Friday, January 21, 2011

CNY Delights at Xin Cuisine!

It's the time of the year where turkeys are so last season and where the colour red remains in vogue- Chinese New Year!

Yu Sheng is a firm favourite for many during this festive time. It really is a sort of raw fish salad- shreds of root vegetables, slices of raw fish and assorted condiments and sauces.

For a dramatically exquisite Yu Sheng, check out Xin Cuisine at the Holiday Inn Atrium! This Yu Sheng with Bling ($388) is assembled like no other Yu Sheng I have Xin. Instead of a mound, the shredded vegetables are layered to form an esthetically beautiful pyramid topped with gold flakes- a powerful symbolism of great wealth, beauty and position.

Now presentation aside, how can that warrant $388? And hey, who moved my cheese fish?

Ah that's where this ice sculpture comes into play. Nonono, don't start splashing coloured syrup on it. This, my friends, is no dessert. Slices of fresh sashimi are shaped into flowers and nestled on ice. Salmon! Tuna! Lobster! Sweet prawns! Cobia! Geoduck!

Once all tossed together, this CNY salad was scrumptious! Very well-balanced and refreshing without being overly sweet or heavy on the five spice.

Next up was the Pen Cai! The Imperial Pen Cai is a luxe rendition with whole Australian 3-head abalone, deer tendon, superior shark's fin, fish maw, sea moss, dried oyster, black mushroom, wild bamboo pith, goose web, sea cucumber and Chinese baby cabbage stewed for hours in a superior stock. I especially like the flavourful deer tendon, sweet baby cabbage and tender abalone. This pot with a bowl of rice will be an indulgent meal on its own. No joke.

The earlier photo was a pen cai meant for our tasting purpose. The actual size of the Imperial Pen Cai ($888) meant for 10 people is depicted above (the pot in the foreground). Not cheap but for all that quality premium ingredients, including 10 abalones that each costs $58 on its own, it is a worthwhile indulgence.... should one have the budget.

For something simpler, the Seafood Prosperity Pen Cai ($388 for large; $288 for small) with lobster, abalone, sea whelk, fresh scallops etc is also available.

But wait, there's more!

Takeaway the Imperial Pen Cai in style! It comes with this complementary silk bag completely resplendent in red imperial dragon motifs.

See what I mean? ;P

And since it's going to be the year of the Rabbit, we had a rabbit dim sum....more specifically- a rabbit-shaped dim sum. So cute lah! Encased within tasted like a fresh, meaty prawn stuffing with tiny bits of Chinese parsley.

It's not the year of the Pig but quite hard to say no to roast pork lah. Nice crispy crackling and good portion of meat. Would have preferred a little sweetness in the mustard though. Honey or malt candy perhaps?

Some small nibbles were, for tasting purposes, served in a platter. From left to right: chocolate Champagne glutinous rice ball, radish cake, chrysanthemum nian gao and coconut nian gao.

The chocolate Champagne glutinous rice ball hide a potent punch! Champagne usually has about 12% alcohol but this one had the horsepower of rum or brandy. Moohehe. Don't eat and drive.

As an end to the meal, I particularly like the chrysanthemum nian gao. It was sticky, chewy goodness with a distinct floral chrysanthemum flavour. Nice!

Thanks to Tracy of Holiday Inn Atrium for the invitation and to the staff of Xin Cuisine for their hospitality. Check out Camemberu's take!

*No rabbits were harmed for this blog post.

Xin Cuisine
Level 4
Holiday Inn Atrium
317 Outram Road

Tel: 6731 7173

Chew On This:

There are several private dining rooms available with each named after a certain tea.

And it's not named just for fun hor. Diners can request to have the "room tea" served ($6/person) or opt for the "room tea" of other rooms should they desire. We had the Morning Blossom Pearl Tea. I really like the Bodum-type tea cup which was double-insulated to keep the tea warm longer while being comfortably cool to hold! Swee lah!


jassy said...

nice teapot :) i wish i could like drinking an actual tea. I can only drink iced tea with some actual tea in it :)

have a nice day! :)

The Hungry Cow said...

jassy: In that case, I like drinking actual tea! ;)