Dear Royal China,
I’m sorry but it seems I may have found a new obsession: Imperial Treasure Shanghai Cuisine. You can’t blame me. Last Sunday afternoon, my family and I headed to the restaurant on the 5th floor of Takashimaya Shopping Centre where we were proceeded to be blown away by EVERY SINGLE DISH we ordered. To describe them as good is just unkind. We witness high levels of skill in the execution and every flavour was spot-on! There was not a fault in sight. Unlike yours, the portions were much smaller and daintier. But the flavours and seasoning were huge. Punchy when need be, aromatic otherwise. We definitely did not miss quantity. It also probably helped much that the ambience and decor of the restaurant was equally as fine as the food. No unappetizing colour palette to spoil our mood. So let me show you what we had.
We began our flawless lunch with two appetizers:
Marinated Pig’s Ear & Tongue (悄 悄 话): Soft pig’s ears encircling the textural square tongue then neatly pressed into a glutinous jelly. To serve, thinly-sliced with a dash of spicy chilli oil and sesame seeds. It was a unique starter that was also beautiful with the varying colours and textures. It made for a very good start.
Deep Fried Eel Fillet (无 锡 脆 鳝 ) was the afternoon’s biggest surprise and adorned equally by all. The eel fillet was expertly deep-fried until impossibly crunchy then livened up by an addictive sweet acidic sauce that evenly coated every crunchy eel. This won us all at first bite.
Moving on the mains:
Hairy Crab Roe Fen Pi: A special during the Hairy Crab season, each portion was a pricely $28/++ but so rich and thick. Vinegar was provided for this dish. I like my flavours intense so there was no need to “destroy” with the acidic kick. However some really needed it after a while as the richness got to them.
Fen Pi are translucent and thick mung bean noodles most commonly seen in Northern China cuisines. Since the dominance of Southern China cuisine here in Singapore, these noodles are rarely seen. The last time I had this noodle was in Shanghai so that afternoon, fond memories of my gastronomic trip came flooding back.
Our only order from the Dim Sum menu was the Pork & Ham Pastry and we were pleased as a punch with these three fine nuggets of a pastry. They were a wonderful introduction to IT Shanghai’s Dim Sum offerings.
Delicate flaky layers of pastry gave way to the most appetizing diced pork and ham filling. Insanely delicious, I would return just for this!
Another noodle dish: Bang Bang Chicken. Shredded chicken with cucumber and fen pi in a spicy sesame sauce. Yet more fen pi but in a thinner and longer form resembling “hor fun”; we simply can not get enough of this unique mung bean noodle. If you (like me) love peanut butter and peanut-based sauces, you will be equally as enamored with this savoury intense nut sauce.
I loved the pink insides of the meatball and the thick smooth gravy. Like all preceding dishes we had, this claypot of stewed vegetables and meat was another delicious dish.
As you might be able to tell, I really enjoyed my lunch at Imperial Treasure Shanghai. Chinese food never looked so good and refined with the high level of skill in their execution. Plus the unusual dishes made our lunch so exciting. Now I am already plotting my next gourmet adventure here.