Tag Archives: Chinese
A few weeks back, I did a feature on the overview of the 21st edition of Singapore Food Festival (SFF) 2014, which is happening from 11 – 20 July. Thanks to the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), I was invited to attend the official launch of the festival which took place at Chinatown Food Street last Friday and caught a glimpse of what the Singapore Chinese Dialect Heritage Feast had to offer.
This event, which saw us being entertained by a “flashmob” of samsui women, policemen in shorts and street hawkers from the olden days, definitely set the tone for an exciting week long of gourmet festivities spanning across our different cultures and heritage, brought together by a common theme of “A Walk Down Memory Lane”.
And a walk down memory lane we certainly did as this heritage feast featured 20 of Singapore’s Chinese dialect dishes that have been lost in translation or just lost over the years as our country evolved and grew increasingly cosmopolitan and westernized. From Traditional Hakka Yong Tow Foo to Abacus Seed and Rickshaw Noodles, we were being transported to the good old days of roadside stalls and pushcart hawkers via our taste buds.
Partnering Health Promotion Board (HPB) for their Healthier Dining Programme, Dian Xiao Er is rolling out a new menu come 18 July 2014, which will feature healthier dining choices, focusing more on nutrition and portion, without compromising on flavour or taste. In addition, informative features such as calorie contribution labels, healthier choices logos and recommended calorie allowances are also tagged to the dishes for consumers to make informed choices when placing their orders.
Not just that, this Chinese restaurant chain is also one of the first in the industry, to switch over to rice bran oil for their cooking. Believed to be high in anti-oxidants, Vitamin E and cholesterol-inhibiting compounds, Rice Bran Oil is one of the healthier cooking oils in the market. The flavour is also rather subtle so you can hardly detect the difference in the food as compared to if regular vegetable oils were used.
Two weeks back, we were given the opportunity to sample some of the dishes that Dian Xiao Er would be introducing in their upcoming menu and here are some of our favourites.
Starting with the soups, the Double-boiled Wintermelon Soup w Conpoy $7.30 and Double-boiled Black Chicken Soup $7.30 were easily the crowd-pleasers with their comforting warmth and herbal-y touch. The Stewed Crocodile Soup w Sweet Almonds & Chuan Bei $7.60 on the other hand, while a bit difficult to get used to at the beginning (especially for foreigners), turned out to be the most nourishing of the lot and is supposedly extremely beneficial for lung problems and joint pains. I was a tad hesitant to take a sip but was glad I did because truth be told, it did not taste anything out of the ordinary. It was just a bowl of really good soup packed with collagen.
Renowned Cantonese restaurant- Hai Tien Lo located at level 3 of Pan Pacific Singapore has recently launched a pretty awesome Weekday Dim Sum Buffet at a very reasonable price of $48++ per pax. Featuring a selection of 35 signature items, including 20 new dim sum creations by Chef Lee Siaw Cheen, this a la carte dim sum lunch buffet, available from Mondays to Fridays, is the reason why 3 hour long lunches are absolutely necessary and legitimate even.
Dim Sum Chef’s Specialty
Deep-fried Yam Paste with Foie-gras, Baked Egg Tart with Swiftlet Nest and White Fungus, Steamed Berkshire Pork Buns, Stir-fried Carrot Cake with Dried Scallops in Chef’s Special Homemade XO Chili Sauce
These 4 items on the menu are the only ones that are limited to one serving per guest. With good reason I guess, because everyone is probably going to just order these signature highlights over and over again once they have had their first bite- which spoils the concept of a buffet when you should be leaving space for variety, instead of focusing on a few items alone. And trust me, many items on the menu are really worth trying.
My absolute favourite of the 4 was actually the Stir-fried Carrot Cake with Dried Scallops- a surprising choice really if you do know me, as Carrot Cake is not usually one of my quintessentials at Dim Sum. Nonetheless, these ones won me over with its chunky bite, alluring fragrance and appetizing wok-hei. Chef’s homemade XO sauce which it was fried in, certainly complimented it beautifully. I truly yearned for a bigger portion of this.
