It takes a truly exceptional establishment to stand the test of time – ten years to be exact, for Majestic Restaurant. The restaurant opened in the New Majestic Hotel back in 2006 and it has become something of an institution for modern Cantonese cuisine. “Majestic Restaurant was a success from the beginning. And it was perfect timing too. Back in the day, there were not that many contemporary Chinese dining concepts in the market,” shares chef owner Yong Bing Ngen.
But with the closure of New Majestic Hotel last year, the namesake restaurant had to find a new location. It wasn’t long before they settled on Marina One, a mixed-use development- not only does it sit on an interchange with four train lines, it also houses some big-named companies like Facebook and Prudential. As of 26 January 2018, the restaurant is officially opened for business.
Occupying a glass “bubble” on the fourth floor and with floor-to-ceiling windows that looks out to an oasis of man-made greenery, the 88-seater offers two private rooms. Most regulars will also recognise the New Majestic Hotel signboard hanging upfront – it’s one of the few nostalgic artifacts that Yong has brought along from the previous premises. “There’s a history to our restaurant and we wanted to bring the history over… so people would remember,” says Yong.
At Majestic Restaurant version 2.0, dim sum is a major focus. And true to chef Yong’s creative culinary style, each steaming basket brings dumplings with a twist: translucent “crystal-skin” sacs are filled with foie gras pate and minced mushrooms ($6.80 for 3 pieces); green spinach-infused wrappers are folded around nuggets of scallop, prawn and sweet corn ($6.80 for 3 pieces); and a fist-sized lobster dumpling is served in what tastes like a classic French bisque soup ($9.80 per serving).
Other highlights include a riff on the chee cheong fun where steamed brown rice flour rolls are stuffed with crispy, deep-fried Vietnamese skin and prawn filling — the rolls are then drizzled over with bright green Hakka lei cha (thunder tea rice) sauce, a reference to Yong’s Hakka roots. For the younger crowd, he’s also introduced an ultra-flakey pastry packed with oozy cheese and mushroom filling ($4.80 for 2 pieces).
One of the new dishes on the a la carte menu is the Black Truffle with Crabmeat and Egg White Fried Rice ($20), a medley of grains perfumed with the intoxicating scent of black truffles.
Making use of the distinctive hybrid duck from Silver Hill Farm, which is known for its succulent and tender meat, Yong puts a new twist on the classic Peking duck by serving it with rose-infused pink pancakes, scallion, and cucumber ($48 half, $88 whole) – definitely an Instagram worthy picture.
What’s great about this new location is the view. When it started pouring, I watched rivulets of rain run down glass windows while slurping up a piping hot bowl of sweater-weather appropriate noodles, Stewed “Mee Sua” with Baby Abalone, Vegetable and Crab Roe Gravy ($22). This is one of the good ol’ favourites and classic signature of the restaurant. If you don’t eat it straightaway, the rice vermicelli soaks up even more savoury crab roe-rich stock, and the combination is vaguely similar to a creamy carbonara.
Regulars need not worry as eighty percent of the menu will be devoted to signatures and good ol’ favourites like the Claypot Rice with Kampong Chicken, Yellow Ginger, and Garlic ($38-$58).
One such regular favourite that diners can look forward to is the Crispy King of Durian with Maple Syrup, which does not actually contain ice cream but the frozen flesh of rich and pungent durian encased in the crispiest of skins (watch video above to hear the crunch). Not too fond of durian? The light Double-Boiled Tianjin Pear with Honey Pomelo Citrus ($8.80) makes a refreshing end to the meal.
5 Straits View, #04-01 Marina One, The Heart (East Tower), Singapore 018935. Tel: +65 6250 1988