Stepping into the restaurant reminds me of the Forbidden City of China, as I was welcomed with exquisite interiors that echo the grandness of an ancient imperial dining hall.
Look at the waiting area of the restaurant, I'm fascinated with the myriad arrays of genuine antique furnishing, carvings and silk lanterns. And I saw a couple doing a wedding photoshooting right inside this Chinese restaurant, bet they can save $ from flying to China :P
Famed for its Szechuan cuisine, the restaurant was quite crowded during the Sunday night although it can fit up to 200 people. In fact, it is popular among the Muslims for its top quality Chinese fare.
#1 Signature Szechuan Hot and Sour Pot (四川酸辣豆腐汤)
My delightful gastronomic journey started off with a simmering broth of Szechuan soup stuffed with chunks of tofu and shiitake mushrooms. It opens up my palate with the spicy aroma and sharp sourness. Its consistency is comparable to shark fins soup but this is just nice; neither too gooey nor sticky.
#2 Signature Szechuan Camphor And Tea Smoked Duck (四川樟茶鸭配馒头)
The first dish has raised my expectation for the next, and this appears to be as fulfilling too. The signature duck is the most remarkable dish among all, with a bacony smokiness between the layers of thin crispy skin and fatty tender meat.
Cut open the deep-fried Chinese bun and slip in a slice of tender smoked duck smothered in thick sweet sauce, and I get to enjoy the sandwich-like savoury bits!
#3 Indonesian-Styled Curry Fish (印尼咖喱鱼)
The simple taste and preparation do not overshadow the firmness and sweetness of the flesh, but at the same time ingredients such as Tau Fu Pok, assorted beans, and tomatoes help enhance the thick curry further.
#4 Stir Fried Dried Chilies Prawns with Crispy Dough Stick & Cashew Nuts (宫保虾球)
When the prawns arrive on the table, I'm overjoyed because again, it is hassle-free as the shell has been removed. The savoury sweet prawns is perfectly matched with slightly spicy sauce.
#5 Hainan-Styled Stewed Mutton Soup
Master Chef Lim Meng Chong and his team has specially prepared the slow-boiled broth which I enjoy the deep flavours of spices with dried soya sheets and crunchy moke yee fungus. The local grass-fed mutton gives a very tender texture, and tasty in overall.
#6 Long Beans with Minced Chicken (肉碎炒长豆)
The stir-fried vegetables gives a total contrast to the fiery Szechuan dishes, as it soothes our stomach yet very palatable.
#7 Chilled Sago with Ice Cream
Putting a sweet endnote to the sumptuous dinner, the chilled dessert with crunchy jellies and two generous scoops of vanilla ice cream is just nice as I sink my teeth in them.
Qing Palace has indeed opens up a whole new way of enjoying authentic Szechuan fare in a fine dining environment. The dinner is a very satisfying one, and I wouldn't be surprised if I come back for more!
1. Personally, I'd rate 5/5 for the ambiance, taste, service and presentation.
2. Recommended: Hot and Sour Pot & Szechuan Camphor And Tea Smoked Duck
3. Very suitable for family reunions, special occasions and wedding banquets.
Pulai Springs Resort
20km Jalan Pontian Lama,
Contact: 607-521 2121
Fax: 607-521 1818
Weekdays: 12.00noon - 3pm & 6.30pm - 10.00pm
Weekends: 12.00noon - 3pm & 6.00pm - 10.00pm
Note: This is a sponsored trip by Pulai Group.