Tuesday, June 10, 2008

ENCORE DINNER @ SWANSEA RESTAURANT, JALAN SUARAH, SIBU

Steamed Kim Bak Loh

Having been fairly impressed the first time 'round, thus a quick return for further assessment. Booked ahead and placed an order for Peking duck, which was new introduced on its menu. This time the seating was on the upper floor as there were 10 of us, most of whom haven't dined here before. So it was a sense of déjà vu, as most of the dishes were identical, but with some switchkaroo, like the Peking duck for ginger duck and pumpkin for yam. But that was where the similarities ended...

Eggplant With Minced Pork

... in a sense, it was like entering the twilight zone; when reliving the experience of the previous evening would turn topsy-turvy. The upstairs portion is under the purview of the owners' children, one of whom is a trained Chinese physician, I was told. The operations here was an antithesis of the mom & pop's operation down below; while the old folks quietly hum along like an well oiled machinery, the same can't be said for the children...

Peking Duck

While we all arrived on time and seated, nobody bothered to take our orders for the food or even the drinks. While there was only one person attending to (slow) taking orders, the other waitresses were standing around pretty and clueless. That probably accounted for the reason why our Peking duck arrived not with the crispy skin it is famous for. Also it wasn't served the normal 3 dishes way: skin with the pancake, bones for soup, and meat fried with a vegetable - just skin, meat and pancake. The duck tasted like your normal Cantonese roast duck.

Also the person taking our order didn't have the sense of proportioning; the food that came was the same size as the ones were had for 5 persons the previous night. So each of us had just a sampling of the dishes. The snail pace service didn't encourage us to order more food.

Fried Pumpkin With Salt Egg

The piquant salty taste of the pumpkin sort of alleviated whatever misgivings we had of its clumsy service. The pumpkin was like another fries covered in creamy salted duck egg yolk.

Yam Claypot Rice

If you refer photo of the Yam Rice of the previous post, you'd notice the inconsistency of the rice in its presentation; you'd have thought they have a template for the chefs to follow! This one had a semblance of a fried rice. Thus confirming my suspicion that the rice was fried rather than boiled with the yam.

Fish Maw Soup

The soup is a bit different from the normal clear soup one is used to; this one was milky in color but not creamy in texture. Somehow, it tasted different when, perhaps, it was the same as the normal stuff. You can imagine how a little variation can mess up one's perception of things!

The cost of meal inclusive of a plate of O-Nee (yam paste dessert) and a plate of mixed fruits came to RM170. Pretty decent.

Speaking of desserts, when they came, we asked the waitress to clear the dirty plates and spoons, which they dutifully complied, and then they did nothing else - standing pretty again - expecting us to eat the sticky O-Nee with our hands.

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As the name implies, it's all about nothing! Kongkaying is like grasping in the air - more like hot air with occasional fartulence. Hopefully, something aromatic will come out of it! If not...

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