The Fullerton Hotel is one of Singapore’s landmark hotels, and the Fullerton Building was recently earmarked as the country’s 71st national monument. With a strategic location along the Singapore River, the hotel attracts tourists from all over the world. Stepping through the main entrance, I was instantly fascinated by the elegant interior design reminiscent of a grand villa. Indeed, a Chinese New Year Reunion Dinner under such a fanciful setting must be a very special and memorable one. Jade Restaurant at The Fullerton Hotel has created a few new items in its menu this year. They will be available as a set or as a la carte. These include the Eight-Happiness Gold Rush Salmon Yusheng (美猴王戏鱼生), Poached Seaweed and Abalone Dumpling (满袋金元宝), Braised Six-head Abalone, Fish Maw, Sea Cucumber, Deep-fried Fish maw, Chinese Cabbage, Flower Mushrooms, Roasted Garlic and Roasted Pork in Claypot (包罗万象), Simmered Boston Lobster with Ginger Milk (龙腾四海), Roasted Duck in Foie Gras Sauce with Sour Plum Guava Jelly (心肝献宝贝) and Fragrant Wok-fried Glutinous Rice with Chinese Sausage (黄金大丰收).
The Eight-Happiness Gold Rush Salmon Yusheng with Peach Dressing is a stunning display of food styling and Chinese calligraphy. During the period of 18th January to 22nd February, all dine-ins will get to enjoy this signature creation by Chef Leong. Featured in the vivid drawings are two monkeys on the branch of a peach tree, in line with the Chinese Zodiac Sign of this year – the Golden Monkey. The Chinese Calligraphic writing reads “如意吉祥”, wishing every diner an auspicious and promising year ahead. The colourful ingredients for the centrepiece Yusheng are stacked up in layers in the shape of a volcano. This symbolises the wish that everyone achieves success in all that they do (步步高升). Beyond its appearance, the taste of this Yusheng is very commendable as well. The peach dressing mixed with the Yusheng, enhances the extra sweet and sour taste. Coincidentally, the peach fruit has been much associated with monkeys in Chinese folk stories. The surprise ingredient that I had never tried before is the home-made champagne jelly. The yellowish and gem-like jelly is very fitting for the Chinese New Year theme. The jelly melts slowly in the mouth and has a slight bitter and herbal taste. Having a taste of the champagne jelly before digging into the Yusheng reminds me of the life lesson that the Bitter must come before the Sweet, which will subsequently make the Sweet even sweeter (苦尽甘来).
Dumplings have long been the must-have food during the Chinese New Year period. As a result of exploring the new interpretation of Chinese dumplings, Chef Leong came up with a different recipe by using Japanese Kelp and abalone as fillings. Unlike the traditional golden ingot shape, each dumpling is made to resemble the beautiful corals found under the sea. I liked the dumplings because the sauce is sour and slightly spicy touched up with sprinkles of spring onions. This is available at $38++ per portion.
Seafood Pen Cai is a popular dish during Chinese New Year. As something new this year, the Pen Cai that features assorted premium seafood is served individually. Similar to the traditional Pen Cai, the new dish provides the diner with the same level of variety and satisfaction. The soup base was a combination of chicken and abalone broth, and all ingredients are further braised for approximately three to four hours before being served. This is available at $58++ per person.
The next dish of Simmered Boston Lobster with Ginger Milk was the highlight for me and my favourite of this year’s menu. Fresh lobster is simmered in milk, ginger, butter and a trace of lemon and then further drizzled with the ginger milk gravy before serve. It is amazing that the fragrance of the ginger milk is well infused into every bite of the lobster meat. This is available at $88++ for a whole lobster weighing approximately 700 grams.
Chef Leong’s Roasted Duck in Foie Gras Sauce with Sour Plum Guava Jelly was a unique dish to tuck in to. I enjoyed the Roasted duck’s crispy skin and tender meat, providing a textural contrast that was a delight on the palate. The smoky skin also goes well with the foie gras sauce, and the sour plum guava jelly is a great palate cleanser after the dish. Both the fruity ice blend in the shot glass and the guava jelly are very refreshing.
The last course, the Fragrant Wok-fried Glutinous Rice with Chinese Sausage is another popular dish that is usually steamed with a Lotus leaf wrapped around. The smoky wok-fried glutinous rice is well mixed with the diced Chinese sausage. And there are sprinkles of fried sunflower seeds and spring onion. The dish serves as the warmest welcome of the spring in a wish for the next year’s bountiful harvest. This is available at $30++ per portion.
Finally, here comes the highly recommended dessert set – Honey Peach Pastry, Pan-fried Rose-flavoured Water Chestnut Cake, Sweet Potato Pandan-flavoured ‘Nian Gao’ Tart and Almond Cream with Sago Red Bean Dumplings. There was the unanimous ‘wow’ response from everyone on the dining table when the dessert set was served by Chef Leong. The dessert plate is decorated like a mini potted landscape. This signature creation was one of Chef Leong’s proudest work. The tree was made of gelatine over 5 days and the colour comes from food colouring. I really admired the chef’s effort in the delicate touches of the leaves, flowers and the bird.
The final note goes to the talented chef who has been very passionate in the art of Chinese Calligraphy, pottery and ceramic arts. His creative idea of using gelatine to shape the plate decoration was awarded with gold with honours in a competition he had participated in Dubai. The chef showed us a few other pieces of gelatine artwork that he is very proud of at the end of the meal. Every piece showed great effort and enthusiasm. Moreover, for every dish served, Chef Leong came up with an awesome Chinese title that is meant to impress. For all the effort put in, I must say that having a Lunar New Year dinner at Jade, The Fullerton Hotel is well worth the experience and memories.
Thank you The Fullerton Hotel for the invitation.
This article is brought to you by guest writer Wu Chao.
|The Fullerton Hotel Singapore
1 Fullerton Square
Contact: 6877 8188
11.30am to 2.30pm
6.30pm to 10.30pm