Today’s sharing will be on our Food Tasting session at Conrad Centennial Singapore, Golden Peony Chinese Restaurant.
According to our contract, the food tasting must be held at least one month to the wedding date, excluding eve of public holidays and festive seasons. Having looked at the calendar, I decided to have ours on a Monday night so that it coincides with my FIL’s off day. I had it scheduled on 10 September 2018. Just slightly over a month before our wedding.
Other than having our parents, I also invited my god-parents and two sisters to join us for the dinner.
Since the food tasting was at night, I actually made an arrangement to have my bridal makeup trial done in the afternoon. After having the trial makeup done at Yishun, I went over to meet my god-parents, before taking a cab over to Conrad Centennial Singapore. Told the others that I would meet them directly at the hotel instead.
Once everyone arrived, the Husband then texted our wedding coordinator, before we proceed up to the Golden Peony Restaurant at level 3. Initially, I thought we would have a private room for our dinner. But it turns out; we got a table at a corner of the restaurant instead. Fortunately, it was a weekday night, and there were only a handful of other diners in the restaurant.
We managed to meet Fiona (our wedding coordinator from Conrad Centennial Singapore) for a brief moment before the start of our dinner. She told us to inform the chef for any changes/adjustments for the food (should there be any) once we had finished our meal; otherwise, we could also send her a text afterwards.
Prior to coming for our food tasting, we had already informed her of our menu choices. For reference, below were the two menus that were offered for our wedding banquet.
Happiness Platter – Suckling Pig, Pan-fried Dumpling, Sliced Smoked Duck, Japanese Sushi, Sea Jelly with XO Chilli Sauce.
Bird’s Nest – Braised with Conpoy, Fish Maw and Bamboo Pith.
Conrad Duo Magnificent – Prawn Ball coated with Golden-fried Bread Crumb & Sautéed Spare Rib in Aromatic Mocha Sauce.
Red Grouper – Steamed with Superior Soy Sauce.
Baby Abalone – Braised with Black Mushroom served with Chinese Cabbage.
Chicken – Roasted, topped with Spiced Almond Flakes.
Ee Fu Noodle – Stewed with Shimeiji Mushroom, Crabmeat and Bean Sprouts.
Dessert – Sweet Yam Paste served with Golden Pumpkin Puree
Happiness Platter – Suckling Pig, Vietnamese Spring Rolls, Sliced Drunken Chicken, Chilled Sea Whelk in Thai Sauce, Sea Jelly with XO Chili Sauce.
Lobster – Double-boiled with Chicken, Chinese Cabbage, Bamboo Pith and Wild Mushroom.
Conrad Prawn Duo – Deep-fried Prawn with Wasabi Mayonnaise & Deep-fried Prawn with Salted Egg Yolk.
Red Grouper – Steamed in Teochew Style.
Abalone – Sliced, Braised with Honshimeiji Mushroom and Black Mushroom served with Spinach.
Roasted Duck – Marinated with Chinese Herbs.
Fragrant Fried Rice – With Chinese Sausage wrapped in Lotus Leaf.
Dessert – Chilled Cream of Pomelo with Mango and Sago.
Since we are allowed to switch the dishes between the two menus, I ended up selecting dishes from both menus instead of sticking to one.
Before we began dinner, one of the server handed us this form. Ideally, we should write down comments for the dishes as we went along.
For our first dish, the Happiness Platter, I decided to go with Suckling Pig, Vietnamese Spring Rolls, Sliced Drunken Chicken, Chilled Sea Whelk in Thai Sauce and Sea Jelly with XO Chili Sauce.
While I’m not a fan of Vietnamese Spring Rolls, I find it weird to have Japanese Sushi. Plus, I’ve decided to go with the Roasted Duck for the subsequent dish, so I find it more justifiable to get the Sliced Drunken Chicken.
Sampling of all five dishes. I like how they deep-fried the spring rolls, instead of just having it wrapped in Vietnamese bánh trán (rice paper wrappers).
Also, let me take this chance to mention that one of the reasons we chose Conrad Centennial Singapore as our wedding banquet venue is that they have servers to help portion the food for all our guests (and not just solely for the VIP tables). I think it’s so much more convenient and efficient to have the food individually portioned, before serving. This way, our guest don’t have to stand up to take their food, and everyone gets an equal serving.
Because to me, Bird’s Nest is strictly meant for dessert; I find it odd to serve it as our second dish, even if it comes as a form of soup.
No regret to go with the Lobster, because it was one of my favourite dish for the night! It was just so comforting to have a bowl of double-boiled soup.
Conrad Duo Magnificent
Instead of having two different prawn dishes, I figured it would be better to have both the prawn ball and spare rib. Considering that there might be guests who don’t like/eat seafood, the spare rib will be a good alternative for them.
To be honest, I’ve no clue what’s the difference between having the fish steamed in Teochew style and steamed with superior soy sauce. I just went with the latter.
The fish was very fresh and soft. I figured this dish would be well like by the elders.
Between sliced abalone and baby abalone, I went with the baby abalone because I think it’s more presentable to have one baby abalone served for each guest.
I find roasted chicken to be very common; hence, I decided to go for the roasted duck marinated with Chinese Herbs instead.
After portioning the duck, I think each guest will get a reasonable serving of the meat.
Fragrant Fried Rice
As I don’t like how noodles can get mushy, and (typically) look like a mess in the bowl after it was individually portion, I chose the fragrant fried rice instead.
By the time they brought out the rice, everyone was already full from all the earlier dishes. I believed we had quite a fair amount of leftover after our meal.
It was easy for me to pick the Yam Paste served with Golden Pumpkin Puree over the Chilled Cream of Pomelo with Mango and Sago. I love sweetened yam paste, and I find them to be a sweet ending to a nice meal!
Overall, I had a lovely dinner with the family at Golden Peony Chinese Restaurant.
While I wasn’t exactly impressed with the food, all the dishes tasted okay. (I think it has to do with the fact that I went with very high expectation, after hearing good reviews of the food from Golden Peony.) My favourite for the night had to be the Lobster Soup and Yam Paste.
The fish and duck were okay. And for the rice, I like that it was 粒粒分明.
Through this food tasting, I realised how difficult it was to ask and get the family opinions on the food. After much probing, we managed to gather the following comments and relate them to the chef when he came to meet us after our meal.
Firstly, we requested to change the Prawn Ball coated with Golden-fried Bread Crumb to Deep-fried Prawn with Salted Egg Yolk. We also asked to have the prawns de-shelled so that it will be easier to consume by our guests.
Secondly, we requested for the chicken in the soup to be softer (boiled for a more extended period), as per my MIL request.
Lastly, we asked to serve the Roasted Duck with plum sauce, and have two plates of plum sauce available for each table.
In the end, for our wedding dinner, we changed the Conrad Prawn Duo to Prawn Ball coated with Golden-fried Bread Crumb & Deep-fried Prawn with Salted Egg Yolk, and have the Sautéed Spare Rib in Aromatic Mocha Sauce as a separate dish. As such, our guests had a total of nine (instead of eight) dishes for the night.