Our recent phase 2 dining out in Singapore experience brought to mind the lyrics of the Joni Mitchell song: “… that you don’t know what you’ve got
till it’s gone…“. Here are the 5 things that we missed about dining out during the COVID lockdown.
Our lunch was at a popular Chinese restaurant in Singapore – Imperial Treasure Great World City. It was a weekday but they could only fit us in at 1 pm. It seems that we are not the only ones happy to be dining out in phase 2. Making a reservation in advance is a good idea especially on weekends. Imperial Treasure GWC is a restaurant we have been to before. You can read more about it and find more pictures of the restaurant here. Here is a picture of the dim sum menu. We had a mixed lunch of dim sum and items from the a la carte menu.
Phase 2 Dining Out in Singapore – 5 things we are grateful for.
The beauty of Chinese cuisine lies not only in the complex ways of cooking but also the numerous sauces that are available. Certain styles of sauce pairing are available. But each of us have our own personal preferences that the good Chinese restaurants are happy to provide. Soy sauce – dark or light, with red or green chilli or garlic, XO sauce, vinegar etc. Some of these are provided with takeaways, but having a full array to mix and match is a luxury to be enjoyed in the restaurant.
Takeaways serve a valuable purpose of providing us with essentially the same food to be enjoyed at home. But the journey home usually means a loss of some of its essential characteristics. The crunch of the deep-fried beancurd skin with prawns ($7.20, picture above) and the flakiness of the baked BBQ pastry or char siu soh ($6.30 picture below) are best enjoyed in the restaurant.
Many types of Chinese food are best consumed when hot. A warm takeaway is not bad but still not the same. We were so glad to see the steam rising out of the Teochew dumplings ($6.00) when they arrived. Coupled with the bamboo basket, the sight and smell of fresh steamed dim sum is hard to replicate with a takeaway.
Eating out of takeaway containers made us miss the tableware used in restaurants. Whether made of plastic or some environmentally friendly material, takeaway boxes and spoons cannot replace the proper crockery and cutlery of in-restaurant dining.
It is even better when the servers are attentive enough to swap fresh plates whenever the existing one gets too messy. Or to switch to western style table settings when it is more suitable for the type of food. Which was what they did for the sauteed beef cubes ($32, picture above) and the fried cod fillet ($15). We were quite happy when we had these same items for takeaway. But having them served and presented on proper plates increased enjoyment by a few notches.
Good food goes well with some nice wine. We can of course handle our own bottles and glasses at home. But a restaurant with good wine service is a joy. We let the expert handle the the corkscrew. He provides proper glasses and ensures that no glass is ever dry. Leaving us to focus on the purpose of phase 2 dining out in Singapore – the delicious food and great company.
Imperial Treasure Great World,
#02-111/112, 1 Kim Seng Promenade
Tel: +65 6732 2232
The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog