Before I could shed the weight from Christmas, Chinese New Year is upon us and more feasting is in order.
Yusheng with Crispy Monkey Head Mushroom, Prosperity Flakes & Peach Dressing @ $118 (Large)
I was invited to a media preview of the Chinese New Year specials from the set menus that will be served at Man Fu Yuan from now till 22 February 2016. We were treated to an epic Lo Hei complete with a peach sauce that had been flash-frozen with liquid nitrogen before being added to this elaborate Yusheng spread.
We were invited to toss a glass each of cornflakes that had been enrobed in edible gold for the 遍地黄金 aka “filling the floor with gold” effect. To know more about the significance of most of the Yusheng ingredients, read my old blog post: CNY – How to Lo Hei Yu Sheng. I enjoyed the tart flavour that the fresh strawberries added to the slightly sweet and fruity Yusheng.
One of my favourite dishes at the preview, the Sakura Chicken Soup with Bird’s Nest, Fish Maw, Abalone and Black Truffles was flavourful without being too heavy on the tummy. I especially enjoyed the tender abalone, succulent Sakura Chicken and gelatinous Bird’s Nest. This is a Must-Try!
After 2 days of braising, the premium Australian Green Lip Abalone had a slightly gummy texture that I wasn’t too keen on. Not a huge fan of sea cucumber, I preferred the Chinese Mushrooms that had absorbed the rich flavour of the brown sauce and the crunchy vegetables to the more expensive ingredients on this plate of Braised Australian Green Lip Abalone & Chinese Mushrooms with Spiky Sea Cucumber & Seasonal Vegetables.
Another of my favourite dishes, the Braised South African Abalone & Sakura Chicken in Casserole had me wishing I could lick the bowl clean. Definitely a Must-Try for the orgasmic combination of succulent chicken with juicy abalone in a flavourful yellow sauce! This is a new dish that I hope will be kept on the menu beyond Chinese New Year.
An old school dish with a twist, Alaskan Snow Crab was used instead of Flower Crab. The Steamed Alaskan King Crab in Chinese Rice Wine with Chicken Oil & Crispy Pork Lard is to die for especially with copious amounts of heartstopping but pleasure-inducing lard croutons! The clean and sweet flavours of the Alaskan Snow Crab was given a richer flavour with the addition of Chinese Rice Wine. The silky egg custard profited from the umami-rich flavour of the crab jus and slightly sweet Chinese Rice Wine. Definitely a Must-Try!
Just as the food coma was starting to set in, our hosts brought 2 big pots of Man Fu Yuan’s Treasures Pot aka Pen Cai into the room.
It may not look like much but a Pen Cai is truly a labour of love requiring more than 12 hours of prep time and patience to place the ingredients neatly into the pot, layer by layer. Man Fu Yuan’s Pen Cai contains more than 18 premium ingredients comprising whole baby abalones, Canadian lobster, fish maw, scallops, goose web, chinese sausage, prawns, spiky sea cucumber, roasted duck, quail egg, pig’s trotter, flower mushrooms, cabbage, beancurd skin, fried yam, sea moss and liver sausages. The scallops, prawns, abalone and yam had been cooked to perfection with the yam absorbing the flavours of the rich brown stock that the Pen Cai had been simmered with. Priced at $388 for a portion that serves 5, this is a dish worth sharing with your nearest and dearest.
The pièce de résistance of the meal is the legendary Whole Suckling Pig stuffed with Glutinous Rice ($388 for a whole pig)! The crisp and browned crackling coupled with delectably succulent flesh, and “wok hei” infused fried glutinous rice with flavourful nuggets of lup cheong (Chinese sausages) that glistened with drippings from the suckling pig. No matter how full many of us felt, we had to find room for this dish. I enjoyed every bite of the suckling pig and savoured each grain of rice. This is definitely a Must-Try!
Dessert was a decadent Double-boiled Superior Bird’s Nest with Julienned Young Coconut. Cooked with fresh coconut juice in a coconut shell, the natural sweetness of the juice imparted a lovely flavour to the gelatinous strands of Bird’s Nest that was complemented with firm bits of julienned coconut.
A second dessert was served featuring several Chinese New Year Goodies from the takeaway menu such as crumbly Golden Egg Custard Pastry and Scented Osmanthus Nian Gao with Shandong Premium Red Dates. They were complemented with a Sesame Dumpling coated with Ground Peanuts and a throat-soothing Cream of Almond.
The prosperity set menus are priced from $108++ to $328++ per person. Contact the restaurant for more details. It’s worth noting that many of these items are available for takeaway via their online shop and by phone or email (20% off for Citibank cardholders). Perfect for potluck parties or for family parties when you’re too tired to cook! Orders must be placed at least 3 days in advance.Man Fu Yuan InterContinental Singapore, 80 Middle Road, Singapore 188966. Telephone: +65 6820 8519 / 8520 Email: email@example.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ICSingapore Operating Hours: Daily from 12 pm – 2.30 pm & 6.30 pm – 10.30 pm PS: Thank you, InterContinental Singapore, for the kind hospitality.