Probably the best Chinese New Year meal I have had in recent times was at Man Fu Yuan, the InterContinental Singapore's Chinese restaurant, where an epic line up of delectable delicacies by Executive Chinese Chef Kwan Yiu Kan ushers in the lunar new year with decadent aplomb. The meal started off with the traditional tossing of the quintessential raw fish salad, Yu Sheng.
Being the lunar year of the monkey, their new Yu Sheng this year is the Yellowtail Yusheng with Crispy Monkey Head Mushrooms, Prosperity Flakes and Peach Dressing ($118). Think of the usual Yu Sheng components with the addition of monkey head mushrooms, which provided some crunch, and a refreshing peach coulis dressing that was frozen using liquid nitrogen before being poured onto the Yu Sheng. Finally, honey gold cornflakes were scattered atop the dish adding an auspicious golden touch.
As an appetiser, a duo of sashimi was served- Australian Lobster and Geoduck Sashimi with Freshly Grated Wasabi and Bonito Shoyu. I loved the sweet, springy flesh of the lobster. On the other hand, the geoduck was a little fishy for my personal liking.
Mooving on, the new dish of Double-boiled Sakura Chicken Soup with Bird's Nest, Fish Maw, Abalone and Black Truffles ($408, serves 5) rocked. In the capable hands of a Cantonese soup master, the rich flavours of the ingredients are gently coaxed out. And this 1.5-hour-double-boiled soup is a very good example. Clean tasting with layers of flavours, this won my heart (and stomachs).
Moore abalone! The Braised Australian Green Lip Abalone and Chinese Mushrooms with Spiky Sea Cucumber and Seasonal Vegetables ($128 per person) was a familiar dish from last year. Boasting a lovely braised flavour, the tender abalone and spiky sea cucumber (think Darth Maul only less evil and more delicious. Moohehe) came doused in a slightly sticky sauce that provided a rich mouthfeel.
A one-pot dish brimming with abundance, the Man Fu Yuan Deluxe Treasures Pot ($388) contained over 18 prized ingredients including whole baby abalones, spiky sea cucumber, Canadian lobster, fish maw, roasted duck, quail, flower mushrooms, pig's trotter, prawns, scallops. goose web and dried oyster! Braised for over 12 hours, this dish offered warmth and soul with its lovely amalgamation of flavours. Spoon the ingredients and that gravy over piping hot rice for an indulgently comforting meal.
With the next dish of Braised South African Abalone and Chicken in Casserole ($198) appearing on the table, it almoost seemed like it's the year of the abalone. Moohehe. This comforting dish was also beckoned for a nice big bowl of rice.
Just when I had confessed my undying love for the king crab, this stunning Barbecued Whole Suckling Pig with Wok-fried Glutinous Rice and Goose Liver Sausage ($388) appeared and tested that love. With its charcoal-roasted bronzed tan, crisp skin and tender meat, it was one
hell heaven of a suckling pig. But wait. There's moore! Underneath the piggy was the moost delicious glutinous rice, imbued with wok hei and the precious fragrant oils of goose liver sausages. The later added wonderfully sweet, floral and earthy notes. Two hooves up! Moohehe.
To round off the meal on a luxurious note, opt for the Double-boiled Superior Bird’s Nest with Julienned Young Coconut ($68). Warm, rich and flavourful, redolent of the natural fragrance of coconut, this dessert will cast the table in silent bliss.
Like an oriental petit fours, we had a sampling of several sweet treats- a moreish Golden Egg Custard Pastry ($38 per takeaway bottle), the Scented Osmanthus Nian Gao with Shandong Premium Red Dates ($38; love the red dates notes!) and the Cream of Almond with Glutinous Rice Dumpling ($8 per person).
Chinese New Year specialties are available from 18 January to 22 February.
Thank you InterContinental Singapore for the invitation.
Man Fu Yuan
Tel: 6820 8519/20
Chew On This: Enjoy 20% off festive takeaways when purchases are made online or with your Citibank credit or debit card at Tea Hut (located at the hotel entrance from Bugis Junction until 5 February, 11am to 8pm).