Imperial Herbal @ Vivocity

Imperial Herbal - Egg White & Scallops.jpg
Imperial Herbal is one of my mum's favourite restaurants. It used to be located at Metropole Hotel and was usually packed. It has since shifted to Vivocity and has expanded its dining capacity. Its got a pretty nice view of Sentosa however, you have to be seated in the dining hall to enjoy it. This is because the private rooms are located away from the windows. As Hinata noted during a makanouting, the decor is tacky and it has lost alot of its charm because the front of the premises is occupied by SinChi TCafe, which has plush seats shaped like brightly coloured palms making an OK sign! Decor aside, the food is still as good as at the old location.

No visit to this restaurant is ever complete without having the "Fu Rong" Fluffy Egg White with Dried Scallop, Polygonatum & Ladybell Root. All of us absolutely dig this dish! The egg whites are light and fluffy yet delicately flavoured with a sprinkling of dried scallop bits. I also love the crispy basket of fried potato strips. Its a wonderful combination! This is definitely a MUST-TRY! I was told that Ladybell Root is good for countering "heatiness". Polygonatum is apparently supposed to be good for the brain and helps to counter stress. Sounds like a herb I need. The names of all the dishes and herbs here are a real mouthful. Even after reading the menu, I often do not know what they're referring to. We usually leave the ordering in the good hands of my mum (who is our "family herbalist") and the manager.
Upon the manager's recommendation, we had a steamed Herbal Chicken Soup. I got lost with all the Chinese names of herbs flying over my head, it was Greek to me! Whatever its made with, this soup is pretty darn good and made me feel healthier already. Hee hee! Ok, so its purely psychological but it feels good to be consuming a meal that's made with all kinds of herbs that are good for you in some way or another, right?
All of us love the Steamed Cod in some kinda herbal sauce. Though the sauce tastes a little sweet, its not overwhelmingly so and is actually quite a palate-pleaser. I love the texture of the tender and smooth cod, especially when smothered with the sauce.

I also love this dish of Seaweed-topped Tofu with Nameko Mushrooms and another herbal sauce of sorts. Though seaweed-topped tofu is fairly common in most Chinese restaurants these days, this dish is different in that it contains the goodness of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Don't ask me what herbs are in it because the only herbs I can identify and name correctly are Ginseng and Wolfberries. That they also happen to be my favourite herbs is but a tiny detail. :)

Speaking of wolfberries, I love this dish of Chinese Spinach cooked with Tau Kee & Wolfberries in stock. The Tau Kee oozes with the tasty goodness of the herbal stock and spinach is well, spinach. :)

Finally, it was time for dessert and the all-time favourite is the "Double Candied Fritters", which is essentially steamed Yam and Sweet Potato Cubes topped with Warm Maltose Candy. This dish is great fun because we have to quickly dunk each cube of yam and sweet potato into bowls of iced water before the maltose candy cools and hardens.

The manager usually helps us out because if the cubes are not separated on time, they will be stuck fast as a huge candied mass. Breaking the mass is not ideal because its too messy. The ideal scenario is for each cube to be intact yet covered with a crunchy coat of maltose candy. Each bite yields a slightly sweet and warm fluffy morsel of yam or sweet potato. Its also not a good idea to leave the cubes soaking in the ice water because it would cool the warm centres too much thereby making it less fluffy. This is definitely a MUST-TRY!

Imperial Herbal & Sinchi TCafe 1 HarbourFront Walk, #03-08 VivoCity, Tel: 6337-0491

Operating hours: 11.30am to 2.30pm & 6.30 to 10.30pm (Daily)