December 10, 2014

Summer Palace @ Regent Hotel Singapore ~ The Crocodile Meat Claypot Rice Is A Must-Try!

I was full of anticipation as my footsteps hurried me towards Summer Palace, Regent Hotel Singapore's award-winning Cantonese restaurant, for their Claypot Indulgence which features a sumptuous selection of 6 claypot rice specials. It's available only for a limited period from 22 Nov 2014 to 31 Jan 2015, so must hurry!

The most unforgettable claypot rice experience I had was at a streetside eatery in Hong Kong, where we scoffed down piping hot rice served in a sizzling claypot at our al fresco table amid the pleasantly chilly year-end weather. My experience at Summer Palace was just as memorable, all thanks to the yummilicious Crocodile Meat Claypot Rice, an adventurous creation by their Executive Chinese Chef Liu Ching Hai, a Hong Kong native.

Being asthmatic when young and having a mum who believes that crocodile meat can somehow alleviate the condition, dishes like herbal crocodile soup or stir-fried crocodile meat with ginger and scallions are not new to me, but I was very eager to try the Crocodile Meat Claypot Rice With Spicy XO Sauce which sounds so appealing.

Texture wise, the slivers of crocodile meat were tender and succulent, not unlike chicken thigh meat. I thought the rice grains were cooked more deliciously soft and moist than usual. Also noteworthy is Summer Palace's housemade XO sauce which brought a hint of addictive spiciness to the whole pot of crocodile meat, rice and shimeiji mushrooms goodness, tying each element beautifully together! This pot of comforting bliss suited my tastebuds exceedingly well!

If your palate is also open to the more unusual meat, Whole Frog with Sausage Claypot Rice would be another exotic creation to try. Yes, frog. The edible breed of course :p

Fans who prefer the traditional, fret not as Chef Liu serves up the perennial favourite Assorted Preserved Meats Claypot Rice (Lap Mei Fan) as well.

The quartet of waxed duck, preserved pork belly, air-dried Chinese pork and liver sausages are what I would call the "4 heavenly kings" of cured meat kingdom, the very epitome of sweet, savory, fatty, fragrant divineness.

All the wonderful flavors are infused into the rice which is simmered to smoky perfection with a beautifully burnt crust. This one-pot wonder just need a touch of soy sauce to enhance the overall taste. Lip-smacking good!

Other specials includes the luscious Preserved Pork Sausage with Sliced Abalone & Chicken Claypot Rice, the "pairing of 2 fishes" Salted Fish & Garoupa Fillet Claypot Rice, as well as a lighter tasting Lobster with Ginger & Onion Claypot Rice, which will certainly appeal to those who love the delicate sweetness of the fresh crustacean.

I'm not complaining that I've to wait 30 minutes before my claypot rice are served, because everyone should know that a good claypot rice needs the rice grain to be slow-cooked from scratch in the claypot together with the rest of the ingredients. This method of preparation traps all the moisture inside and the rice soaks up all the flavors of the ingredients intensely. Though comparatively more laborious, there's no shortcut to this, the superiority in standards is evident in the taste.

While waiting for our claypot rice to be ready, our hosts were wise to start us off with a bowl of clear yet flavorful Double-boiled Bamboo Piths Soup with Morel Mushrooms & Chinese Cabbage to warm up our tummies. Other dishes such as the crowd-pleasing Crispy Fish Skin with Salted Egg Yolk and Stewed Shimeiji Mushrooms with Truffle Sauce also made great accompaniment to our claypot rice meal.

Our lunch was indeed rather heavy, we were stuffed, but we couldn't say no to the Chilled Lemongrass Jelly with Aloe Vera in Lime Juice, ending our claypot indulgence on a refreshing note.

The Claypot Indulgence is available for a limited period from 22 Nov 2014 to 31 Jan 2015.
  • Flavored Assorted Preserved Meat Claypot Rice | $68++ for 2-4 pax
  • Preserved Pork Sausage with Sliced Abalone and Chicken Claypot Rice | $88++ for 2-4 pax
  • Lobster with Ginger and Onion Claypot Rice | $138++ for 2-4 pax
  • Crocodile Meat with Spicy XO Sauce Claypot Rice | $68++ for 2-4 pax
  • Whole Frog with Sausage Claypot Rice | $68++ for 2-4 pax
  • Salted Fish and Garoupa Fillet Claypot Rice | $68++ for 2-4 pax 

Orders for the Assorted Preserved Meats Claypot Rice must be placed at least one day prior to reservation date.

Summer Palace

Address: Level 3, Regent Hotel, 1 Cuscaden Road, Singapore 249715
Contact: +65 6725 3288
Opening Hours: Lunch 12pm-2.30pm (Mon-Sat), 11.30am-2.30pm (Sun) / Dinner 6.30pm-10.30pm (Daily)

Prices are subject to 10% service charge and applicable government taxes.

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