Thursday, September 23, 2010

Treasure in JB: Restoran Peking

Once a whle, a bunch of friends would take a leisurely drive to Johor...especially during durian season to eat some durians, relax, and eat a nice meal before returning home. This time, we made our way to Parit Sulong, then to the little town of Muar, before returning to Johore Bahru for dinner.

The dinner was at Taman Sutera, not far from either the Causeway or the Second quite a convenient location for Singaporeans to drive to.

The restaurant was huge...a bit like Jumbo, but on first impression, more luxurious and up market. The prices, being in JB, are more down to earth for various seafoood than the sometimes expensive stuff we get in Singapore.

We had a full banquet, these are a selection of some interesting dishes:

Brocolli with sea cucumber and chicken:

Quite superb. The brocolli was a beautiful dark hue of green, and was still crunchy. The sea cucumber was already rendered in a braising stock separately till super tender, then chicken stir fried in a hot wok with the brocolli and sea cucumber. Superb.

The sambal sotong with celery was also great:

Fresh squid...very smooth, creamy, sweet and also still crunchy. The sambal was quite powerful, and goes well with the bits of crunchy celery. Another beautiful dish.

The Peking duck was next:

This was a slight disappointment...not that it did not taste good...but the recent spate of great and superb peking duck for me has raised my natural palate standards considerably. While many would consider the peking duck to be good, for me, that evening, I thought it underperforming. The duck slices were a bit too large. The skin not crispy enough, the pastry too thick.

But we actually came for the soft shelled crab:

This was superb. The whisps of egg, stradelling the soft shelled crab bekons. The aroma is wonderful, and with each bite, juxtaposition of crisp egg, slightly crunchy shell, and the creaminess of the crab is pure pleasure.

I often find soft shelled crab, deep fried in this style to often be very oily...the crab and egg batter absorbing a lot of fat. But this was light, and not greasy at all. Very nice.

Overall, this is a superb restaurant. For me, I will avoid the peking duck, as there are plenty of better examples of this art around (the Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck in Paragon is the grandmaster of the art). But the seafood is fresh, expertly cooked, and tastes superb...all for a price you cannot get in Singapore.

Restoran Pekin @ Sutera Utama

Map marks Sutera Mall, the restaurant is in adjacent building left of the mall.

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