Friday, March 28, 2014

Cindy's Palace 頭啖湯美食專家 (2nd visit)


BF has been wanting to revisit Cindy's Palace for a while, especially for their special fried rice and herbal soup. Actually on the night we visited Shining Garden, we were going to visit Cindy's but after reading my blog post, the food seemed only average. So, after grabbing a case of dragon fruit (which I love) from T&T a couple of days later, we made our way to Cindy's. My first thoughts were, is the restaurant even open? Why is it empty? Just like our last visit, odd. I assume Cindy's Palace is a lot busier during dim sum like many restaurants. 

After being seated, our waitress was extremely pushy in numerous ways. She kept insisting for us to order a dead rock cod since they "just arrived fresh from the supplier" (after we said no many times), and also rushed us to order before we took a look at the menu. Of course if I was a regular here and knew what I wanted then it would be more than fine, but we are not regulars and did not know what we wanted! After spending literally less than five minutes looking at the menu, she then pushed us to order soup, so we ordered the soups. The soups came out fast and it was annoying having the soups in front of us as we still needed to look at the menu. I hate that feeling of possibly drinking luke warm soup. Fortunately though, the soups stayed hot in the cute individual sized ceramic pots!

To start, the steamed abalone and chicken soup tastes very light and could have tasted more flavourful. There is not much taste and the soup base has more of a pork broth (as well as meat) than chicken, I do like the couple pieces of logan though. This was a recommendation from our waitress and she mentioned the soup has been slow cooked for three hours which I believe.

Next, the steamed ginseng and pearl chicken soup tastes a lot more flavourful. The soup has a tasty ginseng and chicken broth, I definitely recommend ordering this one out of the rest.

When the waitress showed us the live lobster, I believed that it was 2 3/4lb. However, when the cooked lobster arrived, some pieces were missing. The live lobster had one big claw and the other claw was smaller which I paid for when the kitchen weighed it, but what happened to the smaller claw? Should I have asked for that one piece? That one piece was not there after the lobster was cooked and some other pieces seemed to be missing as well. If I was with one of my friends who is a bit more… it is about the principle than me, she would have assembled the lobster together and asked where some of the missing pieces were LOL. For me to do that, I would have to be really annoyed and only inquire if quite a lot of pieces were missing rather than a few like four.

After we asked about the lobster casually rather than as a complaint, the waitress mentioned that this one has only one claw and was not the one she showed us. Umm.. then why even show us the live one? Anyways, the meat kind of sticks to the shell, does not pop out easily and tastes flat rather than bouncy, despite being only slightly overcooked. For the cream and butter sauce, it has a more soupy consistency than creamy and a light taste of cream. Despite not tasting bland which is the worst scenario, it does not taste that great either. I rather stick to the supreme broth since according to my last post, I thought it was average.

Whoa, the fried rice is double the amount compared to our last visit! Unfortunately though, the rice tastes older as well as drier compared to the last visit. Also, the rice only has a hint of dried shrimp and chinese sausage, with no taste of dried scallop. On the last visit, the fried rice tasted amazingly flavourful with a fused taste of dried scallop and shrimp, sausage as well as egg in every bite. If I wanted to be picky, the fried rice also has quite a few patches of white rice.

The crab meat sauce tastes light and not salty or too gooey, and the broccoli tastes fresh as well as perfectly steamed with a nice crunch. As for the egg tofu, the tofu tastes smooth as well as silky and is topped with slices of scallop.

First of all, we go in already wanting fish regardless of pink, white or black as long as it is live. However, if we have an option, I would prefer a white or pink, as well as a larger fish (since the restaurant charges only a $2.00 difference between small, medium and large). Oddly when the tilapia came, it seems like visually, the fish is smaller than medium and is black! So I keep looking at it like I am seeing things, and I turn around and look back, but it is still black. 

After considering that the skin can turn brown after cooking (but never for tilapia), I ask the waitress what the color of the fish is. She said the fish is white, but if that was the case, the tilapia should come out looking clear after it is cooked, not black. When I mention this, she says "all the fish is black and this is the whitest"… but what part of the fish is white?! Only the meat inside! Although in a way it does matter since I frequently have black tilapia, I just do not like feeling "surprised" during dinner because I expected a white fish. If the waitress mentioned that black tilapia was only available, then it would have been fine and she did not need to say "oh wait, I found a clear one in the back". Anyways, the tilapia does not taste overcooked and tastes properly done, with moist meat.

The black sesame tastes like generic powder and is not overly sweet, however, Fortune House's tastes a lot better. For the pudding, the coconut portion has a light but tasty flavour and the mango tastes bland. I appreciate the waitress for giving us both desserts when I asked if we could try the pudding after receiving the black sesame LOL.

TOTAL $116.47 + TIP $5.53 = $122.00.

Overall I tipped 5% to make an even total and because the food as well as service was not that great. LOL I can easily type that sentence but in reality… I felt embarrassed for leaving such a small tip despite being firm on my choice. However, if I was being chased after or questioned, I would have no problem saying everything that I have written in this post. The issue is, Cindy's Palace seems like the restaurant cheaps out on the main ingredients, including the lobster. Even if there was a pimple on the lobster, I still want to see it. We paid for the regular price per pound and not a special price (which is what restaurants offer for damaged seafood such as a missing claw). As for the tilapia… really? Sigh, I can easily accept below average food but when the service is not very honest, then why would I be happy?

- One of the few restaurants that offers herbal soup
- Double checked the bill and was not overcharged this time

- Below average eats except for the tilapia
- Not very straight forward about the food

- First post on Cindy's Palace [HERE]
- During slower days, some restaurants may scheme a little bit here and there, and it adds up. Although I do believe if we came here on a busier day, the food would taste better

Food: 2/5 (steamed tilapia 3/5)
Service: 1.5/5

Cindys Palace 頭啖湯美食專家 on Urbanspoon


  1. Check out one spot soup house for herbal soup! Cindy's isn't even good

    1. I have! Someone on Instagram recommended the place! I liked it

  2. old switcheroo with the seafood!?

    PS. don't feel embarrassed to tip

    1. Yeah… it just feels awkward if there is confrontation LOL. If the waitress wasn't so pushy and was more honest, I would've tipped good even if the lobster was not the same one



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