One of the good things about being a flogger is that you get the lowdown on all the interesting new restaurants opening in town. Take, for instance, Majestic Restaurant, which Chubby Hubby blogged about recently. He's covered the background of the Majestic Hotel, its restaurant and the history of the chef-owner in great detail, so do give it a read, it's most informative.
The other good thing about being a flogger is that you get to benefit from reading other floggers' opinions and experiences. My sister (who was buying us lunch) said that she had shamelessly ordered many items on the strength of Chubby Hubby's recommendations in his review.
The restaurant is located in the New Majestic Hotel, along Bukit Pasoh Road, which, for those too young to remember, is off Neil Road and Keong Saik Road, close to other yummy eateries like Da Paolo and Restaurant Ember.
The interior of the restaurant is pretty chic, very sleek and modern-looking. We, however, were not sitting in the common area.
We were fortunate enough to get a private room, which unfortunately could have been designed a little bit better. I had my doubts about the lamps, which to my mind resembled underwater mines, and the couch by the wall was too high and offered insufficient leg support.
Majestic offers modern Cantonese food, which is kind of like Chinese with French influence rather than the other way around. Still, it's enough of a reimagining that you can't order food the traditional Chinese way; you have to order individual portions, almost as if you were in a Western restaurant.
We started with an order of Peking Duck served with pan-seared foie gras, paired with a crispy prawn in wasabi dressing that was served with some diced mango and a watermelon medallion ($15). I thought the Peking Duck and foie gras combination was a little overly rich, fairly glistening with oil. The duck wasn't crispy enough, and the foie gras hadn't been sauteed at a high enough heat, as it was a bit too soft and runny. The crispy prawn though, was really delicious. The fried batter crunched in your mouth while the prawn was juicy and piquant with the wasabi sauce, whose pungency was just nicely offset by the fresh fruits.
We also had an order of fried whitebait, which I didn't like so much. Seemed a bit overfried to me; the little fish were so crunchy they felt ossified.
Next we had a soft-shell crab served with a lime sauce. This would have been a very nice dish, but they were a little heavy-handed with the sauce, which was overpoweringly citric.
I really enjoyed the soup. I thought the mini pumpkins were incredibly adorable, and if anyone knows where to get them, let me know! The pumpkins were steamed, which means you could savour the flesh of the pumpkins as you were drinking your soup. The soup itself, I'm pleased to say, was piping hot and remained that way for a long time, and was a rich consomme of prawns, scallops and mushrooms.
We also tried the lamb chop served with carrot cake ($18), which is perhaps the most memorable and winning fusion concept I've ever had. The lamb was amazingly tender, and the carrot cake was thick, gooey and clearly reflected a lot of effort and thought. Again though, they could have been a bit more sparing with the rich, black-pepper sauce.
Compared to everything else we had, the tofu and braised spinach was very simple, but it was a good way to wind down our meal.
The Majestic certainly has a fairly majestic way of presenting the humble mango pudding. An unmoulded, jelly-like pudding floating in a pool of mango juice. It also comes with some helpings of pulut hitam, which isn't really my thing.
The mango sago was a lot more conventional, apart from the liberal sprinkling of gold dust. You generally won't go wrong with mango sago, but the problem with being safe is that it's hard to get anything mind-blowing too.
I still maintain, despite Jireh's protestations to the contrary, that this part of town is a nightmare to find. I don't even know how to drive there, let alone changing lines on the MRT.
Service was pretty excellent though, with waitresses asking if we enjoyed our meal or had anything to suggest to the chef. In fact, the chef, Mr. Yong himself, came out to talk to us and thanked us for coming. Now that's service.
Majestic Restaurant (Modern Cantonese)
31 - 37 Bukit Pasoh Road
Tel: 6511 4718
Overall: Still finding its feet, but looks like it could become the next big thing