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Mooncakes hold a special place in the hearts of many Chinese; it’s a symbol of the celebration of mid-autumn and, when given as a gift, is often seen as a symbol of togetherness.

To celebrate Mid-Autumn, Mandarin Orchard Singapore has unveiled an exquisite selection of mooncakes in an equally exquisite brand new packaging. Both baked and frosted-skin collections are available for people of different preferences too.

What’s nice about the packaging is that each baked mooncake is presented in a custom-designed carrier featuring the hotel’s iconic lattice pattern, accentuated by a motif of peony flowers in a red foil stamping. Adding an auspicious touch as well is a decorative Chinese knot with a tassel, finished in a vibrant red to complement the already exquisite box.

This year’s features include the limited edition Mini Baked Mooncakes made with premium ingredients. Two flavours include the Cempedak with White Lotus Paste and the Japanese Yuzu and Pistachio with Black Sesame Paste, which is made with a gold-dusted charcoal skin.

Another is the return of their signature baked mooncake with Mixed Nuts with Jamón Iberico (a type of cured ham; not shown here), which melds both sweetness and savouriness in every bite. Legit favourite there.

While I will never understand why people prefer snow skin mooncakes (heck yeah baked ftw), there are also snow skin favourites like the Lychee Martini and Chocolate, and Red Wine Cranberry Paste with Japanese Yuzu and Lemongrass. These delicately handmade and refreshingly innovative mooncakes are filled with creamy decadence, and will make you go all Crazy Rich Asian and channel your inner Eleanor Sung-Young!

Of course no Mid-autumn collection is complete without the time-honoured classic selection of baked mooncakes, like the Double Yolk and White Lotus Paste. The health conscious can also opt for the Macadamia Nuts and Low Sugar White Lotus Paste (watch your diabetes)!

We were also treated to a selected menu of Mandarin Orchard Singapore’s own talented chefs, such as an aerated salted egg concoction with croutons and truffle shavings, and a Kurobuta Pork Belly “Kong Bak Bao” (扣肉包). There were also matching German and French wines by Wein & Vin to pair with the mooncakes and food, and even the attendance of esteemed palm reader Master Khor!

If you, like me, want everything and can’t make up your mind when you order stuff like mooncakes, you can opt for The Mandarin Collection. Each set comes with four different flavours which include the aforementioned Mixed Nuts and Jamón Ibérico, Double Yolk and White Lotus Paste, Macadamia Nuts and Low Sugar White Lotus Pasteand Azuki Red Bean Paste and Pine Nuts.

The Mid-autumn Collection is available at Mandarin Orchard Singapore’s Festive Counter at Level 1 Lobby from 17 August to 24 September 2018 (from 11am to 7pm daily).

For larger orders or corporate enquiries, please call 6831 6320/6262 or email festivedesk.orchard@meritushotels.com. For more information, view the brochure here and the order form here.

This post is brought to you courtesy of Mandarin Orchard Singapore, by Meritus.

The Great American Buffet

Mandarin Orchard Singapore’s award-winning and pretty famous atas buffet restaurant, Triple Three, marks Independence Day in the United States of America with the return of The Great American Buffet!

Making Buffets Great Again

In what can arguably be regarded as one of the national hobbies of the USA, the buffet features both classic American favourites as well as some with a local twist, You’ll be spoilt for choice with the massive spread of premium meats, seafood, desserts, and a great variety of sides—all prepared with a dash of freedom!

RIght at the centre stage are grilled and roasted meats prepared to succulent perfection, such as the Smoked Barbecue Pork Ribs, the Oven Roasted USDA Prime Black Angus Ribeye, and the ever popular Smoked USDA Short Ribs which packs an intense smoky flavour from the special dry rub marinade.

Something else not to be missed is the Creole Gumbo, a rich stew from southern Louisiana, featuring rock lobster, mahi-mahi, scallops, clams, mussels, and browned sausages. This delicious medley of ingredients is cooked for hours in hearty stock requiring layer upon layer of flavours and spices.

