Posted by: mikeydude | January 4, 2010

Kam’s Palace Fareham Restaurant Review (5.5/10)

At least a pretty building…

This place sits in a special place in my heart because my wedding banquet was held here back in 2007. Although I was rather distracted on the day, I remember them serving up excellent roast duck. However those chefs have long departed, and now it was time to retry their classic cantonese dishes to see how they fare. The exterior of the building has always been a plus point about this place as it really does try to mimic the appearance of an imperial palace! Inside itself it also looks quite glam with multiple chandeliers and even the wedding background at the far end with the ‘double happiness’ sign. Food however lets it down a bit. Here’s my review…

I’ll start with another picture showing you the interior of the place. Nice setting. When we arrived at around 7 ish on a Wednesday evening before New Years the place was virtually empty, but started filling up by the time we left.

Another something to mention was the high prices! In our regular restaurant Panda House and others in Cardiff the average cost of a dish is around £7. Here it looks more like £10!

White rice is charged per portion so we ordered 3 portions for 4 people (not being particularly hungry). Here are the dishes we ordered.

Pei Pa Tofu

This is my favourite tofu dish, consisting of deep fried balls of tofu mixed with small amounts of meat and topped with a nice sauce of some kind which seems to vary from place to place. The coating is supposed to be slightly crispy, which leads us onto this attempt. It looks pretty enough; even throwing in some bak choy. However the tofu just tasted like deep fried standard balls. There wasn’t really much taste in it and there certainly wasn’t any meat inside. It was soggy and the sauce didn’t add anything. At least the tofu wasn’t gone off! Poor effort.

Bitter Melon with Beef strips

This was probably the dish of the evening. I never used to like this bitter chinese vegetable, but over the years I have grown fond of it. Stir fried with garlic, chilli, and marinated beef made an accomplished dish. The bitterness of the vegetable is complimented by the white rice and beef. It also serves as an appetite stimulant for my bowel! A bit stingy on the amount of vegetable though… seemed to have much more beef than anything.

Sweet and Sour Pork Ribs

Yes yes I hear you gasp; even the chinese eat sweet and sour! I have loved sweet and sour pork ribs since I was 6 years old. The dish almost exclusive to oriental cooking serves as a brilliant appetite stimulant and combines heavenly with fatty pork ribs! Deep frying gives the pork a delicious crunch to it as well.

This effort was not bad. The sauce was alright, and the light batter wasn’t too thick killing the dish. The pork wasn’t of the best though, and after a few chews you can taste that it’s been frozen for a while. Nevertheless I still enjoyed it as a childhood classic.

Cantonese Roast Duck

Half a duck. Definitely half the duck in taste compared to the one I had back in 2007! In modern times I compare all chinese roast duck with the excellent Pearl Liang in London. This one could not live up to that and was the same price!. The skin was soggy and the meat was overcooked. The sauce was ok and the meat became much more pleasant when dipped in the sweet plum sauce that comes with it. Edible but no stars here from me.

So… we are talking quality of food and value for money. Well prices are higher than the average chinese restaurant and I don’t think the quality of the food justifies this. It was alright. We all had a great time, but then that wasn’t really due to the food being great. Bottom line: Average food for above average prices.

Contact:

Kam’s Palace
1 Bridge Road
Park Gate
Southampton
SO31 7GD

Tel: 01489 583 328

Opening Hours:
Sunday – Thursday : 12 noon ’til 11pm
Friday and Saturday : 12 noon ’til midnight

http://www.kamspalace.co.uk/

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