SG50 Nostalgic Feast Menu @ Jade Restaurant, The Fullerton Hotel

In celebration of Singapore’s golden jubilee, Master Chef Leong Chee Yeng of The Fullerton Hotel’s Jade Restaurant is introducing his SG50 Nostalgic Feast Menu inspired by traditional Cantonese dishes from the 1970s and 80s. Curated in partnership with Wong Ah Yoke, the highly regarded restaurant reviewer and food critic at The Straits Times, expect nothing less than a meal fit for a king.

Resonating modern oriental encapsulated in a seemingly westernized architecture, the Jade creates culinary art pieces that the imperial royalties would assent with one another. Think Jade and immediately one travels back in time to ancient China. In parallel fashion, Master Chef Leong’s Nostalgic Feast Menu aims to bring you back in time and captures classic, rustic flavours through homespun tastes.

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The Nostalgic Feast Menu started off with an elaborate Combination of Lobster Platter, which was a curious amalgam of lobster fruit salad, traditional fried prawn roll (or more well known as “hei zhor” in dialect), fried crab with eggs, spring rolls, and fried pork rib with garlic and red fermented bean. I was never a fan of fried stuff but trust me when I tell you that the traditional fried prawn roll and fried pork rib stole my heart and well, stomach too. The fanciful presentation certainly lived up to expectations. The traditional fried prawn roll was packed plumped generous with fresh shrimps and the right proportion of minced pork fats, while the fried pork rib was insanely tender and well-marinated.

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Garnished with duck slices, the Double-Boiled Winter Melon Soup was an extravagant rendition of what mommies would boil for the family on a warm day to rid of heatiness, and included bountiful ingredients ranging from mushrooms, scallops, crab meat, and fish maw. The Nostalgic Steamed “Badin Fish” with Special Sauce was presented with a hand crafted carrot fish net and unfortunately, still had a tinge of muddiness which did not quite agree with my tastebuds. The special sauce concoction was a little heavy on bean paste and garlic, and did not quite accentuate the flavours of the badin fish.

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The Crispy Yam Ring with Kung Pao Chicken and Cashew Nuts was a beautiful art piece which Chef Leong skillfully took fifteen minutes to craft. And we could not bear to destroy this beauty. While a regular Kung Pao is a spicy stir-fry dish, Chef Leong created a milder nest of sweet and nutty flavours served with a mixture of celery greens and capsicum.

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Interestingly, the Roast Chicken was served with keropok – a childhood snack many are familiar with. While I would say the visuals for this dish caught me a little off-guard, the chicken was nicely salt roasted with its juices well encapsulated within the shreds of meat. The skin, I have to commend, was crisp and broke up without hesitation when I chewed into it. I loved how the dish could be eaten without the aid of any sauces, with its flavour sufficient to hold its own.

The Arhat’s Feast for Vegetarians was a simple, homely dish of stir-fry greens, and was not much to shout about. The Pan-Fried King Prawns in Special Sauce was one of my favourites for the night. This dish packed a punch, and was an alluring savoury combination of luscious prawns marinated with salt and dark soya sauce then seared in a wok with coats of chinese barbeque sauce, tomato ketchup and sesame oil. We thoroughly enjoyed this dish and although Chef Leong claims this to be a simple recipe, I highly suspect that more work goes into this dish than it meets the eyes.

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The Chinese Eight Treasures Duck was a foodie’s dreams come true with eight gastronomic fillings sewn into the insides of a duck. Think dry scallop, salted egg yok, mushroom, lotus seeds, ginkgo, chinese sausage, roast pork and glutinous rice. The duck was plump and tender, tearing away easily as I pulled the meat apart easily with my utensils.

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What I genuinely look forward to when it comes to set menus and course meals are the desserts. Good desserts leave everyone tummy-rubbing satisfied, and this was what Chef Leong definitely achieved. With a mixed dessert platter of Pan-Fried Red Bean Cake, Chinese Sugar Egg Puff, Steamed Layered Cake with Salted Egg and Nuts, and Fried Dumpling with Red Bean & Banana served alongside with Braised Bird’s Nest, my favourite was the Chinese Sugar Egg Puff. I shall not even try to draw the Chinese Sugar Egg Puff parallel to an English donut; it may resemble a donut – a glorious golden-brown goodness of flour puff, dusted lightly with sugar coating on the outside, but the texture of the Chinese Sugar Egg Puff was slightly chewier, stickier, with a stronger flavour note of egg yolks. Served warm, it was extremely delectable and a delight to have at the end of the Nostalgic Feast. I guess this was what they meant when they say to save the best for last.

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The Nostalgic Feast Menu is available from 4 June to 31 July 2015 as dinner set menus. Prices are $125++ per person for a party of 6 pax and more (prior day reservation is required), and $85++ per person for a party of 2 to 5 pax.

The Fullerton Hotel Singapore
Ground Floor
1 Fullerton Square
Singapore 049178

Opening hrs:
11:30am – 2:30pm
6:30pm – 11pm

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Words and Photography by Rachel Goh (@grxrachel)
The writer is an adrenaline junkie and enjoys travelling around the world for new sights, sounds and tastes.

Singapore

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