Executive Sous Chef Sam Chin adds his own twist to the American classics in his rendition of the Lobster Roll, where toasted buttery brioche replaces the traditional white bread hotdog buns. Chef Sam also wants you to try his Gourmet Beef Sliders using premium Black Angus beef patties, caramelised onions and melted cheddar, sandwiched between two slices of toasted brioche (seems like we know his favourite choice of bread).

On top of all these delicious creations, there’s also several other American delights, in all fried and roasted (freedom) goodness!

Dear ladies and your dessert stomachs, you have not been forgotten! There’s also a wide range of desserts to let you fill up that second space. With a selection like the Apricot Almond Tart, the Vanilla Panna Cotta, and the Bourbon Pecan Pie, AND the traditional Apple PieKey Lime Pie, and Blueberry Cheesecake, you can be sure that you leave with delight.

Triple Three at Mandarin Orchard Singapore

Named after the location which the Mandarin Orchard Singapore sits on, Triple Three, with its iconic three 三 (Japanese/Chinese character for the number 3) logo, is a Japanese-inspired buffet restaurant that is known for an extensive international buffet selection. Apart from the the seasonal specials such as the above Great American Buffet, it’s also known for fresh seafood and other international delights such as Chinese and Indian cuisine.

Book Now And Be Free!

The Great American Buffet runs from 4th (Wednesday) to 15th July (Sunday) 2018, and is for dinner at 6:30pm to 10:00pm daily. So go get yourself some freedom before it’s gone!

More Information

Triple Three
333 Orchard Road
Mandarin Orchard Level 5
Singapore 238867

Price: $108++ (Adult) | $48++ (Child 6 to 12 years)

Credit Card Promotions: DBS/POSB/UOB card members enjoy 50% off every second adult diner (up to eight diners per card)

Stand a chance to walk away with an exclusive dining experience for 2 worth $576++ when you dine at Triple Three! Click here for more information!

For reservations and enquiries:

Online Reservation – www.meritushotels.com/diningorchard
Tel – (65) 6831 6288
Email – dine.orchard@meritushotels.com

A Dash of Szechwan

Chen Kentaro, Executive Chef of Shisen Hanten by Chen Kentaro—Singapore’s highest Michelin-rated Chinese restaurant, draws on three generations of culinary heritage to complete his first English cookbook, A Dash of Szechwan.

The collection of 50 recipes, some of them never before shared family secrets, features Chef Kentaro’s own take on family recipes and Shisen Hanten signatures. Also included are recipes originally developed by his grandfather, Chen Kenmin—lauded as the “Father of Szechwan cuisine” in Japan, and his father, Chen Kenichi—the renowned “Szechwan Sage” and longest-running Iron Chef Chinese. (For the uninformed, Iron Chef was, and still is, a popular cooking battle show with lots of theatrics in Japan, and is considered a pretty big deal to appear on it)

Recalling his inspiration for the cookbook, Chef Kentaro said,

“With A Dash of Szechwan, I hope to share my love of Szechwan cooking with a wider audience, and showcase that the flavours of the cuisine offer so much more than the piquancy it is more popularly known for. I am excited to have this opportunity of bringing my favourite recipes into everyone’s kitchen.”

In the book, Chef Kentaro takes readers on an easy-to-follow journey through the bold and versatile flavours of Szechwan cuisine. Stunning food photography fills the pages of the cookbook, and peppered throughout are useful tips and visual step-by-step guides on cooking and preparation techniques. He also adds personal background stories to the mouth-watering recipes, and dedicates a pictured glossary for easier reference of some of the more essential and commonly mistaken ingredients featured in the cookbook. He also includes recipes for stocks, sauces, and marinades that can be used for a great variety of dishes.

Book Launch Event at Shisen Hanten

After the official launch, we were treated to a selection of Chef Kentaro’s signatures that are also featured in the book, from light starters like the Foie Gras Chawanmushi with Crab Roe Soup, to hearty and homely favourites like the Dan Dan Noodle (旦旦面) Soup, Stir-fried Lobster with Chilli Sauce and their now-gonna-be-famous Chen Family’s Mapo Tofu (meat and vegetarian versions were both served, how you like it at home is totally up to you). In good Szechwan fashion, the cuisine had the perfect balance between the spice from the chilli and the savoury tastes of the other stars of the dish (read; umami). Of course it’s up to you to up the ante on the spice either at the restaurant or at home. So fear not ketchup boys and girls!

