Wednesday, May 19

Jin Shan Lou

Hello! (:

I think this temporary break is really doing me some good because I can finally slow down and do things that I enjoy doing such as walking along the streets without feeling guilty and stressed and enjoy a good chat over a meal without feeling like I need to rush home to do stuff. I will cherish every moment of this temporary break from work.

After going through the challenges in the past three months, I feel more appreciative of rest time. To me, 'rest' transcends just mere sleeping or taking a much needed nap; 'rest' is time away from work, time to just let my mind stop working and do nothing. I know some people will frown at the idea of doing nothing but I personally am envious of people who have the luxury of doing nothing because many a time I wish I can do nothing but vegetate but my reality does not afford me such extravagance. Bottom line is that I am really thankful for this brief period of respite and I hope to make full use of it to recharge my tired body and mind! =)

Last weekend, Jeffrey and I went on a little adventure! We took the train and travelled to Marina Sands via the circle line! (: It was our first time commuting via the circle line and we both agreed that it makes travelling in town more convenient! We alighted at the Promenade station and walked all the way to Marina Sands hotel! (: I wished it hadn't rain prior to our walk because the pavements were muddy and wet =(

Anyhow, Marina Sands was pretty crowded that weekend despite the complaints that were made about that place. A couple of weeks prior to the avalanche of complaints, Jeffrey and I actually visited Jin Shan Lou at Marina Sands Hotel because Jeffrey's generous relative was in town so he treated us to a meal.

Jin Shan Lou is one of the few restaurants that are opened for business at the beginning of this month and I was surprised to see quite a number of patrons dining here.

View of Marina Sands Hotel from our table at Jin Shan Lou. The restaurants at the lobby of Marina Sands Hotel adopt an 'open concept' so passers-by can look at diners and whatever they are eating.

We had free flow Chinese tea which costs $1.50 per cup.

The first dish that came was pretty exotic in my opinion - Duck's tongue and jellyfish ($16). I wasn't daring enough to try duck's tongue but Jeffrey said it was pretty tasty! He commented that it tasted like meat. The jellyfish was pretty springy but I would have preferred it if it was covered with a bit more sauce.

Then came the soya sauce chicken (small, $12). It was pretty average but the sauce was good!

I'm not very sure what this vegetable is called in English but it's called 'Dou Miao' in Chinese and it tasted a bit like spinach except that it's harder. I thought that the chef did a great job in stirfrying this dou miao dish (small, $20) because the vegetables retained their crunchiness and the seasoning was just right! (:

This are the condiments of our small pot of soup of the day ($18). I liked our chicken and beancurd skin soup maybe because it tasted like it had the ability to 'pu' (nourish) the body but that's just what I think.

Jeffrey's favourite streaky pork slices ($16). I think these layered pork slices tasted better than they look.

This was, in my opinion, the BEST dish of the meal - beancurd crepe ($16). I think this is the Chinese rendition of crepe because the crepe skin is slightly thicker and dough-ier than the crepe used in western cafes/ restaurants. The beancurd has been deepfried till crispy and it is used as filling, along with cucumber and some other vegetable, for this mindblowing crepe dish. You must remember to dip your crepe into the sweet flour sauce to give it an additional kick. It's really good!

Fried chicken meat/ skin ($8). Frankly, I can't remember what this dish is except that it was completely gone by the end of the meal so it couldn't have been bad.

We ordered a steamed garoupa ($130) and the kind waitress helped to divide our fish into smaller portions for consumption. I never knew that a steamed fish dish could cost so much! Thankfully, the fish was fresh and the dish was well cooked on the whole (: I especially liked the sauce that came with this dish.

Apart from the above featured dishes, we also ordered a plate of seafood noodles ($30, not photographed) to share. I think it's safer to go for their noodles instead of rice because their supposedly cooked rice grains are a tad too hard for our liking. This was pretty shocking because plain rice is the last thing that I would imagine going wrong. Hopefully it was a one-time mistake that will not be repeated in future.

For dessert, we had redbean soup ($5/ bowl) and a plate of fresh fruits ($4.50 for 1 person's portion). I must admit that neither of these were what I wanted but because those that I wanted weren't being offered that day, I'd to settle for redbean soup, which was merely average.

On the whole, I think the quality of food served at Jin Shan Lou is definitely above average but I hope that they can continue to improve so that diners can derive more satisfaction after their meals there.

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