This post is about the lunch we had at Marina Bay Sands’ Jin Shan Lou (or literally Golden Mountain Pavilion) on July 17. Venue was chosen by KL who organised the gathering, after securing a room for his parents on the 23rd floor of the MBS hotel.
When I got to within shouting distance of the restaurant, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I must have been misdirected by the hotel staff, I thought. It looked so Japanese, by which I mean I was shocked to see a giant white lantern fronting the entrance.
My goodness! A white lantern for a Chinese restaurant? Don’t the interior decorators or designers know anything about Chinese cultural sensitivities or is it a case of nothing sacred or superstitious any more in this Internet era?
What do white latterns signify for most Chinese? You tell me!
MBS however obviously thinks it’s a feature worth bragging about, as its website highlights Jin Shan’s “uniquely designed lantern pavilions”!
Even KL, a good ole Peranakan boy, said “O yah!”, when i mentioned my uneasiness about the white latterns , but he quickly added “maybe it’s because they’ve been advised to do it for feng shui.”
Indeed, they might have been, because the food is priced to “sha” the average diner not on expense account.
Our average per head spend was $40, without any alcoholic drinks, just one pot of pu er tea. We ate very average dim sum food and Crystal Jade type dishes, with the only extravagance being baby abalone xiaomai, of which we had two servings because each punnet of 3 wasn’t enough to go round for four diners.
The rest as you can see in the pix below are two plates of cheong fun rolls, one stuffed with cha siew and the other with prawns; yeefu noodles (not in pix) and a bowl of deep fried noodles with seafood and spinach cooked with three kinds of eggs. We also had a very small plate of steam yam cake (not in pix) and four wontons served in a glass.
The $ damage might have been even more had we let our natural appetite have full rein and ate with our usual gusto. But by some unspoken understanding, we each showed utmost restraint.
Still for those prices and the touted image that Jin Shan’s food is “fine dining”, I wonder why the guests sitting next to us had to endure a bucket on a towel at one side of their table catching a leak from the ceiling?
Sure, July 17 was also the day when Singapore had another floodful day but one would have thought fine dining restaurants would have a cleverer and more sophisticated way of getting around a leak?