Dim sum with the glamour effect is a great way to start off the New Year or any day of the week for that matter. At Crown Princess, the food almost stands up to the decor bling factor.
Entering the massive doors into the Vegas-meets-Versailles dining room seems a little overwhelming in the light of day. When we're shown to our window side table, I wonder what it would be like on a sunny day. There should be way to turn those chandeliers down!
This isn't the ordinary wheel-the-dim-sum-cart-by-a
nd-choose kind of place. You make your order by ticking off the boxes on the dim sum menu, which is excellent for us. After our pretty pot of jasmine tea is placed on the table along with lovely table settings to match, we're ready.
We decide to stick to a couple of sections; traditional dim sum and some fried dishes. Zen dumplings ($4.30) are beautiful little boats with coriander infused tofu and miniature Enoki mushrooms. The chicken ginger buns ($4.30) have a little bit of sweetness to the gingery spice and they're as light as air. Sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves ($5.30) tastes good, but The Buddha's Delight is somewhat disappointing for us Buddha wannabe's. Earthy, chewy, sticks of cooked turnip, taro and some other substance look intriguing, but they're not the enlightenment on the palate I expect at all.
The Goose Liver-Caviar dumplings sui mai ($6.30) finally arrive. I hope to be sent me into the bling-o-sphere of taste, but the everydayness of the pork dumpling mixture topped with the primo ingredients takes away from the Vegas-Versailles factor.
The trio of deep fried Shrimp (($6.30) are freshly sweet and brilliantly crispy. Pork ribs ($3.10) look a little forlorn and really like some scraps of bone and fat, with some black beans scattered on top. The broth they arrive in is tasty but it's really about making the food look fabulous isn't it? At least the dishes that look perfect very nearly are.
Dessert is simple and elegant. Chrysanthemum-Lychee cakes ($3.30) are, in reality, a trio of flower shaped jellies. Pretty, delicate, floral and fruity, they're a sweet finishing touch.
Price: $50. For 2 w/tax and tip for dim sum and tea.
Atmosphere: Dripping old school glam
Wheelchair Access: Yes
Surprise, Surprise: Quite reasonable despite the over-the-top decor.
FIVE STARS: (Extraordinary) A one-of-a-kind, world-class experience.
FOUR STARS: (Excellent) Superior. Memorable, high-quality menus and/or savvy service.
THREE STARS: (Good) Solid places that beckon with generally appealing cooking.
TWO STAR: (Fair) Just OK. A place not worth rushing back to. But, it might have something worth recommending.
ONE STAR: (Poor) Below-average restaurant.
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