Famous Treasure – A Gem in the Capitol
Recently we were afforded the chance to sample Famous Treasure, a classy restaurant specializing in Nanyang cuisine – Chinese food of Teochew, Hokkien and Cantonese origins with influences from around South East Asia. Located on the second floor of Capitol Piazza, the restaurant was easily accessible and unmissable as it is situated at the top of the escalators. The restaurant was a little quiet when we arrived slightly before 7pm on a Tuesday night, but as the night went on it started to get more crowded.
We were given a chance to sample a total of five dishes and two desserts. According to the menu, the dishes sampled were the Deep Fried Pork Belly with Fermented Beancurd ($25 for a small portion), Wok-fried Prawn in Spring Onion Sauce ($42), Stewed Tianjin Cabbage with Yunnan Ham and Dried Conpoy ($38), Signature Steamed Fish with Preserved Vegetables (seasonal, various fish available but we plumped for the Grouper), and Braised Lobster Rice Vermicelli with Leek in Superior Broth (seasonal price). The desserts sampled were the Teochew Yam Paste with Gingko Nut and Pumpkin ($12), and Chilled Empress Cocktail Jelly ($10). I would definitely have been a bit more adventurous to try the more uncommon dishes on the menu if it was just my wife and I, but we had to consider the younglings this time.
First to arrive was the Pork Belly. The dish was light and crispy, with the meat retaining its juiciness and not overcooked nor too oily. It was accompanied by whole cloves of garlic and a green sauce (whose name eludes me). The sauce was slightly spicy and tangy and was a great accompaniment to the pork. I loved it!
We then sampled the Prawns, which came served in what appeared to be a basket of fried yam. The prawns were large and fresh, as well as springy and firm in our mouths. I was generally satisfied with it, though my wife commented that the sauce was slightly lacking in taste for her liking.
The Cabbage, Fish and Vermicelli then came out in quick succession. We were a little intimidated by the amount as the servings were generous and we only had two adults and two picky kindergarteners! Thankfully though …
My elder daughter V (age 3) polished off three bowls of bee hoon and a copious amount of fish on her own. Even though it was a small plastic children’s bowl provided by the restaurant, it was rare to see her eat with such gusto. Unfortunately (or fortunately!), she wasn’t too keen on trying the accompanying lobster, so my wife and I happily split it between us. She also had a full bowl of the accompanying broth, showing that it was indeed … superior. (OK, I’ll see myself out now)
Fish came on a large plate swimming in sauce and was accompanied by fresh chilli, vinegar laced with some alcohol and peanuts. There was no hint of fishiness in the dish, and it was not overcooked as well, and the four of us were soon picking the bones clean. The vinegar too was excellent, and I found myself dipping pretty much all my food into it for the rest of the night.
Finally, the Cabbage, the safest choice. It feels like you can’t really go wrong with this dish, and it didn’t disappoint, but I don’t remember eating any dried scallops. Maybe my wife pinched it all?
Dessert was then served when we were close to bursting. The Jelly was nice and refreshing, and somehow cajoled me into almost finishing the rest of the orh nee (about three-quarters of the bowl) which my wife said she was too full for. And without skipping a beat she finished the half bowl of the Jelly which I agreed to trade. I thought she was too full?
Finally, a word has to be said about the Peking Duck ($98). A number of tables ordered this dish and it was being prepared at the table behind us. It smelled absolutely glorious and my wife was shooting covetous glances at the table all night. Based on that alone, why not give it a shot?
Anyway, I would definitely recommend giving this restaurant a try, even if it may be a bit pricey for families who intend to bring young children along. The restaurant clearly caters to a slightly more upmarket crowd than my humble family. That being said, I think the kids had a ball of a time. The portions were generous and I also noticed lots of alcohol at the bar. (According to their menu, regular wine and whiskey pairings seems to be a thing there!). This restaurant would be great for a birthday celebration or family gathering where there is an opportunity to splash the cash, or for bringing corporate clients or guests for a night of fine wining and dining without busting the budget.