One of my favourite Cantonese restaurants here, Hai Tien Lo will be launching its refreshed menu with an emphasis on premium seafood on 1 March 2017. Here’s a snapshot of some of the dishes we’ve previewed and really enjoyed.
Deep-fried Crispy Prawn with Mango and Pomelo Sauce
Prawn was fresh, and done ‘crystal’ style as most Chinese restaurants do. While the battered coating could do with a recipe tweak to retain its crunch after being coated in the mango and pomelo sauce, the dish as a whole, when eaten with the accompanying bits of fruits, was sweet, tangy and briney all in one mouthful. Quite like one of those pedestrian prawn dishes you find at wedding banquets but on an elevated level.
Double-boiled Fish Maw with Bamboo Pith in Fish Bone Broth
This has to be one of the best soups that I have ever tasted in my entire life – coming from a half-Cantonese family this is a revelation not to be taken lightly. All the collagen-y goodness from the fish bones has been coaxed out, forming an unctuous soup that’s packed with umami. The bamboo pith had a pleasing crunch, while the fish maw was meaty and tender after undergoing two days of prep work.
Salt-Crusted Traditional Stewed Chicken with Dried Scallops in Lotus Leaf
The dish itself definitely made a visual impact, as it arrived as a golden mound spiked with spices, which was then cracked open with a mallet. Beneath the salt crust was the chicken wrapped in aluminum foil (which was strange since it defeated the salt crust’s purpose), slow cooked to a fork-tender texture and dripping with savoury juices. On the side was a saucer of additional gravy, presumably thickened with starch, for dipping the chicken in.
Steamed King Prawn with Inaniwa Udon in Egg White and Chinese Wine
Think of this as the Chinese version of chawanmushi, but with a much lighter texture. It was an interesting take, as the udon was cooked together with the egg white, fusing it. This is a great alternative to the usual carbohydrate/starch portion of a Chinese banquet-styled meal, which is often a heavy and oily option like fried noodles.
Hai Tien Lo is located at Pan Pacific Singapore, Level Three