Summer Palace Restaurant – Blast From My Past

December 1999

9th December 1999

Naomi, myself and Anne

Naomi, myself and Anne Marie –  22nd July 2013

In a blink of an eye, 14 years gone in between these two photographs. Nothing lasts forever. Forever is a lie. All we have is what’s in between the many “hello” and “goodbye”. While some goodbyes are permanent, some are temporary until we finally kick the bucket 😉

The first photograph showed the ladies group I was privileged to be “initiated” into in the mid 90s. There was criteria to be a member of the group and “house rules” to abide by then but I shall not go into details except that I qualified, yay! Judging the veracity of our youth, we’ve come a long way – all of us! And how we’ve grown through the years, even if not for any significant event, we’ve grown matured in our physical bodies and minds 😀 Things that intriqued us then continued to baffle us today. Our children, some in kindergartens then, are now capable of making us grandparents and well, one of us did become one. Congratulations, Angela!

This was an impromptu lunch. As Anne Marie related to Naomi – I called Sam and asked,
Anne: “are you in town?”
Sam: “yes” (jackpot!)
Anne: “can you do lunch on Monday?”
Sam: “yes” (double jackpot!)
Anne: “ok, Chinese food, where?”
At the back of my mind, Summer Palace crept up as I so wanted to compare the sharksfin soup to Wan Hao’s I had recently. We (the ladies group) used to have that whenever we visited Summer Palace at Regent’s, and before I could answer, as if telepathy took place…
Anne: “Summer Palace” (bingo!)
Sam: “I was about to say that!”
Sam: “shall we invite Naomi along? I haven’t seen her for ages”
Anne: “funny, I was thinking that too”.
Friends! We may have drifted apart but our thoughts do line up 🙂

After a couple of hours, Anne called and said that Naomi couldn’t make it as she had a prior lunch engagement but on the day itself, Naomi’s lunch was cancelled and so here we are, the happy 3 caballeros! Now where’s my sombrero?

Chinese Roasts 2 combination - Roast Duck and Roast Pork Belly

Chinese Roasts 2 combination – Roast Duck and Roast Pork Belly

Roast Duck (Leg) - S$18

Roast Duck (Leg/Thigh) – S$18

Roast Pork Belly - S$15

Roast Pork Belly – S$15

The captain who took our order told me that Summer Palace had stopped serving sharksfin years ago. Anne said it was the no sharksfin policy the restaurant had adopted. I thought my heart sank a little. The captain quickly offered bird’s nest in substitution of sharksfin, to be prepared the same way – braised in brown sauce. I was not convinced and so this delicacy was dismissed. As my eyes wondered the dining hall, I saw pumpkins bobbling up and down as waiters walked past us. Almost every diner was having one. Must be the soup of the day and if not, it must be so damn good everyone was having it. Whatever’s the case, we shall have it too!

Pumpkin Soup - S$22 each

Pumpkin Soup – S$22 each

Seafood in clear broth double-boiled in whole Pumpkin.

Seafood in clear broth double-boiled in whole Pumpkin.

Poached Vegetables Lily Bulb - S$24

Poached Vegetables Lily Bulb – S$24

Poached Matrimony Vine Leaves with Fresh Lily Bulbs and Wolfberries

Poached Matrimony Vine Leaves with Fresh Lily Bulbs and Wolfberries
The vegetables and berries are good for the eyes according to TCM. Lily bulbs are cooling or yin in nature so they are good for those prone to heatiness. In TCM, Lily bulbs are used to relieve coughs, dry throats and other respiratory conditions and heart palpitations. Its tonic properties therefore made it a good herb for promoting restful sleep (insomnia) – treating restlessness and irritability.

Fried Rice with Baby Abalone and Ham - S$34

Fried Rice with Baby Abalone and Ham – S$34

Normally, I would skip any type of fried rice as one fried rice is equivalent to about 4 times plain steamed rice because of the added oil but baby abalone... Well, just make my calories count is all I ask!

Normally, I would skip any type of fried rice as one fried rice is equivalent to about 4 times plain steamed rice because of the added oil but baby abalone… Well, just make my calories count is all I ask!

Anne asked if anyone would like to have X.O. Sauce and we nodded in sync. This is usually a side order and should be charged but I guess the restaurant discounted this as Anne and family are their VIPs.

Anne asked if anyone would like to have X.O. Sauce and we nodded in sync. This is a side order and should be charged but I guess the restaurant discounted this as Anne and her family are their VIPs.

While the ladies were chatting, I was thinking how best to eat my rice and X.O. sauce.

While the ladies were chatting, I was thinking how best to eat my rice and X.O. sauce.

When I finished my bowl of rice, I could see oil but what the heck - I'm dining with my buddies!

When I finished my bowl of rice, I could see oil but what the heck – I’m dining with my buddies!

I thought my dining experience here would have been better than Wan Hao but times changed, things changed, my taste buds changed or perhaps the chefs been changed. Nobody knows what the future brings. For now, I am enjoying the company of my girlfriends and that counts, empty calories or not!

P.S. Please do not be mistaken that the food here is not good. I am just comparing the service and food experience from my most recent visits to Wan Hao and Summer Palace. One time visits are not good enough to sentence the quality of service and food standards. Or perhaps my dull experience was biased because I did not get the anticipated sharksfin and that could be the anti-climax 😉

In my humble opinion, the roast duck and roast pork belly here are way better than Wan Hao at Marriot but the roast pork belly lost out to Imperial Treasure Noodle & Congee House @ 100 Tras Street. On the whole, I did enjoyed the pumpkin soup and the poached vegetable was done very nicely. The fried rice was fragrant but lack the robust wok hei which this dish may not call for (I don’t know – I’m not a food connoisseur).

The captain came when we requested for the bill and asked if we wanted some desserts. Are you kidding me? With these two ladies, I’m sure I’d get better treats elsewhere and I was not wrong. We’re going to have orgasmic sweets, watch out for it!

Summer Palace Restaurant
Address: 3 Cuscaden Road.
Regent Hotel.
Singapore 249728.
Phone:+65 6725 3288

Operating Hours: Daily
Lunch: 12.00nn – 2.30pm
Dinner: 6.30pm – 10.30pm

Happy renewing of old friendships 🙂

Comments
6 Responses to “Summer Palace Restaurant – Blast From My Past”
  1. cate b says:

    That’s it……I may have to join in the next time you ladies eat together! Looks so yummy! Hahaha. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Melisa R says:

    I can’t believe it. How do you do it? How do you not change a bit in 14 years? That’s amazing! I’m glad you were able to catch up and have fun with your lady friends. It seems like you had a wonderful time.

    • Sam Han says:

      Thanks Melisa. I’m so much older now but one cannot stay young forever. Treasure your youth 🙂 Yes it was a good reunion. I had a wonderful time 🙂

  3. I usually try and avoid the past. It is almost always disappointing. Glad it wasn’t for you.

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