After the official book launch, the Chef ‘challenged’ us, the guests, to a cook-off a la Gordon Ramsay style. Our gusty volunteer, Bobby, put up a good showing as he was instructed back-facing Chef Kentaro to cook some stir-fried beef. Our judge even called it a tie! Maybe he was a secret Masterchef-level home cook, who knew?

At the end we received a personalised signed copy of Chef Kentaro’s book, together with some special gifts from Shisen Hanten and their partner, tea sellers Pryce Tea (more below). For more information on how to get your hands on limited editions of SIGNED COPIES of Chef Kentaro’s cookbook, visit the restaurant or contact them with the details at the end of this article.

Shisen Hanten by Chef Kentaro

Started in 1958, Akasaka Szechwan Restaurant aka Shisen Hanten which it is popularly known in Japan, was the brainchild of Chen Kentaro’s Grandfather Chen Kenmin which was then passed down to his Father Chen Kenichi. Regarded as Japan’s “Father of Szechwan Cuisine”, the eldest Chen envisioned the restaurant to “make Shisen Hanten customers truly appreciate Szechwan food through all the five senses.” Through Kentaro’s Father, Kenichi, the Shisen Hanten brand branched out across Japan, with 14 branches across 6 cities and now with it’s first debut outside the country in sunny Singapore, where it is Kentaro’s turn to continue their legacy and set the stage for global recognition of Japan’s best loved Szechwan Restaurant. Indeed it is already Singapore’s most decorated Michelin-rated Chinese restaurant (two-stars).

Shisen Hanten by Chen Kentaro celebrates the seven basic flavours of Szechwan cuisine: sour, pungent, hot, sweet, bitter, aromatic and salty. Highlights not to be missed include Chen’s Mapo Doufu, Chen’s Original Spicy Noodle Soup, Stewed Fish Fillet in Spicy Szechwan Chilli Pepper, and Deep-fried Chicken in Spicy Szechwan Chilli Pepper. Also available on the menu is a delicious selection of authentic Cantonese classics. Situated at level 35 or Mandarin Orchard, you can be sure of a good view too!

Pryce Tea

A quick feature on what I feel was a good selection of tea by the restaurant’s partner Pryce Tea. Established by one of Singapore’s oldest tea companies, Lim Lam Thye, Pryce Tea seeks to demystify the age-old perception that Chinese teas are only enjoyed during elaborate tea ceremonies, to bring you wonderful epicurean blends that embody oriental finery with modern simplicity.

We were treated to a display of a small part of their big collection of teas, such as the Cocoon Night, with decaffeinated Oolong tea leaves and Australian Eucalyptus and French Lavender which promises a good end to a busy day, and their aptly-flavoured Peppy Day, which is blended with Szechuan Peppers to give it a good oomph to pep up your day. Check out their website here!

More Information

Shisen Hanten
Level 35 Orchard Wing
Mandarin Orchard Singapore
333 Orchard Road
Singapore 238867
Phone: 68316262 / 68316266
Email: shisenhanten.orchard@meritushotels.com
Facebook | Website

It’s 3 more days to Chinese New Year. 2 more days to Chinese New Year eve.

Haven’t managed to find somewhere nice to have your reunion dinner yet?

Amara Singapore Chinese New Year Feast

Enjoy a fortuitous feast by Amara Singapore’s team of dedicated Chinese chefs, all ready to serve you dishes symbolic of prosperity, fortune and happiness to your family and relatives. 欢庆福满人间!

On the 15 February 2018 from 6pm at the Grand Ballroom, the one-time reunion dinner is opened to all guests celebrating this Lunar New Year’s 2018 Earth Dog. Guests can look forward to the tossing of salmon yu sheng (鱼生), where the ingredients are exquisitely arranged in the shape of a dog.