Another one worth mentioning is the Steamed Berkshire Pork Bun which had an ideal proportion of bao to char siu in every bite. Succulent, juicy and sweet, the stickiness of the meat contrasting with the fluffiness of that bun was just plain delicious. If only I could have one whole basket…
Deep-fried Dumplings with Shredded Turnip
Try not to get scalded as you bite into these golden flaky pastries because they come served piping hot! Not to be missed though, these dumplings were truly mouth-watering without being too oily and greasy.
One of Singapore’s oldest seafood restaurants- Red House Seafood Restaurant, is celebrating its 38th anniversary of serving fresh and delicious seafood fare to their customers this year. And in conjunction with the joyous occasion, this family-run restaurant, located in a restored shophouse along Princep Street, has also launched a slew of new creations and two celebratory set dinners which will be available from now till 30 June 2014.
These items, also available on the Red House ala carte menu, are cooked with sustainable seafood flown from Scotland three times a week and caught using environmentally-friendly methods. From Scottish Brown Crabs, Scottish Blue Lobster, Whelks, Megrim Fish and Scottish Oysters, these creations are prepared in ways that allow the natural flavours of the beautiful seafood to shine through.
For executives working around the area, I strongly recommend their affordable set lunch priced at $38++ for 2 persons which features a Dim Sum Basket of their signatures, creamy custard Prawns, a scrumptious Oyster ‘Yuan Yang’ Hor Fun before ending with some oozing soft Durian Mochi- definitely a steal especially for such a prime and convenient location.
While families looking for a special place to celebrate an occasion (Mother’s Day perhaps?) and willing to splurge a little, will not go wrong with the Red House Anniversary 7 Course Set Dinners (Modern/Signatures) at $388++ for 6 persons which includes either a bottle of Champagne, White Wine or 2 Jugs of Tiger Beer.
The starter of the Modern Set Dinner is a Thai-inspired refreshing Chilled Spicy Whelks $35 dish. Tossed with fresh onions, mangoes and a sprinkle of sesame seeds, the sweet and spicy notes of this dish were as vibrant and flavourful as its presentation.
Fans of The Fullerton Hotel’s Jade Restaurant’s A La Carte Dinner Buffet which was first introduced for the month of December last year will be ecstatic to know that it has since been relaunched on 1 April 2014 with new creations by Chef Leong Chee Yeng and his team. Diners can look forward to more than 38 dishes in this refreshed A La Carte Dinner Buffet menu which features old favourites from the previous edition and new exciting ones as well. Available daily from 6.30pm onwards, it is guaranteed to be a culinary journey of gastronomic proportions that will allow you to feast till your hearts are content.
Getting hungry yet?
These are the highlights of the Jade Restaurant A La Carte Buffet which you do not want to miss out on…
From the list of Appetizers, we started with an order of Deep-fried Prawns Coated with Passion Fruit Mayonnaise- new on the menu. Tangy with a fruity finish, these succulent fat prawns were generously smothered with creamy mayo and bursting in sweetness with every bite. Refreshing and delightful, this is highly recommended. For something slightly more conventional, these is also the Deep-fried Prawns Coated with Wasabi Mayonnaise on the menu. Order both if cholesterol levels are not a limiting factor.
One from the previous menu, this Roasted Five-Spice Crispy Pork Belly is a classic and deservingly so. Crackling and fatty, it was hard to resist stopping at one piece. Everyone probably felt the same because no one needed much persuasion before this plate was cleaned out.
Another new item, this Crispy Squid in Seven Spices Fragrant Salt brought back memories of salt & pepper squid which I used to always order at Chinese restaurants in Australia. These did not disappoint by the way. Crunchy and a tad chewy, these crispy squid were great munchies which I think both young and old will enjoy.