I was frantically searching for a venue for our reunion dinner the week before CNY and was glad when my Dad handed me a flyer from Bottle Tree Park. Luckily, I managed to secure a table for the 4 of us. I didn’t set high expectations before I came as I thought we were lucky enough to find a restaurant that wasn’t full house on CNY eve. In fact, I had eaten at the restaurant before with an ex-boss and wasn’t too impressed with the food they served.
It was a gloomy rainy day when we reached the Bottle Tree Park and was immediately ushered to this extension area/Pavilion where many more tables were. There were already families eating an early reunion dinner (we were there at 5pm).
I really loved the ambience of the entire park as it exuded a rustic charm like we were back to the good old kampong days. And of course, the magnificent tree that looked like a bottle simply added on to the rural beauty. There was also prawn fishing available.
We opted for the 4-persons set menu that consisted of 7 dishes (no dessert). We requested for an add-on of their Cold Platter as well. On the Cold Platter, we got prawn salad with dragon fruit wedges, marinated octopus and smoked duck. For a price of $30, I didn’t think this was a worthwhile dish as the portion wasn’t huge and the food tasted pretty standard. I was hoping to get more of the traditional cold dish items like what we tend to have at Chinese wedding banquets like bak kwa, century egg, hay chor, jellyfish etc.Next came the Lo Hei which wasn’t too bad. Portion was decent and tasted quite good as well. We also had shark’s fin soup (not much of ingredients in it and a tad too starchy), roasted chicken with garlic (meat was too dry but I loved the garlic bits) and crunchy broccoli with fresh scallops.
The best dish would have to be the butter cream lobster. The lobster wasn’t very big in size and it was cut into several parts, deep fried and probably stir fried again with this buttery sauce which was fragrant, creamy and very yummy. As the lobster was deep fried before, it wasn’t difficult to crack the shell as it was quite crispy. Anyway it was a joy to eat with your hands as you’d want to lick away all the cream on the shell surface. Let me have one more please!As for the glutinous rice, I didn’t really appreciate it that much since I’m not really a big fan of glutinous rice anyway. But my husband sure loved it and in fact finished everything that was there.
The Teochew style steamed pomfret was the last dish to arrive but it was a good wait. The soup was naturally sweet without much seasoning required and the pomfret was fresh and not at all fishy.
Just as we were halfway into the meal, it started pouring heavily and even though we were seated under shelter, there were gaps in the shelter cover that didn’t quite block out the rain. Funniest thing was that we started to open our umbrellas and continued eating like normal. The rain didn’t dampen our festive spirit and in fact brought us some laughter. Other tables then followed suit too! Hilarious dinner.