Monday, November 07, 2011

The Eastern Restaurant @ The Centrepoint

The Eastern Restaurant is obviously a case in point for locality considerations when opening a restaurant.
Tucked into the deep recesses of The Centrepoint at Orchard,
diners would not even walk there to consider it as a possible dining outlet.
It doesn't help matters when there's a chinese restaurant situated nearer to the escalators.
And this hongkong restaurant has a HK chef from Mak's Noodles at its helm.
So yes, all that contributed to its less than stellar diner count everytime I walk pass the restaurant.
Walk pass. Never into.
Till this bloggers tasting fiesta came about.

For a restaurant that's been around for ten years, they are still coming up with new dishes from time to time to add on to the menu.
Hits and misses, I hope the ones that don't see too many orders get removed from the menu after awhile.
The sausage salad lite bites was a miss with a tough breaded crust and terribly boring sausage.
While the tofu dish was a simple but well executed dish.
It didn't conjure up the poetic justice that should have been with its name by its looks but it did have a very pleasant surprise of a fresh shrimp encased within each tofu piece.

Fried noodles with a generous amount of bean sprouts and sliced carrots and spring onions that added the much needed colour to this otherwise brown gravy coated dish.
Solid la mian noodles of a good doneness with generous slices of fish.
It was just too bad that the sauce was a tad too salty, it overpowered everything else.
And no, I couldn't manage to finish it if I wasn't planning on drowning myself in chinese tea to quench my thirst as an aftermath.

The fried rice was a better bet. Fragrant and resplendent with fresh shrimp and ham and a smattering of floss and scallions. This was a makeover for any leftover rice to die for. And that not an exaggeration. This would actually make me choose rice over noodles anytime. At this restaurant anyway. I don't usually take rice if I had a choice. Hmm.

So this dinner was really supposed to be about the xiao long baos.
Just by coincidence, I had din tai feng just the day before for lunch.
I don't know if it's just the branch at Bishan but those had awfully thick skins and it didn't help that the air conditioner was blasting such that our steamer of xlb was cold within moments of arriving at our table.
Suffice to stay, i didn't enjoy it much.
These however, had a thinner skin by comparison but still kept the soup within safe when picked up with chopsticks and hot for a while yet.
While it could do with a bit more soup, it was well flavoured and very enjoyable xlbs indeed! :)
Brand name and fusion cooking aside, if you're looking for the authentic type xlb with nothing more than just the traditional pork filling, this is where it's at.

Then it was time for desserts. The design on these babies brought images of shuttlecocks and golf balls to our minds. But really, they were simply molten salted egg yolk buns. I took a bite and held it out for a picture. It's not flowing! I was disappointed and left it on the plate while I kept the camera away. The next time I checked, it WAS flowing! Not that this flowing thing is a mark of a good liu sha bao but I quickly picked it up and took another bite. This was good! A salty sweet medley that was well balanced for its savoury and sweet notes. While not comparing it with the better ones out there, this was better than the ones at Imperial Treasure at Ngee Ann City. :)

 This is a dessert of choice for me where available. Easily shared and more often than not, a crowd pleaser for most dinners. The proportions were good on this. Ample red bean filling wrapped within a layered filo pastry.

I'd be back for a few of these :)

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