Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Jia Wei Chinese Restaurant: A Taste of Home
Jia Wei Chinese Restaurant (家味中餐馆)
Grand Mercure Roxy Hotel
Location: 50 East Coast Road, Roxy Square
Singapore 428769 (opp. Parkway Parade Shopping Centre)
Tel: 6340 5678


He received an invite from the nice people at Grand Mercure Roxy Hotel to do some food-tasting at their Cantonese restaurant, Jia Wei Chinese Restaurant (家味中餐馆) and I was asked to go along. Jia Wei has come up with two different Christmas menus: Christmas Glow Menu ($78++ Per Pax) and Festive Cheers Menu ($98++ Per Pax), both reinforcing their main theme which is "Oriental Christmas". We were being served both menus, but before that, we had a platter of their traditional Hong Kong Dim Sum which I had pretty much enjoyed:

I like the crunchy prawns in the Siew Mai and upon my first bite into it, I could feel the juices in my mouth. The Fried Prawn Dumpling has a nice layer of crispy skin, with a generous portion of fresh prawns within and I secretly wished I could have more of that.

The Crystal Prawn Dumpling above has a layer of skin which is made from glutinous rice, infused with spinach to give it the beautiful green you see. I did not particularly fancy the stickiness of the skin, as some of it stuck to my teeth. But nonetheless, the dumpling was really juicy and I could taste the freshness of the prawns used.

The last dim sum I tried off the platter was the Fried Prawn Dumpling with Mango. I liked the comination of prawn and mango, but my only complain was that the mango used was on the sour side and I could not really taste the prawns as I was engulfed with the whole sourish taste. I'm sure it would have been really tasty if the mango was sweet.

After we finished our platter, we were served the first dish of the Christmas menu: Festive Turkey, Ham and Fresh Fruits Salad (included in both menus).

The entire dish is slightly drizzled with a light wasabi-based sauce but I felt that it wasn't the best complement. The whole serving lacked the "Oomph" and the meat was not as moist as I had expected it to be. But I appreciated the fruits salad that came along because it added some sweet juices to the otherwise seemingly-dry dish.

Here comes the highlight of the Festive Cheers Menu: Jia Wei Superior Shark's Fin Soup in Hot Stone Pot.

It was my first time seeing a generous portion of high-grade shark's fin served in a hot stone pot. The purpose of the pot is to ensure that the dish is to be kept bubbling hot throughout the whole consumption period. This is distinctively more outstanding than the one served in the Christmas Glow Menu (note the obvious price difference):

Although the Superior Shark's Fin Soup with Conpoy wasn't as boiling hot when eaten, the broth was still delicious. It came along with a cute money-bag lookalike dumpling, topped with crab roe. I like the crunchiness of the dumpling and this is due to the water chestnuts (among other vegetarian fillings) which gave it a good texture.

And here's another favourite of the day, the Grilled Special Rack of Lamb with Chinese Wine (Festive Cheers Menu). It did not have the usual uncomfortable lambish smell as it was really well-marinated. The chef has used Chinese Wine as well as some Japanese Sake which made the meat exceptionally tasty and juicy. There were layers of visible fats within that piece of lamb but it did not stop either of us from wanting another bite more. Oh yes, it was that delicious.

I enjoyed the Pan-Fried Fillet of Pork Spare-Rib with Special Sauce (Christmas Glow Menu) very much equally due to the slightly tangy seasoning and the right texture of the meat. It was chewy to the bite, and yet it was not difficult to pull the meat apart.

The Braised Bai Ling Mushroom with Broccoli from the Festive Cheers Menu added a subtle touch to the entire menu and it was a nice detour away from the previous dishes which encompassed stronger tastes.

The Braised Dry Scallop with Sea Cucumber and Bamboo Piths (Christmas Glow Menu) was a slight disappointment though. The accompanying sauce was a little too conventional but the vegetables were crisp and fresh.

I particularly liked their Homemade Noodles with Prawn and Conpoy which is available in both menus. A portion came with two huge pieces of succulent prawns as well as some vegetables. For a moment, I thought I was eating baby lobsters. The noodles were exceptionally smooth and flavorful.

To put a perfect ending to the Christmas Glow Menu, we had the Chilled Mango Pudding:

I think it looks like a really beautiful piece of art which I don't wish to tear apart. But at the same time, I was eager to have a go at it, curious of how tasty this thing can be. It wasn't the usual kind of pudding, it had a mango flavor which was more suggestive rather than distinctive.

I preferred the Chilled Lemon Jelly (Festive Cheers Menu) which came with an incredibly refreshing lemon sorbet with lemon jelly and aloe vera bits:

We tried their Char Siew Soh and Har Gow as well:

I really liked the sweetness and moistness of the char siew within. It made me want to have another piece, and another piece.

The prawns were really fresh (as usual) but I wish the skin was slightly thinner.

We also had the XO Fried Carrot Cake, only that it was a mixture of carrot cake and yam cake because the carrot cake was almost sold out. I felt that this was rather bland and it simply did not make me want to have a few more pieces of it.

We had a go at their signature BBQ Platter which consisted of char siew and soya chicken. I enjoyed this, especially the sweet, moist and fatty char siew. The chicken was really soft and tender to the bite, I like.

We also had a sampling portion of their famous Beijing Peking Duck. There was a thin layer of fat below the crispy skin which made it exceptionally luscious, and the meat was drizzled with a slightly-sweet and scrumptious sauce. I felt that the whole combination was just oh-so-divine.

The setting of the restaurant was really very cozy, so much so that I felt like I was within the comfort of my own home. It made me want to visit the place again, and next time round I will bring along my family for sure.

Cheers to Keane and Shu Ling for being the wonderful hosts and for making all this possible. And not forgetting him, for providing good companionship.

The Christmas Glow Menu and Festive Cheers Menu will be available from 1 December 2008 to 4 January 2009 and all diners will get to enjoy 30% off prices of these two set menus when they dine in from Monday to Thursday (except 24, 25 and 31 December 2008 and 1 January 2009). Furthermore, you will also get a 10% off Yuletide Specialties takeaway items at The Lobby Cafe if you present your Jia Wei bill.

For this festive season, Grand Mercure Roxy Hotel has also come up with promotions at their Feast@East Buffet Restaurant, offering diners a 30% off for lunch and 40% off for dinner from Monday to Wednesday (except 24 and 31 December 2008).

Remember to call and make your reservations people!
posted by An Economist Baker at 12:07 AM -
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