Maple Palace

Maple Palace (美宝阁) is the venue for my colleagues's wedding lunch. In fact, both the bride and groom are in the same department as me, which makes this an even more auspicious occasion.

Located at Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, Maple Palace is a bungalow building suited for medium-sized wedding functions. The building itself serves as a nice backdrop for the wedding reception.
Apart from hosting wedding events, Maple Palace is also a Chinese fine dining restaurant. This explains the level of prestige in the interior decor.
Like most wedding course menus, first dish is the Specialty Four Seasons Combination (特色四季盘). Curiously, there are five food items on the platter if you exclude the inedible figurine. The items are: Sliced Pork Ham (猪肉片), Lor Bak (卤肉), Scallops With Minced Meat (肉碎带子), Prawn Salad (鲜虾沙拉), Glass Noodle & Fried Egg (冬粉煎蛋).
Next on the table is the Braised Shark's Fin Soup With Ham & Crab Meat (京烧肘子丝蟹肉翅). In my personal opinion, the use of sharks fin in general does not affect the taste of any shark's fin dish. After all, shark's fin is just made of tasteless cartilage, the similar material which makes bone joints. The flavor of the dish actually comes from other ingredients such as crab, shrimp, eggs and vinegar.
The next dish is a specialty indeed: Roasted Suckling Piglet (港式黄金炭烧乳猪). The skin of the piglet has a nice crisp in the mouth. Together with the flesh, this dish is highly addictive indeed. We must have added several points to our cholesterol index on this dish alone.
For seafood, there is the Steamed Pomfret With Fish Sauce (原味鱼露蒸鲳鱼). For a table of ten, the fish is miserably small. I think we stripped the flesh to the bone within a minute. Nevertheless, the flesh is sweet and tender, hallmark of a nice fresh pomfret.
Another seafood delicacy is the Braised Abalone With Sea Cucumber And Garden Green (碧绿猪婆参烩鲍鱼). Served in a hollowed-up pumpkin, the scallop and sea cucumber are a real treat. There is only a handful of scallops to go around the table, but the sea cucumber and broccoli are sufficient at this stage of the course meal.
Still in the seafood department, we are served with the Crispy Butter Prawns (香脆奶油虾). Alas, the dish leaves a lot to be desired. Firstly, the prawns are not very fresh. You can tell this while removing the shell. If the flesh tends to stick to the shell, the prawn is no longer fresh. The lack of freshness is also obvious to the tongue. In addition, the dish is made too dry to be truly enjoyed.
As we are approaching the end of the course, the second-to-last dish serves as a "filler": Fried Rice Wrapped In Lotus Leaf (飘香荷叶饭). If you have been controlling your pace like me, this dish can still be enjoyed. I love the taste of fragrant rice fried with the sweetness of Chinese sausage (腊肠). Unfortunately, some guests at my table have rested their chopsticks at this point.
Finally, Glutinous Rice Balls In Peanut Soup (花生汤丸) is the dessert for the day. The peanut soup rich and creamy, making it a very satisfying dish. The glutinous rice balls are filled with sweet peanut paste. Because the interior is still warm, the peanut paste oozes out profusely when a rice ball is punctured.
Maple Palace is quite a good Chinese restaurant, even for normal occasions. However as expected, fine-dining does not come cheap. It is not called fine-dining for no reason.

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