Not so recently, I had the pleasure of attending a Mid-Autumn Media Dinner at Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant located in Sheraton Towers. Haunted by the idea that the dinner would turn out to be a non-stop tekan session of Moon Cake chow down, made possible only by the interspersed sips of free-flow tea in between, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the PR team at Sheraton Towers had actually organised an elaborate dinner feast which would then be drawn to a close with moon cakes as desserts.
Entering one of the private dining rooms of Li Bai, I was intimidated by the restaurant's imposing opulence. Regal aesthetics surround the space and the room was bathed in the reflection of rich tones of gold and silver. I kept my cool, unfettered, spurred on by the warm greetings of my fellow bloggers present at the scene.
We kicked off the night with Deluxe Combination, comprising a twin set of deep fried salted crab claw and scallop with black truffle. The dish was presented with an elegant, meticulous touch; it's immaculate nature going hand in hand with the aesthetics of our surroundings which provoked an emotional response that the dish was to be eaten slowly, appreciatively. I adored the latter of the pair, the juxtaposition of earth to sea flavors; deliberate and extremely intriguing. The crab claw was a tad too salty for me, weaning off the sweetness of the crab meat.
What followed was the Braised Thick Soup of Bird's Nest with Homemade "Pi Pa" Beancurd. With the use of bird's nest being a alternative to shark's fin, I love the social conscious efforts on the restaurant's part. The soup was warm and comforting, every spoonful draped with the richness of the bird nest's which helped to provide that bit of gelatinous texture.
As the compulsory vegetable dish on a chinese menu, we were served a Braised Assorted Vegetables with Bird's Nest. Despite it's simple constitution as medley of vegetables, presentation was tight once more. The crisp vegetables offering our palates a cool refreshing respite, however, I didn't quite make out the birds nest within the dish, what a shame.. perhaps such a luxury item should be better showcased as the highlight of a dish, instead of lack luster efforts to incorporate it into savoury dishes.
the limelight fell mostly on the Baked Fillet of "Kurobuta" in capsicum, each sliver of kurobuta pork, tender, juicy and lined with an unctuous layer of fat.
Visually impressive, our last dish of Crispy Noodles Rolled with Lobster was a hard one to capture given the lobster's long pair of feelers being a chore to fit in the frame. That, eventually came back to bite us the ass, threatening to stab us in the eyes as we leaned over to feast on the dish. In my humble opinion, I found the ratio of crispy noodles to be a tad overwhelming in comparison to the lobster flesh. The sweet tenderness of the crustacean muted and possibly murdered by it's time in the fryer.
Desserts were the representative Snow Skin Moon Cakes from Sheraton Towers current line up. There was the Mini White Lotus Seed Paste with Champagne Truffle, Mini White Lotus Seed Paste with Cranberry and Chrystanthemum Truffle and the Mini Green Tea White Lotus Seed Paste with Raspberry Rum Truffle. I loved the latter the most, the white lotus seed paste carrying the heady aroma of infused green tea. One thing's for sure, the folks over at Sheraton Towers are definitely generous with their alcohol, the rum truffled centers each carrying lethal doses of alcohol that sure brought a devilish smile to my face.
We were each presented with a box of moon cakes on our way out. A lovely gift which I so deftly devoured through the following week.
Thanks to Sheraton Towers for the invite.
Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant
Sheraton Towers Hotel
39 Scotts Road
Tel: 6839 5623
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