recommend the Crispy Mangalica Pork Belly Marinated with Five Spice ($14) and the Organic Greens with Pomelo in Lychee Dressing ($12). The pork belly is amazing; the skin has a crunchy, almost-grainy texture that dissolves with the softness of the meat. The salad is also pretty great; refreshing with cubes of fruits. But skip the Crispy Fish Skin Topped with Caviar ($12), which, I thought, is bland and the caviar doesn’t enhance the fish skin. I feel that it is the kind of dish that requires low effort but costs much because of the price of caviar.
One of the best dishes we had that night, Double-Boiled Clear Seafood Soup Served in Whole Yellow Cucumber ($18), is a signature of the restaurant. It is big enough to be shared between two persons, and comes in a hollowed out yellow cucumber. The soup is boiled on high heat from chicken bones, forcing the essence out of them, to give a thick viscosity. In the sweet soup, there are bits of crab, prawns, scallops, sea conch, and fish maw. Warms the stomach. I scraped the fleshy parts of the cucumber to the rind and ate it with the soup. Super satisfying.
I have no opinions on the Boston Lobster Sautéed with Trio Onions ($68), stir-fried with a sweet black sauce, which is ok, fresh, not horrible but not terrific.
Limited to 6 portions a day, the Smoked French Corn-Fed Chicken with Salt and Hickory ($28), inspired from Chef Yong’s heritage of Hakka salted chicken, is a new and welcome addition to the menu. The glass dome opens, releasing the hickory wood smoke, stimulating the olfactory sense of the eater. Whole chicken is first stuffed with herbs and salt and then smoked overnight to give that paper-crisp skin. I ate the breast meat, which was nicely tender.
Another new dish to the menu, Black Truffle with Crabmeat and Egg White Fried Rice ($20, serves 3-4), draws inspiration from the traditional Chinese dish of Sai Pang Xie (赛螃蟹). The egg white here is fluffed up to mimic crab meat, so when you eat it, you can’t differentiate the egg white mixed with the Sri Lankan crabmeat used in this dish. The jasmine rice is also coated with bits of black truffle and truffle oil, titillating customers. Chef Yong said that this dish is flying out of the kitchen like crazy and we can understand why. It’s superb. A must-order.
Chef Yong’s signature dessert, Crispy King of Durian with Canadian Maple Syrup ($10), is so delicious I cleaned it all up; not a crumb or a drop was left. The dessert, though not traditionally Cantonese, pays tribute to his Malaysian background. The mao shan wang concoction is first frozen and cut into chunky cubes. It is then wrapped with rice paper and rolled in batter before deep-frying. As a result, the durian remains cold and molten where the outside is crispy and warm. The rice paper has become a mochi-like texture, mimicking the texture of actual durian. The batter is so good that it withstands the ravages of time and stays crispy. I feel ecstatic just thinking about it. Wait for me, Ah Mao (shan wang and other dishes), I’ll be back for you. Again. And Again.
Marina One, 5 Straits View #04-01 East Tower, Singapore 018935
tel: +65 6250 1988
11.30am-3pm, 5.45pm-10pm, opens daily
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–Imperial Treasure Fine Teochew Cuisine, ION Orchard: How Did It Ever Win a Michelin Star?!
–Chef Kang, Little India: Should Have Gotten 3 Michelin Stars
Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.