We attended a dinner function hosted by the chinese benevolent society (for which our family has memberships). This was at the Floata Seafood Restaurant in Chinatown.
This was a set menu, that started with the cold appetizer plate.
This consisted of marinated sliced jellyfish, barbecued duck, soy sauce chicken, chinese barbecued pork, sliced pork hock. Not bad. The barbecued pork tasted a bit funny, like the marinade was a bit too acidic. The jellyfish was a little flat, it could use more sesame oil.
This was followed by deep-fried pork with mayonnaise and candied walnuts
This was morsels of marinated pork, dredged in seasoned flour and starch, and deep-fried, tossed with honey and topped with mayonnaise. It was served with a side of candied walnuts. This plate arrived a little cold (room temperature), and the pork was not particularly crispy on the outside. The candied walnuts were very good though (nice and crunchy and slightly sweet). I think the problem here had to do with the delays in the food service caused by the speeches from the society.
Next came stir fried chicken and prawns with vegetables
This was chicken and prawns, stir fried with dice celery, green peppers and snow peas. This was not particularly good. The vegetables were fine, the chicken was a bit bland and tasteless.
Next came soup
This was sliced dried (reconstituted shiitake mushrooms, shredded chicken, bean thread noodles and bean sprouts in a thicken chicken broth. The soup was okay. Decent flavor, good seasoning. At least it was hot.
This was followed with stewed oysters and black-moss over iceberg lettuce
This is fresh oysters stewed with thin slices of duck, served over blanched iceberg lettuce, topped with stewed black-hair-moss and a thick brown sauce. The oysters were overcooked and a little grainy. This dish was probably the weakest one of the night (especially since I’m not a fan of the moss).
Next came deep-fried taro with duck
This is a de-boned roast duck, layered between mashed taro root, deep-fried to a golden crisp, chopped and served over shredded lettuce. It was served with a savory brown sauce on the side. I haven’t seen this dish served in many years. The last time I saw this, was probably back in the 1980s. It was okay. The taro was a bit on the thick side, offsetting the ratio of the duck to the starch.
The next dish was sweet and sour deep fried rock cod.
I was a little slow at photographing this dish, the server immediately started slicing and portioning the fish as soon as it was set the table. The fish was a little overcooked, but this is not uncommon with rod cod, it’s an unforgiving fish that is easy to overcook. It tasted okay. The seasoning on the deep fried cod was fine. The sweet and sour sauce was balanced.
This was followed by crispy skin chicken
This is marinated whole chicken that is air-dried and fried with cascading hot oil until the skin is crispy. It’s chopped and served with prawn crackers.
Given the trend of overcooked food, I was getting worried, but the chicken was just fine. There was lots of flavor, good seasoning, and cooked just right.
Coming close to the end of the meal, we were served fried rice
As near as I can tell, this is a yang chow fried rice with the addition of shredded lettuce. It was okay, but a little under-seasoned, and lacking in “wok-hei”.
Braised yi mein with dried mushrooms and garlic chives
This is egg-wheat noodles with a spongy slightly chewy texture, quickly stir fried with sliced reconstituted shitaki mushrooms and garlic chives, and braised with sesame oil and chicken stock. This was quite good. Excellent texture, proper seasoning and good flavor from the sesame oil and chicken stock.
And wrap things up, dessert arrived in the form of almond cookies and sesame balls
The cookies were quite good. Warm and crisp, with light sweetness and a hint of almond flavor.
There was also a serving of red bean soup as well, but I had run out of power in my camera at this point.
The room at Floata is cavernous. It’s probably the largest dining space in the city, capable of hosting events for up to a thousand diners. The room is in need of a refresh. There’s alot of wear and tear on the walls, carpet and chairs.
Disclosure: We did not pay for this meal. This meal was complements of the chinese benevolent society.
The service was about as good as can be expected from most chinese restaurants. Efficient. The service was complicated by the benevolent society, their speeches and attempts to entertain disrupted the dinner service on multiple occasions, leaving long interruptions between dishes during the meal service.