A Taste of Nostalgia at Man Fu Yuan

Man Fu Yuan at InterContinental Singapore is running a promotion, A Taste of Nostalgia, offering diners an opportunity to savour dishes from the “good old days”. Available till 31 May 2014, there’s a range of dishes hailing from the 60’s to 80’s to choose from each month. Take your tastebuds on a trip down memory lane for those who are mature enough to remember or a journey of discovery if you were born after that era.

Signature Tea-Smoked Pork Belly Char Siew. Man Fu Yuan. A Taste of Nostalgia - April 2014 Menu
Signature Tea-Smoked Pork Belly Char Siew @ S$24 per portion
(a la carte portion shown above – April 2014 Menu)
 

I was invited to sample some of the highlights from Man Fu Yuan’s A Taste of Nostalgia rotating menus shortly after the promotion started on 15 March. I’ve been back thrice since the tasting, essentially making a weekly visit over the past 4 weeks. This post is a compilation of the highlights of all my visits. One of my favourite dishes is the Signature Tea-Smoked Pork Belly Char Siew. The aroma of Royal Red Robe Tea that was used to smoke the Char Siew is the first thing to hit the senses when the dish is served and is strongest when you first bite into the char siew. The tender Char Siew was made of fatty pork belly that had been marinated in Chinese Rose Wine and barbecue sauce. Succulent with a slightly crunchy crust from the maltose glaze that gave the meat an alluring sheen, this is a Must-Try! Check with the restaurant when making reservations if they can prep a portion for you.

Deep-fried Squid with Salted Egg Yolk. Man Fu Yuan. InterContinental Singapore.
Deep-fried Squid with Salted Egg Yolk @ S$10
(from the a la carte menu)
 

My friends and I couldn’t resist ordering this dish from the a la carte menu when we visited for lunch last week. Tender, sweet chunks of squid were coated in a crisp salted egg yolk crust. Topped with sliced almonds and fried curry leaves that added a crunch, this dish is a Must-Try!

Assorted Beef & Beef Ball Stew. Man Fu Yuan. A Taste of Nostalgia - May 2014 Menu.
Assorted Beef & Beef Ball Stew @ S$28 per portion
(above picture was a much larger portion for 10 diners – May 2014 menu)

 

One of my absolute favourite dishes from the promotional menu is the Assorted Beef & Beef Ball Stew. Tender cubes of beef had been simmered with tripe, tendons and handmade Beef Balls in a robust and savoury sauce that combined the goodness of Chu Hou sauce with Superior Dark Soya Sauce. The flavour was comforting and reminded of how traditional beef stew used to taste way back in the 80’s (I may not be a spring chicken but I’m not that old!). The handmade beef balls were springy and tastily seasoned with some dried tangerine peel. Even though I’m not a fan of internal organs, I found myself eating the tripe in this dish. This stew is a perfect companion with steamed rice and would probably taste even better the next day! This stew is doggy bag-worthy and a Must-Try!

Pig's Trotters with Vinegar. Man Fu Yuan. A Taste of Nostalgia - April 2014 Menu
Pig’s Trotters with Vinegar @ S$28 per portion
(this portion was for 10 diners at the tasting – April 2014 menu)

 

A traditional dish that my grandmother used to cook for expectant mothers in our family is Pig’s Trotters with Vinegar. She hardly cooks now due to old age. Grandma’s cooking’s the best but the Pig’s Trotters with Vinegar here is pretty awesome. Chunks of ginger and pigs trotters had been perfectly infused with the rich, semi-sweet yet slightly tart vinegar sauce. Though Pig’s Trotters with Vinegar has never been a hot favourite of mine, I enjoyed this dish very much. The restaurant manager, Patrick, very proudly told us that the they’re using a traditional recipe that doesn’t call for any water to be added to tone down the tartness of the vinegar. The Pig’s Trotters with Vinegar here are also a Must-Try! 

Combination of Braised "Lou Shui" Platter. Man Fu Yuan. A Taste of Nostalgia - March 2014 Menu
Combination of Braised “Lou Shui” Platter @ S$20
(above photo was taken during the tasting for 10)
 

This platter comprised Braised Duck Tongue, Duck Wing & Pig’s Trotters. Not a big fan of duck tongue or pig’s trotters, I took very small portions and saved the tummy room for other items.

Imperial Chicken. Man Fu Yuan. A Taste of Nostalgia - May 2014 menu
Imperial Chicken @ S$28 for half chicken
(whole chicken served during the tasting for 10 – May 2014 menu)
 

I was getting really full by the time the Imperial Chicken was served however, it was so moist, tender and tasty that I found room for a few pieces. We didn’t get full details on what went into the dish but I thought the chicken tasted like it had been braised in a rock salt-based marinade before being cooked with rice wine. This dish wasn’t available the last few times I visited but I hope to try it again in May, when it’s on the rotating menu. If you’re into braised chicken, this is worth a try.

