Summer Pavilion at The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Lives Up to Its 1 Michelin Star Fame
Summer Pavilion has always been associated with fine Cantonese cuisine. Late last year, it underwent a major makeover. With a new facelift and a revamped menu, it was no wonder Summer Pavilion was awarded 1 Michelin Star in the Singapore Michelin Guide 2016.
The main dining hall used to be an open area. Now, it is surrounded by a modern Chinese garden and a glass pavilion. The interior is elegantly furnished and has a modern feel unlike a typical Chinese restaurant. It can accommodate approximately 120 diners with some specially designed booths for privacy.
Even the cutlery depicts the “new” Summer Pavilion status. They all have eye-pleasing floral motifs and come in various background colours. Although it was full house when we went there for dinner, the restaurant was not noisy. One reason for this is that the spaces in between the tables are set at a distance where it is difficult to eavesdrop.
Executive chef, Cheung Siu Kong who hails from Hong Kong, helms the kitchen. The design of the menu is consistent with the floral theme of the restaurant. There are wide choices with dim sum (available for lunch), a la carte items and also set menus. Prices have also gone up with its new found Michelin star fame.
I always have the bamboo clams with garlic sauce whenever I visit. I ordered this dish again ($15 per piece). It certainly did not disappoint. The garlic sauce was fragrant and it brought out the sweetness of the clam. Some vermicelli was added to make the dish more tasty.
Instead of the peking duck, I opted for the marinated smoked duck, Chinese tea leaves (half $38, whole $76). The duck was well marinated and the meat was soft. I liked the fleshy duck which yielded little fat, and it was a good alternative to the traditional peking duck.
I was a little disappointed with the deep-fried boneless chicken with lemon sauce (small $30, medium $45, large $60). The lemon sauce was a bit too overpowering. In fact the chicken pieces were “swimming” in the lemon sauce. Otherwise, the dish would have been well executed as the chicken pieces were crispy even though they were covered with the sauce.
For a vegetarian dish, I had the braised beancurd, bamboo piths, mushroom, seasonal vegetables (small $28, medium $42, large $56). The beancurd complemented well with the other ingredients. It was a substantial dish on its own.
The last dish was the fried noodles, diced seafood, black pepper sauce (small $32, medium $48, large $64). It was an appealing sight when the dish was presented—strips of fried eggs covered the fried noodles. Although there was no chilli in the noodles, the black pepper sauce gave the dish a kick and it was spicy. It reminded me of the black pepper crabs which I normally eat at the seafood restaurants.
For desserts, I tried the chilled black glutinous rice, mango, coconut ice cream ($12 per person), chilled almond beancurd, fresh strawberries ($12 per person) and steamed sweet dumpling, sesame paste ($1.20 per piece). Of the three desserts, the chilled almond beancurd with fresh strawberries tasted blend and was such a let-down. Adding strawberries to the almond beancurd is a mistake as the fruit does not have a strong taste to bring out the flavour.
The chilled black glutinous rice mixed with mango and coconut ice cream was a winner. It was not too sweet and the bits of mango are not overpowering. The creamy coconut ice cream was light and paired well with the black glutinous rice.
I thought the steamed sweet dumpling with sesame paste was another run of the mill “tang yuen” which you find in most Chinese restaurants. Here, the dumpling stood out for its quality and it was not chewy. Every bite of it was an absolute delight.
Service at the Summer Pavilion was attentive and efficient. The service staff paid great attention to details. When I commented that the almond beancurd was bland, they apologised that the dessert was not up to our expectation and would bring it to the attention of the chef. This is what “good service” should be, and it certainly merits a return visit in the future.
The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore, Level 3
7 Raffles Avenue
Opening Hours: Daily
Lunch: 11.30 m to 2.30 pm (last order 2.15 pm)
Dinner: 6.30 pm to 10.30 pm (last order 10.15 pm)