Imagine Cod baked with the fragrant saltiness of miso and topped with pieces of sauteed edamame. Not a typical dish you would normally find in a Cantonese restaurant, especially with the choice of miso as an ingredient. Yet this is what I found at Jade Garden restaurant, The Chevrons latest Cantonese restaurant set up just three months ago.
Helmed by Executive Chef Chris Eng who has worked his way from the kitchens since he was 12 years old, Jade Garden restaurant aims to provide a varied selection of traditional Cantonese cuisine reminiscent of flavours from Hong Kong yet with the flexibility of Chef Chris to whip up dishes that inspire the marriage of ingredients across cultures. Pair that with a value for money approach and if with consistent and improved approaches, Jade Garden could very well be the next upcoming Cantonese family restaurant that is familiar across families.
Dim Sums are available on the menu for lunch everyday. And I have to admit I was decently impressed by the Deep Fried Yam stuffed with Minced Chicken ($3.80 for 3 pieces). Well fried to a gentle brown, the yam and chicken filling is generous and very well flavoured. The presence of smooth slightly sweet velvety yam paste together with the savouriness of chicken essence made this my favourite dim sum for the meal.
The Steamed Siew Mai with Caviar ($4.20 for 4 pieces) was decently done with flavours being robust. Its good and if I didn’t tell you, you probably would have missed the fact that this dish is made with chicken. Topping of Tobiko (Flying Fish Roe) added a crunchiness with bits of salinity to each siew mai, and it was appreciated for both texture and colour.
But for a little sampler of some of Chef’s specialties to start with, you could go for the Chef Special Combination Platter ($12/pax).
Start off on the left with the Wasabi Glazed Prawn which I found to be particularly crunchy and it looked rather attractively glossy in the light. Hints of wasabi is apparent but not too strong to shock the tongue. Instead, the flavour is mild and lends a hand to lifting the sea flavours of the prawn. To me it was a well executed popular dish.
Following up would be the Crab Meat Salad with Mirin, Yuzu and Sake. The key note here is that apart from the fresh chunky pieces of crab meat, the flavours of the sweet Mirin, citrusy Yuzu and alcohol rich sake play a vital role in surprising the tastebuds to the normally salty fresh tasting crab meat. I enjoyed the portion served.
Finishing off would be the Drunken chicken. The wine flavours were not too strong and rather mild, making it acceptable for most. And it looked like a cross between a portion of Hainanese Chicken and Drunken Chicken with the wine soaked poultry topped with ginger garlic mince.
As a slightly modified take on the traditional Shark’s Fin broth, Chef Chris does it as a Braised Sharksfin with Crabmeat and Dried Scallop in Pumpkin Soup ($18/pax). Flavours were savoury and slightly umami rich with essence of collagen sticking the broth together. In terms of the pumpkin, it sweetened the dish slightly, but it was too mild to be noticed.
Interesting, this is my first time having the Braised Sliced Abalone, Dried Scallop & Vegetables in Tan Jia Sauce ($18/pax). The dish, with roots hailing back to China’s aristocratic and nobility times, was a serving of premium seafood ingredients like abalone and scallop made with a golden yellow sauce that consisted of chicken, duck, scallops and other special ingredients. Ok, but I would prefer something stronger in flavour.
For the selection of dishes I had during dinner, the Cod Fish baked with Miso and Sauteed Edamame ($14/pax) was my favourite. The fragrance of miso immediately wafts up upon serve, and its rich salty flavours create a burst of dances in the mouth when had with the oily cod. And when had warm, the cod is enjoyable through and through, especially with the watermelon side of mayonnaise. Fantastic.
As a comforting way to end the meal, I had the Fresh Crab Claw with Japanese Somen ($12/pax). Somen is served together in a bed of steamed egg white made with chinese wine and ginger, and topped with a portion of crab claw for that final touch. Out of the three, I probably enjoyed the steamed egg the most because of its sea rich and slightly alcoholic flavour.
Dinner was ended in a rather large way with the Combination Dessert Platter ($12). Fruits at the side with three desserts of Mango Pudding, Lemongrass Jelly with Sorbet, and Sago with Ice cream make up one portion.
Me with Executive Chef Chris Eng
The dinner at Jade Garden restaurant was a sampler into the repertoire of delectable cuisines that Chef Chris is able to dish out from the kitchen. The cuisine style of the restaurant is ultimately family styled, with certain elements of modernity shining through it as both individual and sharing portions are available. Still, with Jade Garden’s extensive menu, it would probably take more than a few visits to actually try most of the items on his menu. I was already taken by his Cod baked with Miso, and I wonder what more can there be hidden between the pages and behind the kitchen.
Thank you Leroy, Foodnews for the invitation.
|Jade Garden Restaurant
48 Boon Lay Way #03-06
Tel : 6862 4931