Triangle: A Second Banquet at Merlion
- David A. Jun 15, 2006 08:59 PM
This weekend I hosted a ten-course banquet for visiting family at Merlion. The kitchen outdid itself. This may have been the single-best meal -- and certainly the best East Asian meal -- I've eaten in the Triangle. All ten dishes were impeccable.
We ordered several of the dishes we enjoyed at the Chowhound banquet earlier this year -- curry fish, fried whole fish, hakka noodles, shrimp-stuffed you tiao, chow fun. We added a fine fried shrimp dish; spicy chicken and basil; stir-fried pea-tips; and best of all a whole roasted duck (served without the house sweet and sour sauce). The duck was flawless: crisp, juicy, burnished. This was one of the best roast ducks I've ever eaten, and I've eaten a lot of them, as it's one of my wife's favorite dishes.
In the past, we've had one or two so-so dishes at Merlion -- the mango chicken, for example -- but when Merlion is on its game it's hard to beat.
I don't know the price, as my father paid. Coming from Boston -- he lives within a few minutes walking distance of China Town -- he was impressed.
I've eaten there twice in the past two weeks. The shrimp stuffed yu tiao, the curry samosas, the hokkien noodles, even the satay, all much better than I would have expected. Do stay away from any of the brown gravy noodles (incredibly salty, missing something?)
Any recommendations from people that like this place?
I've tried India Palace, which tasted good enough at the time, but the main dishes were so sweet (!) I can't imagine going back there.