Dinner commences with a delectable selection of affordable 8-course menus, such as the Golden Prosperity or Joyous Abundance sets at S$68 to S$88++ per person respectively (with a minimum of six persons per table). If you prefer a private dining experience with your family ,you can take up the Imperial Fortune reunion package at S$1,888++ for a table of 10 persons. Each room comes with a fully equipped family karaoke system. For this package, the menu includes delicacies like sea urchin, black chicken ginseng soup and cod fish. To mark the customary occasion, everyone will get to enjoy a special rendition of the Chinese festive dessert – Pomelo Tangyuan, a unique tangy glutinous rice ball sprinkled in edible gold leaves.

Some of the favourites in the selection spans from the traditional Drunken Chicken, Roasted Chicken with Spicy Sichuan Sauce, to more modern cuisine like Beef Bourguignon, Chilled Angel Hair Pasta with Truffle Oil and Kombu, Homemade Beetroot Salmon, and to top it off, Amara Singapore’s very own Vegetarian Treasure Pot (Pen Cai; 盆菜).

Highlights of evening will include a lion dance performance where the rambunctious lions will perform “Cai Qing” (采青 – the plucking of the greens), and you (and/or the kids) can get wefies with the adorable God of Fortune mascots distributing gold ingots of chocolates!

Cempedak Delights

During the media event we were also treated to a surprise festive addition to Amara Singapore’s menu: the Cempedak collection. A (personally tasting) “breadier” and less pungent cousin of the jackfruit, the hotel now serves an array of desserts themed to the fibrous fruit:

  • Chempedak Cake
  • Chempedak Crème Brulee
  • Chempedak Swiss Roll
  • Chempedak Agar Agar
  • Chempedak Pudding
  • Chempedak Butter Cake

Out of all, I like the Crème Brulee and Swiss Roll the most. Get yours at their cafe and restaurants and try it for yourself, trust me.

More Information

Amara Singapore

165 Tanjong Pagar Rd
Singapore 088539

Facebook|Instagram|Website

Get your reservations ONLINE HERE. Seats would be filling up fast so don’t procrastinate anymore!

Stand to win one of the 8 lucky draw prizes at the CNY reunion dinner on 15 Feb!

Alternatively, call: +65 6879 2598 or email: events@amarahotels.com

Chinese New Year Happenings

CNY Goodies Booth

15 January – 15 February 2018, 11am– 8pm, daily

100AM mall, atrium

*Refer to CNY Goodies Order Form

Chinese New Year Reunion Dinner

15 February 2018, 6pm

Grand Ballroom, level 3

CNY F&B Promotions (1 Feb – 2 Mar 2018)

Element, and Element on Tras Street- Buffet

Buffet Time Adult* Child*

(6 -12 years)

Reunion Dinner 15 Feb 2018, Thu

6pm – 10.30pm

$88 $43
Lunch Mon – Fri

12pm – 2.30pm

$58 $29
Dinner Mon – Sun

6pm – 10.30pm

$78 $39
Hi-tea Sat – Sun

11.30 am – 2pm

2.30pm – 5pm

$42 $21

Silk Road

Set menus with choices from S$108* per person, minimum 2 persons to dine, S$368* for 4 persons and above, S$838* or $968* for 10 persons.

*All prices quoted are in Singapore dollars and subject to service charge and prevailing government taxes.

For dining reservations and enquiries:

call: +65 6879 2610

email: fnb.sg@amarahotels.com

Anyone who’s heard of Kah Hiang Restaurant (嘉香餐馆) at International Plaza would remember their homely Cantonese cuisine that kind of reminds you of the stuff that grandma makes during the big reunion dinner every Chinese New Year. Now, after more than 40 years of serving delectable signature dishes at their quaint little corner along Anson Road, they are ready to move this household name towards modern times.

Myo Restobar

To be honest, when I first received the email invitation for a hosted dinner, I thought it was another one of those Japanese-fusion restaurants that’s pretty trendy nowadays. Then I realised that the “Myo” in “Myo” Restobar has a couple of meanings to the owners; one being a play on the Chinese words “妙嚥” (miào yàn) which is to “swallow/consume wonder or delight”, and another as I learnt from 2nd generation owner Mr Ng Kia Jin, a reflection of their Buddhist beliefs. He quotes:

“Myo restobar aims to reach out to new audiences while supporting our International Plaza flagship. We realise that while the older generation may be very familiar with our brand, the newer generation is not. Myo plans to introduce Kia Hiang’s recipe of traditional Cantonese cuisine, values and our high standards to the 21st century.”

