Posts Tagged ‘abalone’

Wedding Lunch at Min Jiang @ one-North

I partook in my cousin’s wedding over the weekend at Min Jiang Restaurant. It was a lovely wedding. The atmosphere was relaxed and the food was very good. Most importantly, my cousin was a smiling bride all the way without a hint of stress etched on her forehead. The bride and groom stayed in the restaurant the whole time. Not only did they have time to mingle with the guests, they had time to eat too! In my opinion, this is how weddings should be like. For my own wedding, I intend to have time to savour all the food (that I painstakingly chose) and mingle with all the guests!

Scroll down to see photos of the sumptuous banquet we were served at Min Jiang.

Lunch Wedding at Min Jiang @ one North - Solemnization Ceremony Solemnization Ceremony

Lunch Wedding at Min Jiang @ one North - Tea Drinking Ceremony

Tea Drinking Ceremony – These were done on the 1st floor, with the banquet being held on the 2nd floor.

Lunch Wedding at Min Jiang @ one North - Lovely rose table decorations

Floral table decorations. Love the red rose petals.

Lunch Wedding at Min Jiang @ one North - Combination of Lobster Salad with Duo Flavors (2)

Combination of Lobster Salad with Duo Flavors

Lunch Wedding at Min Jiang @ one North - Double Boiled Superior Shark's Fin in Supreme Chicken Consomme

Double Boiled Superior Shark’s Fin in Supreme Chicken Consomme

One of the best Shark’s Fin soup I have eaten in a long time! It shouldn’t even be called a consomme because it was thick with collagen. The amount of shark’s fin served in the soup was extremely generous. Here you see me scooping 1 portion of fin out. There were several more portions in the soup. The Partner as usual abstained.

Lunch Wedding at Min Jiang @ one North - Min Jiang Legendary Wood Fired Beijing Duck served with Homemade Crepes

Min Jiang Legendary Wood Fired Beijing Duck served with Homemade Crepes

Lunch Wedding at Min Jiang @ one North - Stir fried prawns & scallops in XO Chilli Sauce

Stir fried prawns & scallops in XO Chilli Sauce

Lunch Wedding at Min Jiang @ one North - Steamed Red Garoupa with Golden Mushrooms and Black Fungus

Steamed Red Garoupa with Golden Mushrooms and Black Fungus

Lunch Wedding at Min Jiang @ one North - Braised 8 Head Abalone with Sea Cucumber and Seasonal Vegetables

Braised 8 Head Abalone with Sea Cucumber and Seasonal Vegetables

Lunch Wedding at Min Jiang @ one North - Braised 'Mee Pok' Noodles with Shredded Duck in XO Chilli Sauce

Braised ‘Mee Pok’ Noodles with Shredded Duck

Lunch Wedding at Min Jiang @ one North - Chilled Cream of Fresh Mango and Sago Pomelo with Ice-cream

Chilled Cream of Fresh Mango and Sago Pomelo with Ice-cream

Lunch Wedding at Min Jiang @ one North - Second Floor Second Floor

Min Jiang at One-North

No. 5 Rochester Park, Singapore 139216

http://www.goodwoodparkhotel.com/dining-en.html

Jia Wei Restaurant at Grand Mercure Roxy

*Media Invite*

After our cocktails by the pool and tour of the hotel, we were treated to a sumptuous dinner at Jia Wei Chinese Restaurant. We had a cosy little private room all to ourselves. The private room seats 20 (2 round tables of 10), and when not in use, the sliding walls can be removed so that there is more space for for the rest of the restaurant. I liked it one of the walls was made of glass, which allowed us to overlook the hotel lobby. Private dining rooms can be very claustrophobic, with their stark white walls and dim lighting, but this one at Jia Wei had a nice warm ambience to it.

Jia Wei is but one of the 5 restaurants available at Grand Mercure Roxy. Featuring contemporary oriental design and décor amidst a fine-dining ambiance, Jia Wei Chinese Restaurant offers both exquisite fusion and authentic Chinese cuisine created by the award-winning Chinese Executive Chef Lee Tuck Seng . Opened in December 2007, the cuisine specialties at Jia Wei include the Traditional Hong Kong Dim Sum ( 香传统港点心), Peking Duck (北京烤鸭), Live Seafood (活海鲜) and Double Boiled Soup (炖汤).

