Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Ming Palace @ Corus Hotel

Eating at a Chinese restaurant, located in a hotel, is not cheap.  So, when I saw a deal on a group buying site, I did not hesitate to buy this deal for my meal.
Group buying sites are a "godsend" for those eating on a budget and those who want to try new places but yet do not want to fork out too much money in case the food does not live up to expectations.
So, with RM400 worth of voucher in hand (for which I paid only about RM150!), off I went with 2 of my friends (and 2 small children) to Ming Palace @ Corus Hotel.
I ordered the 4 Hot Cuisine Combination @ RM80 as our first dish.  The 4 hot items comprised of fried money bags, (canned) abalone slices on a bed of braised vegetables, stuffed bean curd in a sweet, sticky sauce and fried (canned) limpets with celery, snow peas and carrots.

Overall, no complaints here.  The money bags, which were fried to crispy perfection, tasted very much like your fried "wantans" (only the presentation is a bit fancy in the shape of a "money bag").  The sliced carrots, snow peas and celery, sautéed with limpets, tasted light and refreshing, and the vegetables remained crunchy to the bite.  But my favourite item had to be the abalone slices which were tender and soft.

Next, we had the traditional roasted Peking duck @ RM80 done two ways.  The first is where the thin, crispy skin is sliced off the duck and eaten wrapped in crepes (very thin pancakes) with scallions and hoisin sauce.

This was brought to our table and the crepes assembled there and then (with a pair of chopsticks).  Obviously, from the picture below, they didn't do a very good job of it as it wasn't very pretty looking...hehe!
The assembled crepes were alright although I preferred to eat just the skin on its own because then you can taste the flavour and crispiness of the skin without it being marred by the hoisin sauce.  I got to do just that, as there were some pieces leftover, after all the crepes have been filled, and you can just hear the sound of the crackling skin in my was yum!.  The crispy Peking duck turned out to be my favourite dish of the night.

The meat of the duck was then taken back into the kitchen to be chopped up and made into a noodle dish as the other course.

The Fried Cod Fish @ RM120 was not as I had expected.  I love cod fish to death, for its sweet tasting flesh, but the piece we got was over fried rendering it a bit too crunchy, thus losing some of its sweetness.  Although the fish was fairly fresh, we were given, in my opinion, a 'not-so-good' cut which (which seems to be near the belly of the fish).  This was a shame and, clearly, this dish was not worth the price we paid for.

The Soft Shell Crab with Salted Egg Yolk @ RM48 tasted ok.  It was crispy, although a tad salty, and would have been better eaten with rice to cut through the saltiness.

The Scallops with Asparagus @ RM45 was a plate of fresh scallops lightly fried with asparagus.  The scallops were refreshing, the asparagus still had a crunch to it, and the dish was a welcome delight after the saltiness of the previous dish.

All in all, it was a satisfying meal, especially knowing that we enjoyed a savings of about 60% with this meal.  It would have been even more satisfying had the (head?) waitress been more sincere and helpful towards us with our orders.

You see, the waitress told us that we would not be able to utilise our entire RM400 if we continued to choose the less expensive dishes.  So, taking her recommendation, we opted for the cod fish (and this was after we had already ordered 4+1 dishes).  Price of fish, as usual, in Chinese restaurants, is always seasonal.  She told us that she would let us know the price for the fish but, by the time she got back to us, we were already more than half way through our meal.

Because of the cod fish, our total bill came up to around RM450 (inclusive of Chinese tea, peanut, service charge & taxes).  My gripe was not that I had to fork out an extra RM50 but because the 3 of us had difficulty finishing the 6 dishes (if I had 1 or 2 more guests, I wouldn't have minded).

Although the overall service was pleasant, as evidenced by the waitresses diligently clearing our plates and refilling our tea, it fell short for me because the (head) waitress was not forthcoming enough with her information on the cost of the fish nor did she give us an option to cancel a dish (if we wished) since the actual bill exceeded our voucher value. 

To me, good service is not just clearing our plates and pouring our tea but also the sincerity and helpfulness to ensure that our dining experience is indeed a happy one.

My Personal Opinion

The food was good, not great, but the "service" could have been more forthcoming.

Likes:  Peking duck (crispy skin...happy days!) and abalone slices.

Dislikes:  Need I say more!

Ming Palace
Corus Hotel (1st Floor)
Jalan Ampang
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2161 8888

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