Imperial Treasure Shanghai Cuisine

Another entry in the Imperial Treasure chain here in Singapore. Its track record has been sketchy thus far with some of its eateries seemingly appearing like money grubbing copycats and opportunists. But hey, we are in a capitalistic society. So it is with this mentality that I approach eating at their new Shanghai outlet with some trepidation. First of all, service was good: prompt, polite and efficient. Perhaps because dinner was rather later after 8.30pm on a weekday and the crowd was thinning out. Nonetheless, service staffs were all laudable. The menu was vast with a wide variety of selection ranging from the prototypical Shanghainese cold dishes, to the fresh seafood selections more reminiscent of their Cantonese restaurant but mixed in with a few Shanghainese choices like river shrimps and eels. Then of course there is the Singapore favourite of la mien and xiao long bao and other assorted dumplings like jiao zi, qian bao, jiao zi, etc. I came in hungry and ordered quite a bit which was definitely more suited for 3 or 4 average eaters. The Thousand Layers Pigs' Ears was well done, and quite rare to find in Singapore. The chef has put a lot of work into it and each slice was a crunchy, tasty mille feuille of pig skin, cartilage, fats and collagen. The Agate Egg Roll was a melange of steamed egg yolk and ?salted/century egg topped with a layer of steamed egg white. It was well made but somehow the ?salted/century egg overpowered the taste. Next up was the "dim sum". The xiao long bao was very well done! Bravo! Thin skin to give Ding Tai Fung a run for it money, fresh pork and delicious soup. A bit pricey but definitely worth a second helping! The hong you cao shou was also really good with an excellent sour/spicy vinegar chilli sauce over a similarly thin-skinned dumpling. The sauce would be superb over a bowl of plain onion-oil la mien. Sadly after those two outstanding dishes, the jiao zi was a let down. Here the skin was too thick, but yet the flat surface was not pan-fried enough, although it was still packed with a good amount of juice that squirts out on the first bite. The Fried Shanghai Noodles was a bit too oily but like all good chinese food, there was enough wok hei to elevate the taste. The special order of Honey Peas with Ham was wonderfully addictive! Again the oiliness may be a turn off but the sweetness of the peas coupled with the savory pieces of yunnan ham and the smoky hint of wok hei made this an irresistible vegetable dish. Although it was surprisingly pricey, and as it was off-the-menu, came as a bit of a shock. It was the second most expensive dish. The most expensive dish, which objectively was not so bad, was the Yellow Cream Crab with Glutinous Rice. And yes, I ordered two carb dishes. But oh man, this was a winner and I don't even fancy crabs that much too. The roe-rich crab was cooked with the glutinous rice and the sinful oil that comes out from the roe gets absorbed into the glutinous rice and permeates the grain with its fragrant cholesterol-elevating goodness. The crab itself was sweet and fresh, but the winner is truely the rice which was, in a word, awesome! And even when re-heated at home via good old fashion steaming and then quickly refried with the leftover honeyed peas and ham, this was fantastic!

Verdict: Will definitely come back here again to try the other varied dishes and even the la mien and the wonderful selection of desserts.


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