Mr Ng Kia Jin, 2nd generation owner of Kia Hiang Group

Just a stone’s throw away from their original place of service, Myo Restobar is similarly tucked away on the 19th floor of Oxley Tower, along Robinson Road. Unlike the boxy, retro interior of the first restaurant, Myo sports a chic modern look, complete with a decent city view and swanky furniture. They also serve a nice range of modern liquor, and even craft beer!

What’s not changed however is their dedication to bringing goodness of Kia Hiang’s signature dishes to the table. First in particular, the Kia Hiang Claypot Spring Chicken. Deep-marinated and braised in a claypot with their secret sauce for hours while being wrapped in exactly 5 full leaves of cabbage, what initially looks unappealing will convince even the harshest critics when you cut up the chicken. The tenderness of the meat is immediately felt as it melts in your mouth, not to mention the aroma of many hours of tender loving care during preparation.

To push the envelope, Myo has a “zhng-ed” (elevated/pimped up) variant. The Kia Hiang Claypot Organic Chicken uses premium organic chickens that grow up really comfortable and even listen to classical music (some of us don’t even get that treatment at work!) This variant is said to be even juicier and flavourful. Both versions come very limited daily as they are prepared in set quantities the night before, so call ahead if you want to ensure you don’t arrive disappointed!

Short story time: Mr Ng said his father initially cooked this exclusively for staff meals (which is a common perk for Chinese restaurants since back in the days, which many still perpetuate today), and when some regulars got to try it as well, they convinced him to put it on the menu. The rest is history!

Photo courtesy of Myo Restobar

Myo also chose to expand their menu to include modern restaurant fare, such as their Baked Hamachi Collar and Angus Tenderloin Cubes with Garlic and Broccoli. In fact do check out their full menu which also includes affordable yet luxurious lunch sets!

Another menu selection Kia Hiang is known for is their Dim Sum. We were treated to a wide range of Dim Sum with modern twists such as the Gold Foil Dumplings with Assorted MushroomsFlakey Angus Beef Pastry (basically same texture as a 叉烧酥 but with marinated beef; MUST TRY) and Healthy Walnut Buns.

As a Cantonese myself, I can tell you that no Cantonese meal can end WITHOUT any desserts. Without failing to weave tradition into modernity, Myo offers classics such as Double Boiled Peach Gum w/
Red Dates and a modern Young Coconut Stewed with Peach Gum & Egg White (which we tried), along with a Durian Mochi to end the evening.

Speaking of durian, short story no.2: Mr Ng explained that Kia Hiang is actually a big player in supplying mooncakes in Singapore, and is seen as the O.G. of durian mooncake, which is more synonymous with a particular hotel near Orchard Road to the younger crowd. So don’t be surprised that the mooncake you got as a gift or bought from the mooncake fair is actually supplied by Kia Hiang!Verdict

hole-in-the-wall-ness:
Despite being smack in the middle of the CBD, you will not find it easily. In fact I’ve met a group of invited media personalities at the building lobby and we all struggled to find the correct lift, as the lift panels have different floor buttons on each side! So when you’re there, go to Lift Lobby 1, and the button to level 19 is at the inner side of the lift.

Price:
While priced at a premium for sure, they are still considered quite value-for-money for the quality you’re getting, although it’s not what you might want to pay for every day.

Quality:
For the millennials, your parents would possibly have memory of this place (Mr Ng said they were a popular paktor venue for meals). You can be sure they will attest to the level of quality that the elder Mr Ng set out, which is dutifully continued by his son Kia Jin at their new venture.

Overall:
Now that Chinese New Year is round the corner, how about give your grandma/mum/whoever is in the kitchen a break, and give them a try for a change. They will thank you for it. Who knows, maybe the claypot chicken will bring back happy memories, or to make new ones!

More Information

Myo Restobar
138 Robinson Road
#19-01
Oxley Tower (access through Lobby 1)
Singapore 068906
Reservations: Website or Call +65 90260718 / +65 69311247
Opens Daily 11am – 9pm (Closed on Saturday & Public Holidays)