But to be fair, the popularity of Hong Kong style Cantonese food has grown in Singapore, especially with Singaporeans flocking to Hong Kong more often, the increased exposure consequently creates an increase in expectations, and food standards therefore raised.
The Imperial Treasure group, started by an exodus group previously from the Crystal Jade group, is increasing the competition locally and contributing towards raised standards. It is also a place I don't mind dining at despite my personal preferences since the standards are pretty and consistently good. Their newest location at Changi Airport's Terminal 3, and within the Crowne Plaza Hotel is also a welcome move for Singaporeans who live East. This is a good excuse to dine at the airport, even if you are not sending anyone off!
Aunty A hosted a simple home-style meal for the family, to celebrate the sale of her house! Congratulations!
Soup of the day is always a winner with a soup fiend like me, and the seaweed (not the Japanese kind) boiled with lean pork for hours on end is always a proper way to start a Cantonese meal.
It was nice to eat good white rice after days of feasting, so we ordered dishes which had a destiny with rice.
Black pepper beef cubes
A surprisingly very good cut of beef, which was tender without the excessive use of tenderiser, and so retain the meat's natural juices. And the black pepper was not so overpowering as to mask everything else.
Sweet & Sour Pork
Well executed, again using a very good cut, so there is no over-reliance on fat to make it tender. Of course, a winner with rice. There is a slight porky taste towards the middle, but apart from that, a very decent effort.
Ever the winner with the kids, it was roasted till the fat melted away, leaving a very thin and crispy skin, wrapped round succulent meat. Even the breast meat was still moist although wild horses cannot drag me away from the thighs!
And of course, one cannot live carnivorously, and so we had the Chinese spinach with 3 eggs. Nicely done, flavourful from the eggs, but not overly salty and greasy. The claypot eggplant with minced meat was also a winner and the men walloped 2 bowls of rice, easy, with this.
For dessert, I ordered durian pudding, highly recommended by our friendly waitress, and rightly so. Made from fresh durian pulp, and embedded in durian-infused custard, very rich and satisfying. The others who had the sesame filled dumplings in a sweet ginger soup raved about them too. But I think between the two, the durian pudding wins - hands down. Only snag, you burp it all night!