Summer Pavillion has been closed for a long while to undergo some big time transformation from quite a traditional Chinese restaurant to the now modern chic look, it’s worth the wait. Even their menu received a facelift.
The decor to me was much nicer than before. I do not dislike rosewood nor the traditional Chinese look of dark wood and orange lighting but the facelift was refreshing. Modern with oriental components like their chinaware. Their private rooms are smaller compared to before but they have this special large split level room which is very cosy for groups of 20 – 30. It comes with a living area for guests to mingle, have drinks and the main dining hall for the food. Notice the chinaware for the main dining hall are multi colored but those in the private rooms are single colored.
We recently had dim sum lunch and set dinner at the restaurant. The lunch was very good but not the dinner. I’ll share a bit more on the dinner later but let’s review the lunch first.
The dim sum menu was not extensive but the quality was one of the best, and prices are on par with it.
The dishes we ordered were all very good. Some of their dim sums were unlike what other Cantonese restaurants served. Vegetarian dumpling and scallop mushroom dumplings were the best, they had the aroma of wok hei and the fillings were nicely flavored. The pan fried pumpkin yam was crispy without being too sweet, it could be a savory dish or dessert actually. Steamed prawn dumpling or har kow was just average.
Seafood roll was nice but I reckon it should do with lesser mayo. Steamed pork prawn dumpling or har kow was succulent and fragrant. Poached prawn and bamboo shoot dumpling was quite average and so is their steamed bbq bun. Still nice but nothing to complain about though.
Highlights however were the abalone conpoy dumpling which came filled with ample dried scallop shreds, mushrooms and a whole abalone. We were glad it was not served in clear soup but rich shark cartilage broth, yummy! Stir fried fish noodle with seafood… Well the huge plate was not enough for our group of 6 so I don’t need to explain further. The almond cream or tea was silky, light and fragrant. One of the best places for almond tea.
Now let’s move on to dinner. We sort of regretted not ordering ala carte. Blame it on laziness, we picked the $138 per pax course. Starters of sweet cashew and taro/ yam chips were delicious. However we were then served this chilled chicken tomato appetizer which was strange. It did not have much taste but anyway, we thought we were off to a great start…
Chilled scallop was average and sitting on top of some green tea soba. The grilled scallop had more flavor but wrapped in a raw slice of lotus root?! Not sure about the rawness, though there was a crunch, it was not pleasant.
Abalone winter melon soup was alright, however not as impressive as the lunch dumpling soup. This soup was not as rich as the previous version and not as aromatic.
The lobster was done very well. Thick, sweet, delicious flesh was just a delight from the earlier dishes.
Braised handpulled black pepper noodle, beef knee was outstanding. The handpulled noodles were combined with black pepper within the flour. Interesting and flavorful as the black pepper did not overpower the dish but enhanced it. The beef chunks were tender and well cooked, all the aroma of the sauce enhanced the flavor of the beef.
dessert was petit fours – chocolates and cookies as well as almond cream with sesame dumplings. Some chocolatey items in the petit fours were quite good. As for the almond cream, it could do without the floury sesame balls and I’d prefer it hot than chilled.
Service was very good but lesson learnt from dining at Summer Pavillion, order from the ala carte menu to maximize the dining value of only quality food.