Believe it or not, after working for almost 6 years this is the first Sao Gong Zhao I attended. Although this dinner tradition is usually organized by companies or bosses to reward their staff before the start of Chinese New Year, I had it with some close friends instead.
Extra Super Tanker restaurant was our choice, well known for their creative signature dishes. But also notorious for being inconsistent with their quality. We took a bet I guess. The dinner started off great, the whole Roast Duck @ RM88 was delicious. This popular dish usually requires booking.
If it was RM88 for the duck alone I would have screamed “CRAZY!” But luckily it wasn’t the case. The RM88 also included the Mantao for sandwiching the Roast Duck Skin and a slice of crispy fried pancake. I usually find roast duck pancake very boring after a few but Extra Super Tanker’s (Roasted Duck in “Chinese Sandwich Style”) was really good. Too bad the portion was kind of fixed and had to be divided equally among us because I simply could not keep my hands off them.
Fried Crab Meat with Egg & Pine Nuts @ RM80, which I think is spin off from the sharks fin version you usually find at Chinese wedding dinners. Instead of sharks fin, more chunks of crab meat and pine nuts are used so the dish has a better flavor and texture value, not oily too. Some lettuce leaves are provided to wrap them up but I preferred to have it just as it is. OK OK, I admit I was just being lazy.
I have to say the Claypot Seafood @ RM90 was a fail. All I could remember about it was being gluey, starchy, chewy and a lot of seafood was stuck to the bottom of the claypot. Not to mention it tasted very forgettable as well. Poor thing was the least touched dish that night.
The Fried Crystal Prawn with Soya Sauce was not cheap, RM105 with about 20+ prawns assuming each person had two pieces. I wouldn’t mind paying the exhorbitant price if only prawns were fresh. Sadly it wasn’t the case so this is a minor fail.
After two failed dishes we needed a good one badly to make up the meal experience. Then came the savior – Thousand Layer Crispy Beancurd @ RM52. Imagine my excitement when I read “thousand layer” then only to find out that there are actually only 5 layers in the beancurd.. But as far as beancurd goes for me, this had to take the cake. The layers of flavorful and bouncy minced meat did the trick. Advanced order required for this dish.
Stewed Soft Bone Pork (Sang Kuat) @ RM25 was possibly the most reasonably priced or may I even say cheap dish we had that night. The meat from the soft bones was tender and savory with a hint of spiciness.
Lastly, the bomb of the entire meal – Steamed Soon Hock fish @ RM219, inarguably the priciest fish I ever had. Sadly though, this dish was a major letdown for me. You see, Soon Hock’s soft, flaky and sweet meat is the reason why it is a favorite despite its hefty price tag. True, the fish had a melt-in-your-mouth taste although being slightly overcooked but the flavor was just too superficial. Simply bland.
Overall it was only a so-so meal with the roast duck and beancurd being the two dishes that really stood out and worth trying. Besides that, many dishes that we wanted to order were not available that day for unknown reasons. Maybe because it was a weekday? We might have enjoyed the meal better if the missing dishes were available. For the same amount paid (look bill above) I am pretty sure we could enjoy a better feast at another restaurant.
Damansara Main Branch
48 SS 20/10, Damansara Kim
47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS Co-ordinates: N3 08.097 E101 37.742
Tel: 03-77267768 / 03-77267769
Fax: 03-7726 7782