My Dad loves spotting great promotions on the Chinese newspaper so the whole family can have a feast for no special reason – and it happens pretty often. It has probably been a decade or more since I last visited Qian Xi Restaurant and it was nostalgic to be on the grounds of the Civil Service Club after so long.
For an 8 course dinner for 10 people, the Mothers’ Day promotion set menu only costs SGD398++ (restricted to a maximum of 3 tables). This promotion is valid till 31 August 2016. I will let you decide if you think it’s worth a trip to one of their outlets by featuring the dishes 🙂
These buns are made in the shape of peaches hence the Chinese name literally translates to Longevity Peaches. It’s common to have these on birthdays as well as special occasions – a symbol of longevity and health. I was a little clueless why we were served these at the start of the meal as we weren’t celebrating anything. I wasn’t complaining though as the buns were delicious with soft skin and plenty of lotus paste filling.
I can’t quit pork mainly because of this. Crispy skin of the suckling pig dipped in the sweet sauce that usually comes together – harmonious balance of savoury and sweet tempts you to take another piece. My elder nephew had two pieces and asked for more so my dad started peeling off the skin from the pig’s head 😀
Tip: Take away that pig’s head to add to home-cooked congee (be it century egg congee or others) for more flavours.
For a promotional set menu, there were generous portions of crab meat and scallops in that thick broth with a decent amount of sharks’ fins. The Enoki mushrooms in it also added more texture to the usual starchiness of the soup.
For presentation wise, it was a little messy due to poor segmentation by the waiter. The fresh seawater grouper with salty-sweet gravy drizzled over it was cooked well with its meat slightly flaky and soft.
We love our chicken, just the dark meat parts mainly, so much to the extent that even the kids are influenced by the adults’ love for this tender meat. The skin was crispy and oily, just perfect for the not-so-health-conscious family of ours.
The natural sweetness of the prawns enhanced by the Hua Diao Wine (very commonly used in Chinese cooking) made peeling the prawns all worthwhile. All that cholesterol-rich goodness in that prawn head was the highlight for me.
This had to be everyone’s favourite dish of the night. Beneath that gorgeous looking gravy and Asian delicacies, there was spinach to balance and complement the umami-ness. The mushrooms were seasoned well and cooked so soft it almost feels like it melts as you bite into it. And fish maw always lovely as it soaks up that savoury gravy, each mouthful was just delicious.
With the lavish portions of the dishes before the noodles, I was expecting us to take away some of these noodles. To my surprise, everyone had such a good appetite we managed to clear this plate of noodles. It definitely helped that it was tasty – springy noodles cooked in superior broth that deserved space in our stomach.
For dessert, there was birds’ nest soup 冰糖燕窝. I am not a fan of birds’ nest as I cannot get over the fact it is swallow’s saliva and just so not appetising to consume. My family did like it for it’s not overly sweet and just a good balance at the end of a sumptuous meal.
With a price tag of SGD398++, one would expect an average quality or smaller portion of the set menu. There was no short changing of the standards of food served and we were pleasantly surprised. We are already planning for a revisit in June/July before the promotion ends.
Qian Xi Farrer Park
Civil Service Club
60 Tessensohn Road
(Next to Farrer Park MRT Station)
(65) 6295 1155