Just the other day, my pal was sharing what he had for lunch, “Oh, not a lot lah. Just simple shark’s fin, bird nest and abalone.”
Fortunately, he did not say he had bird’s nest to rinse his mouth. It turned out he was having an “abalone three treasure meal” at Ah Yat Tian Xia (阿一天下) which offered all three delicacies of braised shark’s fin, superior bird nest and abalone rice for a reasonable price of $29.80. Good deal.
Another promotion was the Baked Whole Abalone with Fried Rice at $16.80 with the second portion (you could choose Abalone Rice with fresh Mushroom Sauce or Superior Soya Sauce) at $5.00. Equally good deal.
Unlike the other Ah Yats, this branch served food that could appeal more to the executives and younger customers, such as abalone kebabs, ramen with abalone, abalone with pork chop and abalone dim sum. Hopefully this would not be the case of another Bird’s Nest Cafe.
The abalone ironically served more as an enhancer rather than the main essence. Added to the usual familiar dishes, the abalone seemed a little out of place and was nothing more than a subject of interest. It was a ‘by the way the abalone was there’.
With that said, the Baked Rice was warm with thick sauce jacking around the flavourful rice. Unless most other baked rice which would be dried out due to the heat, this had a ‘mui fan’ feel which would satisfy those who liked their rice moist and soggy.
Strange that the pork chop rice was kind of the opposite – it was dehydrated and plain. The fried meat and mushroom accompaniments were decent though, and more oyster and mushroom sauce to supplement should do the trick.
Even though the restaurant used baby abalones, and there were complains the food tasted instant, Ah Yat still delivered quality food that was value for money. Abalone for less than $20 – where to find?
Ah Yat Abalone, #05-34 Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road, Tel: 6884 9979
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm Daily
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