Dinner at Jin Shan Lou, Marina Bay Sands Hotel Singapore

Friday, November 5, 2010

Jin Shan Lou
10 Bayfront Avenue Lobby Level, Tower 2
Marina Bay Sands Hotel Singapore
Tel: +65 6688 7733

Food (4.0/5.0)
Service (3.9/5.0)

Places and things in Singapore tend to pop up like mushrooms and then disappear--case in point, I always feel like a virtual tourist when I'm back because I'm at a loss as to what's new or interesting and have to rely on trusty word-of-mouth.

When I was just back in September, I finally got a chance to view the architectural feat that is the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore's latest integrated resort casino and currently, billed as the world's most expensive hotel. Even from a distance, she strikes an imposing figure: 3 massive 55-storey towers connected at the top with a 1 hectare sky terrace (that means four and a half A380 Jumbo Jets, 12,400 square meters of space, and 3900 people). Of special mention is of course the skypark's infinity pool, which provides access to privileged views of our country's waterfront (it is also currently, the world's longest extended pool).

While I wasn't able to swim there, I visited MBS for some food. I would be treated to Jin Shan for fine "
Cantonese, Hunan and Szechuan" food and after that, my relatives would adjourn to the casino for productive math classes involving some probability and a whole lot of luck. As I was still full from lunch, I ate conservatively. Overall, the food was good but not particularly worth it (~SGD 400/USD 270 for 3 people?). I'll be happier stuffing my face with cheap and good eats around me, so this time, we paid more for the ambiance. Thankfully, the casino paid for our meals as we went home with a net profit! 

My evening started with a stroll from the MRT subway stop

...up ramps and a bridge composing of many helical and arching lines.... I was as shutter-happy as tourists around me.

The whole time, I was fantasizing about the stellar views of the MBS infinity pool, 200 m above the 3 hotel towers. Photo credit: grind365

But you know what, free and breath-taking views of the setting sun amidst the iconic Singaporean skyline ain't that bad either.
Finally at the restaurant, I settled in and ordered a Pig stomach soup. Before you mentally retch, offal is the best when prepared right. Pig stomach and ribs were slow-boiled, nice and tender in a clear broth. This very moisturizing broth soothed my parched throat in preparation for karaoke with some friends later that night.
Non-greasy, crispy and crackling roasted pork belly. Simple in it's entirety, untainted by sauce. 6 tiny bites of perfection.
I made it a point to try my FAVORITE salted-egg-yolk-prawns (shrimp) at Every Chinese Restaurant I was in. Creamy, salted yolks coated each bouncy shrimp with just the right amount of sweet-umami-ness! My cholesterol may have been through the roof but I was otherwise very satisfied.
In house special: sea cucumber (middle) with fish and brocolli. JSL does not post their menus online so you are left to my failing memory as to what I had in detail. My aunt, a traditional and picky eater, RECOILED at the sight of the sea cucumber, so I ended up with 2 to finish (lol her expression was Mastercard Priceless). Appearances aside, it had a bouncy texture and neutral flavor which went well with the oyster sauce. 
Steamed fish! Too expensive! We spent $88 (?) on this medium sized fish and while it was good, it was definitely not worth it. fml. 
My chilled mango-sago and pomelo dessert. Very tangy and refreshing!
Crystal red bean balls. Very chewy, gourmet red bean paste was smooth and fragrant. 
As a breather, I continued my way and got a glimpse of the endless construction projects that make Singapore dynamic and evolve.  
More waterfront views. 


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