Recently, it seemed to me like Majestic Bay Seafood Restaurant has been quite industrious at organising food tasting sessions, as I kept seeing tantalising pictures of interesting dishes on my Instagram by popular bloggers and other key opinion leaders. I must say this was quite successful at having made me curious about the restaurant and keen to try it out.
Located below the Flower Dome, Majestic Bay Seafood Restaurant is situated in the heart of Singapore’s new Gardens by the Bay, amidst a relaxing landscape of greenery and fresh air. It features the usual Chinese stir-fried seafood, meat and vegetable dishes, as well as dim sum created by Guangzhou-born Chef Li Shou Tao who has been making dim sum for over two decades.
According to both Instagram and Hungrygowhere reviewers, Majestic Bay’s Kopi Crab (market price) and Seafood Baked Rice ($68/$88) are its specialty dishes, and so I made a note to order these. Another unusual dish that they have is the Seared Chilli Crab Meat Bun ($4.50 for 3) which I really wanted to try but unfortunately they had ran out of it on that particular day.
We chose to have a combination of those two speciality dishes and some dim sum items for a late Sunday brunch session, namely, the Fresh Prawn Dumpling ($4.80 for 4), Steamed Shanghai Dumpling ($4.20 for 3), Steamed Scallop Rice Rolls ($5.00 for 2 rolls) and the Baked BBQ Pork Buns ($4.20 for 3).
For the steamed items, while I felt that the flavour of all these were commendable – fresh, tasty crunchy prawns and bamboo shoots in the first dish, delicious soup and meat for the second – the skin of these dumplings and rolls somewhat fell short. For such a nice, classy looking restaurant with prices in that category as well, one would expect the skin to be much thinner and far more refined.
The baked pork bun was an interesting take on the usual ‘Char Sau Sou’ and was a refreshing change, but wasn’t particularly impressive either. The meat was sufficiently tasty and the bun was nice but pretty normal.
And I found the speciality dishes, the Kopi Crab and Seafood Baked Rice, to be of a similar fashion. They both had good robust flavours, but I felt that these dishes could have been executed much better.
The general manager whom I had requested for menus from via email was kind enough to prepare an individual portion of the Seafood Baked Rice (in a coconut, at $20) for us, as I had expressed that their usual portions (served in a large paella pan and meant for 4-6 or 6-8 pax) would be too much for my companion and I, as we wanted to try other dishes as well. The restaurant apparently does that upon special request.
And the seafood baked rice, served in a coconut husk, was a rather pretty sight to behold. Well presented with a slightly charred cheesy exterior with some seafood peeking out, it looked like it had much potential indeed. And the flavours were good – the sauce was kind of creamy and enhanced with the taste of curry and delicious baked cheese.
However the bottom of the rice missed out on the goodness of the sauce and hence was a little plain, and the seafood could have been juicier. Perhaps the full portion would have been mixed more thoroughly. They did give a fairly generous portion of seafood though, including scallops, fish, baby abalone, prawns and a mussel.
The idea of baking it in a coconut is quite a nice touch too, as we could scrape the coconut out and eat it with the rice, which actually tasted pretty good. The dish unfortunately got a bit cold though while we grappled with the crab.
And on to the much awaited uniquely Singaporean kopi crab.
And the kopi crab, oh it was a visual and olfactory delight – a sizable crab topped with coffee beans and brown sauce that was set on fire, releasing a pleasing aromatic fragrance. However sad to say the serving staff forgot to stir it (or tell us to do so) after it was lit up, so the crab ended up a little burnt at parts. Also I’m not sure if it was the flambéing or some other reason, but it was really quite difficult to pry the meat off the shell. It unfortunately also got cold very quickly (there was not enough sauce covering it to keep it hot or perhaps the sauce wasn’t hot enough, or maybe because we took too long trying to get the meat out, not really sure why).
However I must say that despite these somewhat unpleasant points, the sauce of the unique Kopi Crab dish was indeed very enjoyable – rich and aromatic with the taste of coffee and some sweetness. The smell will linger on your fingers for some time though, so do beware. I do think that this is an interesting dish that is worth a try, just that it could do with some improvements.
Overall, Majestic Bay Seafood Restaurant for me was a reasonably okay experience, with some good points and some disappointing ones. The speciality dishes are really quite interesting though, if they could just improve on them a little. I believe that there’s good potential there, and hopefully it can be fully realised.
Spent approximately S$60 per pax for this meal.
Majestic Bay Seafood Restaurant
18 Marina Gardens Drive
#01-10 Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay
Tel: 6604 6604