The decor of this place (Imperial Herbal & Sinchi TCafe, Vivocity #03-08, tel: 6337 0491) was a bit kitschy, with heavy chairs shaped like hands or balls (footballs and basketballs!). I much preferred the muted and classy decor of the previous place at Metropole Hotel.
Non-complimentary starter of fried beancurd with string beans and hae bee hiam (chili with dried shrimps). It was pretty tasty, but I preferred the honey-coated walnuts they used to serve. Oh, the thing about Chinese restaurants is that they typically serve a starter at the table (be it peanuts, or pickles). One might assume that it is complimentary but it usually isn't. This one cost SGD3.
First dish of sauteed egg white wth shredded dried scallop in a noodle basket. One of their signature dishes, I love it. My family always orders it when we eat here. Egg white has to be cooked just right, otherwise it gets stringy and dry. This was delicious, soft and savoury, with the noodle bit providing a crunchy bite. SGD4 each.
Cold cellophane noodles tossed with shredded chicken, julienned cucumber and sesame sauce. I love cold noodles right now. Zaru soba, Hiyashi ramen... bring it on! This one was tasty. They offered black vinegar with it, which added an interesting dimension to this dish. Cellophane noodles are like kway teow, but translucent and with a springy bite. SGD16 per serving.
Cod with lily bulb and black fungus next. Nothing extraordinary. A little sweetish tinge to the fish, which I don't quite like. SGD13 for this.
Lady's tonic soup (SGD8 per bowl). My lovely friend and I shared this one. It had black chicken (wing, I am not fond of wings in soups. Wings should be barbequed!), dried longans and some Chinese herb which I recognise, but can't name. It looks like a root and is good for women. This was quite nice, but I don't like the fact that the bowl was only 3 quarters full (what, did someone take a sip while bringing it to us from the kitchen?).
Generally, I think the standard of food isn't as great as before, but the service was certainly exceptional. When my lovely friend picked up the teapot to refill our cups, one waitress literally ran over from across the restaurant to offer to do it.