Six Treasures Seafood. Man Fu Yuan. A Taste of Nostalgia - May 2014 Menu
Six Treasures Seafood @ S$108 per portion
(a la carte portion shown above – May 2014 menu)
 

When the Six Treasures Seafood dish was served, I was immediately reminded of Chinese Wedding Banquets from the 80s. The vermicelli basket filled with stir-fried seafood was old school and a dish that is rarely found on menus in recent years. The plating was given a modern touch with braised abalones placed onto spoons and the prawns were coated with salted egg yolk before being deep-fried. The light and crisp vermicelli basket held a tasty mix of scallops, lobster, crab meat and fish. The crisp salted egg yolk crust that coated the firm prawn added a lovely touch of savouriness to the dish. The tasty braised abalone was tender. This is a Must-Try!

Hong Kong Style Steamed Pork Belly in Shrimp Paste. Man Fu Yuan. A Taste of Nostalgia - March 2014 Menu
Hong Kong Style Steamed Pork Belly in Shrimp Paste @ S$28
(a la carte portion shown above – March 2014 menu)

 

A simple dish that’s well-executed, the thin slices of steamed pork belly were steamed with fermented shrimp paste 咸虾酱 from Tai O, a fishing village in Hong Kong that’s famous for dried seafood, shrimp paste and XO sauce. The pork belly slices were tender. The pungent characteristic of fermented shrimp paste was toned down after cooking, leaving a savoury and strong umami flavour to the dish. Definitely one to be eaten with steamed rice, this is old school comfort food for the soul. This steamed pork belly dish is a Must-Try! Do enquire ahead if they can prep a portion for you.

Egg Noodles with Lard. Man Fu Yuan. A Taste of Nostalgia - May 2014 menu
Egg Noodles with Lard @ S$6 per person
(a la carte portion shown above – May 2014 menu)

 

This plain looking plate of noodles was scrumptious due to the rich flavours of premium quality first drawn soy sauce and lard. Drizzle the spoonful of rendered pork lard over the mound of specially imported egg noodles, toss it up with the golden brown cubes of crunchy fried pork lard before savouring the springy noodles. The Egg Noodles with Lard are definitely a Must-Try unless you have major health concerns!

Man Fu Yuan Traditional Wanton. A Taste of Nostalgia - March 2014 menu
Man Fu Yuan Traditional Wanton Noodle @ S$12 per person
(above image has no noodles as it was taken during the tasting)

 

We were then served some traditional wantons in superior broth. The plump dumplings were firm to the bite, if only I wasn’t feeling so full.

Fried Flat Rice Noodles with King Prawns
Fried Flat Rice Noodles with King Prawns @ S$18 per person
 (above photo was taken during the tasting – May 2014 menu)

 

I was slipping into food coma when the Fried Flat Noodles with King Prawns dish was served. I guess I’d left the noodles sitting for too long whilst I tried to finish the other items on my plate. The noodles had become a little lumpy from absorbing the flavourful prawn roe-based sauce.

Steamed Fish Head with Black Bean Sauce. Man Fu Yuan. A Taste of Nostalgia - April 2014 menu
Steamed Fish Head with Black Bean Sauce @ S$28
(above photo was taken during the tasting for 10)

 

I love black bean sauce but have never been a fan of steamed fish head with black bean sauce. Great when eaten with steamed rice, the fish head was perfectly steamed resulting in succulent chunks of fish head that broke off easily when prodded with chopsticks.

Steamed Chicken with Chinese Sausage & Mushroom. Man Fu Yuan. A Taste of Nostalgia - March 2014 Menu
Steamed Chicken with Chinese Sausage & Mushroom 风流天子 @ S$26
(above photo was taken during the tasting for 10 – March 2014 menu)

 

By the time this dish was served at the tasting, all of us were way too full to eat. An interesting combination with an even more interesting name, 风流天子 Playboy Emperor, probably named after a Hong Kong movie from the 50s. A few of us wondered if the combination of ingredients such as chicken and sausage, could have a sexual reference. If I had to pick a chicken dish, I’d pick the Imperial Chicken dish over this although this dish goes very well with rice.

Pipa Tofu. Man Fu Yuan. A Taste of Nostalgia - April 2014 menu
“Pi-Pa” Bean Curd @ S$24
(a la carte portion shown above – April 2014 menu)
 

I tried this dish on my third visit. Available on April’s menu, the “Pi-Pa” Tofu with Crabmeat didn’t look very pretty but was chockful of flavour. I especially enjoyed the soft, slightly browned homemade tofu and the sauteed xiao bai cai. This is worth a try if you like tofu.

