Imperial Treasures At Both Cities


I was supposed to cook the Chinese New Year Reunion dinner this year, however because I had to go on a business trip which concluded on the 4th of Feb, so all plans of a home-cooked dinner were scuttled. This meant dinner at a Chinese Restaurant (non-Chinese Restaurants are not well-known for their Yu Sheng), which I am a little apprehensive because of past experiences.

During this period in Singapore, any reservations made at Chinese restaurants are not guaranteed unless backed up with money. I went with the two big-chain Chinese restaurants in Singapore, namely Crystal Jade and Imperial Treasure. To spare you the details, after a long series of phone calls, I finally decided on Imperial Treasure (Cantonese Cuisine) at Great World City simply because they did not require a $200 deposit; any token amount would do.

I found that the staff at Imperial Treasure (Cantonese Cuisine) were extremely friendly. I felt like they were welcoming an old friend or regular (big-spending) customer (which I’m not) when I went to inspect their set menu (which I tweaked) and pay a token deposit. I left the restaurant pleased as punch.


Fast forward to Chinese New Year’s Eve, dinner was scheduled at 9pm which was fine as it gave mom more time to come over and inspect my apartment. We entered the restaurant which was doing a rather brisk business and were seated in a very pleasant booth facing the main dining area.

Ironically, the Chinese New Year season is traditionally the worst time of the year to have Chinese food in Singapore. The restaurants tend to hire new (and usually inexperienced) staff to make up for the shortfall or worse: a general feeling of ill-will from the cooks who have to miss their holidays (ignoring the fact that they get extra pay).

However, the food at Imperial Treasure was unexpectedly passable. It was not fantastic because most of the courses we had that slightly burnt taste; we suspected that because of the late hour, we were getting what they could scrape off the bottom of the pots. Mom found a hair in the platter of roasted meats which resulted in a complimentary roast goose platter.

I rather enjoyed the service as it was brisk, professional and non-intrusive especially the non-Singaporean (senior) service staff (mostly Shanghainese, I think, judging from their height, complexion and accent). They were fast, friendly and most important of all, empowered to make decisions in making the customers’ dining experience more pleasurable.

Yes, you can tell this shameless blog loves Roast Goose; I should tell you the time when I brought back two Yung Kee roast geese from Hong Kong to Singapore in the morning and ate them all up for lunch and dinner tea, (no sense in letting them hang around for too long). I am partial to most roasted meats. 😛

Anyway, mom was so happy that I was tasked to make reservations for a dinner a week later for our extended family. Find a hair in the roasted meat, you get roast goose, dig a hole perfectly and you get a bigger spade. 🙂


As we didn’t want to have the same menu again, I made reservations at Imperial Treasure (Teochew Cuisine) at Ngee Ann City. This time it was a breeze and they didn’t require a deposit. One minor amusing incident happened which I would like offer as a tip to all service staff: never try to confirm a reservation over the phone when there is a lion dance going on near your phone; all I hear is a very loud albeit festive clanging.

Anyway, there was a slight wait of 10 minutes before we were shown to our tables (there were two: adults and us, the kids). Food was better this time as we got the 8pm time slot and so, I presume, the pots were still full.

Chinese New Year is very similar to the American Thanksgiving (except that we didn’t wear tall hats and funny shoes with buckles) where families get together for a meal. It is hard to find words to express the feeling, but I am sure I speak for everyone when I say that, hot or cold, Roast Goose is very delicious to eat.


Posted on 20th Feb 2008 in Cantonese, Singapore, Teochew


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