A bold fusion dessert I’d say! Compared to the traditional creme brulee made of custard, this is relatively less sweet and more fragrant. Non fans of pandan wouldn’t quite appreciate this tho! In terms of texture, this was executed perfect - smooth, creamy texture, nicely paired with cracked, caramelised burnt sugar layer. Nothing close to the “wow” effect as the sticky date & longan pudding achieved but a good choice if you don’t have enough stomach space for a heavy dessert!

My preferred choice over chairman’s bubur char char! Think - dense, intense sticky date cake drizzled with Gula Melaka, topped with walnuts and with a dollop of vanilla ice cream - it’s rich and extremely decadent! As with all dishes - this dessert was adorned with gogi berries - which I thought was absolutely unnecessary. I don’t and can’t appreciate gogi - I dug it out and put it aside. Objectively speaking, gogi lovers would probably appreciate the fusion.

Empress’ modern take of the humble barber char char, accompanied with a slightly fancier name to the dessert - this isn’t just any other burburcharchar but one that’s fitting of a Chairman! The husband loved this dessert very much and he wouldn’t stop raving about it. (He too, wouldn’t stop expressing his regrettable short-lived experience savouring his dessert - we started lunch late and the restaurant closes at 3pm! He was left with 15mins, which he deemed ‘too short’, to enjoy his dessert)

Instead of the typical soup-y coconut base, Empress served the coconut in finely shaved ice, somewhat similar to bingo. That melt-in-the-mouth smoothness won the heart of my husband. Dish was also served with yam balls, freshly cut fruits - mango, banana, pomegranate and a dollop of coconut ice cream sitting on a layer of black glutinous rice paste!

Not your typical honeydew sago for sure. The compressed honeydew cubes were a tad more translucent than the honeydew cubes that I usually have at home - absolutely fragrant and sweet. This was a erved with blueberries, strawberries and freeze dried raspberry flakes which were tangy and crunchy. It was a pleasant twist which elevated the traditional honeydew sago dessert. Absolutely love this fusion dessert!

  • 1 Like

Deep fried battered scallops served in egg drop gravy with vermicelli (like mee Sua). The rather decently-sized & freshness of the scallops certainly impressed us. I also appreciate how Empress was generous with the amount of egg in the egg-drop gravy. Spot the chunks of eggs here! (As opposed to thin strips of eggy presence….)

  • 1 Like

These were our choices of mains from the Imperial set lunch menu. We had a choice in the doneness of the beef and decided on medium. It was well executed, but nothing ‘wow’. They were well marinated in black pepper sauce which I thought was very much similar to those that you can find at tze char restaurants. I guess when it comes to beef, I prefer them served in the form of steaks or burgers.

The halibut fillet would be my preferred protein here! I like how I could see whitish fish flakes within. The halibut fillet was definitely fresh - nothing fishy, chewy nor processed in terms of taste.

  • 1 Like

Yet again one of the husband’s favourite. The prawn soup was thiccc, resembling collagen based soups from hotpot restaurants. I preferred this over the double boiled soup in coconut. However, the thicker consistency of the prawn soup also meant that it easily fills up one’s stomach. I wouldn’t be able to clear this off on my own! Seafood lovers would love the huge dumpling that was stuffed generously with seafood/prawn goodness too! Aside from seafood, the soup was also served with chunks of tender. Chicken

  • 1 Like

Soup lovers would enjoy this Chinese-wedding-banquet-ish double boiled soup served in coconut husk. In it were chunks of tender chicken. My husband clearly enjoyed every sip of the double boiled soup. The coconut flesh were infused with the soup. Having been double boiled, the coconut flesh were easily scrapped off the husk. It was light and creamy! Soup was also artistically served with 2 translucent-ish prawns hanging over the husk. My husband calls them the slippery prawns cos they slip out of the chopsticks’ grip rather easily! Eat with care or you’ll find your expensive glass prawns on the ground…

  • 1 Like

First of the Imperial set lunch menu, the dim sum platter came with a slice of Imperial charsiew, roast pork, otah siew mai, seafood & spinach dumpling, salted egg prawn roll & Peking duck. It was a slice of all things great in a platter! The imperial charsiew was thiccc and delivered a great mouthfeel. However, it was lacking in charsiew gravy. I remember having it a la carte - it was way more flavourful with slightly more charsiew gravy. Similar to the roast pork - the a la carte version was served with mustard and it tasted way better! Otah siew mai was a rather creative fusion to the typical pork charsiew. I found it a lil’ too coconut-y tho. Seafood dumpling was generously stuffed, so yumms! The highlights of the platter (in my opinion), would be the peking duck and salted egg prawn roll - rather than the typical popiah roll, Empress version was a prawn based patty coated in salted egg batter. The salted egg - prawn mix was unique and this fusion certainly did impress.

  • 1 Like

Al-dente spaghettini with crab meat and pasta sauce infused with lemongrass! We liked how there’s a refreshing spin to the traditional tomato pasta. Our only gripe was the slightly small-ish portion size and pasta sauce - would have been way more delectable with way more gravy!

  • 1 Like

There wasn’t any mistake. This is indeed braised beef curry from Halia’s brunch menu. I was slightly puzzled when my brunch item was served; totally expecting a bowl of beef curry and sourdough toasts on the side for dipping. Well, in a way, this was a pleasant surprise. I guess I could do with less mess in a beautiful brunch setting. The presentation of this brunch item very much resembled pulled pork benny/ pulled pork on sourdough. This was served with herb yoghurt sauce - which in my view, could have been more generously drizzled. Unfortunately due to the meagre portion, I couldn’t quite taste any herb-y yoghurt. Braised beef was well done - no chewy, overcooked strings of protein (phew!) There weren’t much curry notes and the braised beef curry pretty much tasted like beef rendang instead. The Asian-fusion brunch was topped with pickles and delightful pink bulbs which were tangy and refreshing, cutting through the more heavily flavoured meat in a nice way. Also, a shoutout to the well toasted sough dough which weren’t overly doughy and stretchy! `love it when the knife cuts through the sourdough so easily!

  • 1 Like

$5.20/cup, +1 for oat milk and +$0.50 for iced. This set me back at $6.70, pretty much around the same price as an ice drink from established coffeehouses. It was a relief that the flavoursome drink did justice to the steep price point - imagine rich, matcha notes with a good balance of freshly brewed coffee! I intentionally tasted the coffee (sipping only at the top) and matcha milk (sipping through the straw at the bottom) separately to assess the individual flavours - the matcha was wowww! While the coffee layer was pretty much the same as a typical cold brew. Following a good stir, a dirty green appeared. Each sip was velvety smooth - with coffee, matcha and sweet notes all hitting a right balance! Now, bearing in mind the social cause of Mad Roaster, I would gladly pay for another cup again!

  • 1 Like