Man Fu Yuan: Fried Carrot Cake in XO Sauce
XO Carrot Cake (not available yet)

 

During my last visit, we were treated to an experimental dish, XO Carrot Cake. The dish was given a twist with the cubes of steamed carrot cake coated in flour before being deep-fried to yield a lovely browned crust. Beaten eggs were cooked with XO sauce before the deep-fried carrot cake cubes and beansprouts were quickly tossed into the mix. We hope this makes it to the a la carte menu soon as this was absolutely delicious! Encased within the crisp crust were soft, fluffy cubes of carrot cake that were dotted with chunks of Chinese sausage. Coated lightly with a spicy XO sauce, this dish was a little too spicy for some of my friends but didn’t bother me as my tolerance for chilli is a lot higher than most people I know. If you do have the chance to try this dish, eat it quickly as the crisp surfaces of the carrot cake softens when cool. This is a Must-Try when it gets onto the menu.

Sour Plum Juice to aid digestion. Man Fu Yuan. InterContinental Singapore
Sour Plum Juice

 

As a pre-dessert, chilled Sour Plum Juice was served to aid digestion. The right balance of tanginess and sweetness, this was like liquid sorbet.

Double-boiled Hashima. Man Fu Yuan.
Double-boiled Hashima (hot/cold) @ S$16 per person

 

Even though we were stuffed during the tasting, we couldn’t resist the health boosting benefits of Double-boiled Hashima. Amongst other benefits, Hashima is reputed to improve the immune system and complexion. Though my favourite complement to Hashima is Almond Cream, this was light, not too cloyingly sweet and its warmth was comforting for a tummy that was struggling to digest everything. Worth a try if you like Hashima.

Chilled Cream of Avocado with Sago. Man Fu Yuan. InterContinental Singapore
Chilled Cream of Avocado with Sago @ S$8

 

I tried the Chilled Cream of Avocado with Sago and Coffee Ice Cream dessert on my second visit. It was a little too thin for my preference as I like Avocado Cream desserts to have a thicker consistency.

Chilled Mango Pudding with Mango Puree & Pomelo Sago. Man Fu Yuan. InterContinental Singapore
Chilled Mango Puree & Pomelo Sago @ S$8

 

I also tried the Mango Puree & Pomelo Sago dessert during my second and third visits. Though this dessert is commonly available at most decent Chinese restaurants and dessert stalls, not many do it well. The Mango Puree & Pomelo Sago dessert is worth a try if you love mango!

Steamed Egg Custard Bun. Man Fu Yuan. InterContinental Singapore
Steamed Egg Custard Bun @ S$12 for 6 pieces

 

My friends and I are such gluttons. We thought we’d resist the Steamed Egg Custard Buns but all it did was for one person to say, “Oh, I’d like some. Who wants to share with me?” and the entire table volunteered. Though they are usually served either steamed or fried, the staff were willing to make an exception and let us have the custard buns prepared with both methods. I guess they figured we should be really full by now since we’d ordered too much food.

Deep-fried Egg Custard Buns. Man Fu Yuan. InterContinental Singapore
Deep-fried Egg Custard Bun @ S$12 for 6 pieces
 

I was in the mood for Deep-fried Egg Custard Buns. The crisp brown skin broke open to reveal a molten core of salted egg custard that was not too sweet and had a generous amount of salted egg yolk. The skin of the bun wasn’t too thick either unlike some others that I had recently. This is the best I’ve had in Singapore in the past year and a Must-Try!

A Taste of Nostalgia promotion is only available till 31 May 2014. For reservations and details, call +65 825 1008 or email  intercontinental.dining@ihg.com.

Man Fu Yuan
InterContinental Singapore,
80 Middle Road, 
Singapore 188966.
Telephone: +65 6825 1008
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ICSingapore
Facebook Twitter Email Pinterest Plusone Delicious

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Man Fu Yuan's 19th Anniversary Promotion in July | - July 16, 2014

    […] case you missed reading about the Deep-fried Egg Custard Buns in my post about Man Fu Yuan’s Taste of Nostalgia promotion, you have to try these buns when you visit! The crisp browned skin of the buns was not greasy and […]

  2. Carb Overload at SabX2 Wanton Noodles in Bangkok - superfinefeline - August 17, 2014

    […] rendered pork lard. The firm strands of noodles had a lovely bite to it. It somehow reminded me of Man Fu Yuan’s Egg Noodles with Lard dish that was served during their ‘A Taste of Nostalgia’ promotion. I’m not a […]

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes