[SG] Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck Restaurant

Monday, September 03, 2012

(For a more updated review, please click here)

It's been a long while since I've last had Peking duck and it's always an excitement to me, seeing the chef's skillful knife work round the duck and present a dish of nicely sliced up meat. I usually have Peking duck as a family, as there're more people to share.

So I was a bit hesitant when I saw the menu and realised that they only served the duck in full, as there was no way that two of us could finish the entire duck. Nonetheless, we ordered that as it's got to be something special with the entire restaurant named after it right? After placing our order, we took a quick glance around and realised that we were one of the few tables that ordered a Peking duck, probably because it was lunch time and most of them looked like business lunches. 

It was a very atas (or posh) place in our opinion, and I really liked the standard of service. Every detail was being paid attention to and it wasn't difficult to get the attention of their service staff even though we were seated at a corner. A plus point too, for providing warm towels instead of packaged wet wipes to freshen up before the meal. That's a practice I haven't seen for many years, it feels more homely and clean for some reason, at least to me. 

We were served quite promptly, this dish reached our table about 15mins after we've placed our order, with service staff informing us prior to this that our Peking duck is ready and being served from the side. For a full duck (and you can only order in that portion), it costs $68 and an additional $10 if you'd like the remaining meat to go with fried noodles or fried rice. Otherwise, it's complimentary to have the rest of the meat served or for takeaway.   

The first cut of the skin!

The chef continues with the rest of the duck, while we started to savour our yummylicious duck skin!

From the first cut

They removed almost all the fats, leaving a little to go with the thin crispy skin

The lady advised us to pair this with sugar and gosh it was good! It was roasted to such crisp that the fragrance bursts and lingers in your mouth after taking a bite. Adding sugar also helped elevated the taste as there was more contrast between the sweet and savory. Plus, the little bit of fats left gave a smooth glide to it, it was so good eating it on its own! 

And the next dish comes up, glistening with oil and duck juices :p

To be wrapped, the third dish (at the top of the picture) had more skin and was flatter.

Pure indulgence :D

Well, it tastes as good as it looks and need I say more? Each piece of meat was extremely tender and coated with the juices (or oil) of the duck and we just couldn't get enough of it. It's definitely not for the health-conscious as you can see the white layer of fats but it was well worth the calories! The skin that was used to wrap was a tad too thick in my opinion, so it actually filled us up pretty quickly and then we decided to just eat it plain with the garnishes and the sauce. It was just as good!

The remaining portion of the duck. 
In my excitement to dig in, I almost forgot to take a photo of this! 

The remaining portion of the duck which was really too much for just the two of us. The meat was done really well, it was a little dryer than the first two dishes of meat we've had but it wasn't the kind that was hard to chew or have shreds that stick in between your teeth. It was still extremely tender and it went really good with the sauce which tasted a little like plum, giving it a refreshing lift. It was quite bone-y but quite easy to de-bone without being too unglam :P 

Of course, I haven't tried the authentic dish in Beijing before so I wouldn't know if it's comparable. Let me know your verdict if you've tried both! 

Nom Factor: 9.0/10

Soup of corn with crab meat ($8)

I'm always skeptical when it comes to crab meat as most places tend to serve either the fake version, or real crab meat with extremely puny portions. This was quite a pleasant surprise as we saw large chunks of real crab meat and it tasted really fresh! This wasn't the only piece, in case you were wondering. I like the light taste of the soup that wasn't overloaded with the sweetness of the corn so you could still taste the seafood in it. Take it while it's hot though, as it becomes a bit watery as it cools. Not the most fantastic soup I've had, but a decent one with quality ingredients.  

Nom Factor: 8.0/10

And since we were there already, we decided to get some dimsum to go along. This was before we saw how much the remaining portion of the duck was.  

Egg tarts ($3.30)

How can anyone resist egg tarts? Okay, fine I did when I was too full after eating so much. I like the slightly charred pastry and the extremely soft egg curd inside that melted in my mouth almost immediately. It wasn't too sweet and it was extremely smooth. I'm slightly picky, but I would have preferred it with a crispier skin to complement the silky soft curd better. Nonetheless, it was a good one, above average in my opinion and surprisingly it wasn't as pricey as other dimsum places I've tried!

Nom Factor: 8.0/10 

Steamed Custard Bun/ 流沙包 ($4)

I promise I didn't try to squeeze it out at all :p

This is probably the second best 流沙包 I've tried so far, pertaining to the fillings itself. The insides were spilling out even after I've cautiously pried it open. It was the right balance of salted egg yolk and custard to give it the slight savory yet sweet flavour that lingers. Considering we found this good after eating so much, it is definitely worth a try. The skin is a little too thick but it had a nice chewy texture and was very fine. I think the fillings has been done well, it probably can compensate for its thick skin.

Nom Factor: 8.5/10

A sidenote, instead of the usual peanuts or braised peanuts, they served cashew nuts instead and my friend was so addicted to this! The chilli sauce was a good alternative too, if you want to switch your tastebuds from the sweet duck sauce. 

With quality food and excellent service, it's a place that I'll definitely return again. The decor and ambience might seem deceivingly pricey, but it's really quite an affordable place considering the quality and serving portions. I liked the cosy and very traditional feel they had, with staff speaking Cantonese and seeing how they sat together for staff lunch over a huge round table, just like a family. 

We were one of the last customers to leave at around 3.30pm, and they didn't show any signs of chasing us away even though they closed at 2.45pm. In fact, they were still very courteous and attended to us, refilling our pot of tea and waited for us to leave even though we realised that we were in their way while they were reshuffling their tables. I didn't even notice that until my friend pointed out, but they absolutely showed no signs of asking us to leave. 

Though their dimsum wasn't like wow fantastic, I would probably return for their seafood and mains over dinner. 

Overall Nom Factor: 8.5/10
290 Orchard Road #05-42/45
The Paragon
(behind the escalator, in opposite direction from Crystal Jade)

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