After my recent visit to Shisen Hanten in Akasaka, Tokyo, I was delighted to have a chance to taste once again Chef Chen Kentaro’s excellent cuisine at the Mandarin Orchard Singapore. New to the menu this time is Chef Kentaro’s Mandarin London Duck. Available whole at $68++ or half at $34++, the roast is available without prior order and promises an exceptional hearty taste in its meat, complemented with a layer of fragrant fat that is both buttery and crisp all in a single sitting. It’s so good that I intend to make a return visit for it soon!
Although the whole duck is small, its strong flavours both sweet and savoury from the sauce and the fat, makes the dish best shared around the table. Personally, I’ve not had duck so exceptionally done. The sauce drizzled over the duck before serve adds to its juiciness, making each piece succulent and worth the savour. Best served with rice or on its own, and enjoyed in delicate portions. Too much of it though, and one might get tired of it before the meal even ends.
The Steamed Sea Perch with Clam Broth was also a winner for me. I enjoyed the flavours from the oily fish, and the addition of clams uplifted the already tasty fish with an added element of sweetness. Worth the order, and available seasonally starting this May onwards.
One dish served a touch better this time round is the Foie Gras Chawanmushi with Crab Roe. There was a more pronounced flavour of buttery foie gras in the crystal-like Japanese egg custard, and the flakes of crab meat added a touch of sea sweetness. Served in a candle-heated bowl, the chawanmushi is continuously kept warm – a temperature where the dish is best enjoyed.
Not always served in the regular menu is the Alaskan Crab Meat Noodles. A delicate somen peppered with light yuzu flavours, I thought this was a thoughtful way to round up the heavy dishes served throughout the meal. Check with the restaurant beforehand if it’s available for order.
A special dessert for the night
Out of the dishes served for the night, the Mandarin London Duck was clearly the highlight. It was a centrepiece and definitely a dish worth ordering. I do enjoy the dishes at Shisen Hanten, and couple that with the majestic interior, it is a place worth dining at with close family and friends or that business associate or two. And of course, to spice things up, don’t forget to order Chen’s Mapo Tofu (a signature of the restaurant’s, and one that his family has perfected over the years).
Thank you Mandarin Orchard for the invitation.
|Mandarin Orchard Singapore
333 Orchard Road
Reservations: 6831 6262
Mon to Sun
Noon to 3pm
6pm to 10pm