I’m always slightly apprehensive about big blogger events if I’m going alone as I always fear I would be left alone with no one to talk to. I’m not the most extroverted of people although I pretend to try, but really I’m a scaredy cat inside ha! Thank goodness Melvin of A Winsome Life was next to me. Met him at the Greenwich V event just 2 weeks ago! Janet of OMY was at my table too so that was a relief. As usual I worried for nothing because conversation flowed freely and it was a wonderful evening.

Mercure Roxy - Jia Wei (2) Lovely table centrepiece

Mercure Roxy - (27)

The chef here to welcome us as well as to introduce Jia Wei’s signature dishes.

Mercure Roxy - 4 Dim sum Delight)

Deep-fried Seafood Roll with Mixed Fruit
Steamed Scallop Dumpling
Siew Mai with Cordyceps Flower
Deep-fried Prawn Dumpling with Shark’s Fin

It was great to have dim sum for dinner. I’m the type of person that can have dim sum any time of the day. I was really pleased to find out that you can even order dim sum as late as 5pm! I know you can always go to the hawker centre types for late night dim sum, but the standard there is really terrible! For me, good dim sum is made with prawns, not pork! The dim sum at Jia Wei is pretty good, although there is room for improvement, such as in the skin of the prawn dumpling, which was slightly thick.

Mercure Roxy - DOUBLE BOILED FISH MAW SOUP WITH CORDYCEPS FLOWER, ABALONE AND CONPOYDouble boiled fish maw soup with cordyceps flower, abalone and conpoy

For those of you who feel like you need some nourishment, this is a very good soup to order. It is loaded with good stuff and you can tell that the liquid has been infused with the nutrients from the ingredients as it makes your lips sticky when you press them together. That’s collagen that’s causing the stickiness! Soup that just happens to be thickened with starch will not make your lips sticky. Try this trick out.

Mercure Roxy - Peking Duck Peking Duck

The Peking Duck elicited lots of excited “oohs” and “ahhs” from our table. Seriously, who can resist this? The skin was crispy and the flesh tender. Paired with the pancake and some sauce, it tasted really wonderful.

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Azur Restaurant at Crowne Plaza Changi Airport

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It’s going to be Chinese New Year again and apart from Christmas, Chinese New Year is something I really look forward to each year. Unlike many people I know, I actually love visiting relatives, having relatives over to my place, all the CNY goodies and also the Ang Pow! This is possibly my last year to receive Ang Pows for CNY so I must celebrate doubly hard!

Last Tuesday, I was invited to partake in a Chinese New Year feast at the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport. This Chinese New Year, Crowne Plaza Changi Airport’s award winning restaurant Azur is presenting special lunch and dinner festive menus from January 22, 2012 to February 6, 2012. Diners can indulge in culinary treasures from the festive menu with an array of gourmet dishes from its international buffet. Along with the festive menu, guests will enjoy complimentary Prosperity “Lo Hei” Yu Sheng prepared fresh at a live station.

So before anyone else has done so, I’ve already done my Lo-Hei. In fact, my first Lo-Hei for 2012 was all the way back in October 2011 at Thai Village (can you beat that!). The dishes we had at the tasting session were a sampling of the best dishes available for the festive buffet.

Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Azur Restaurant - Yu Sheng 2

Everyone likes to do the Lo-Hei (Yu Sheng) as it’s quite fun to toss the ingredients as high as possible. It can be quite a rowdy affair with accidental splatters. I think I found some shreds of vegetable in my hair one year! Definitely don’t wear your best shirt on that day. But while people like tossing the Yu Sheng, most don’t enjoy eating the dish all that much. I personally take a few mouthfuls worth and then I start fishing for the salmon and the crunchy golden nuggets.

The Crispy Salmon Skin and Abalone Yu Sheng at Azur Restaurant is quite different from the norm. For the 1st time ever, nobody was interested in the golden nuggets. Instead, everyone was fishing for the crispy salmon skin, which I can tell you is really delicious and far more interesting that plain old crackers now.

**For the festive buffet, diners will enjoy complimentary Prosperity “Lo Hei” Yu Sheng prepared fresh at a live station (only Salmon slices and no Abalone or Crispy Salmon Skin). Whether it’s Yu Sheng for 2 people or Yu Sheng for 20 people, the chef will still prepare it for you! So couples, you will still be able to partake in the good fortune! The Yu Sheng with the Abalone and Crispy Salmon Skin is for takeaway only.

Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Azur Restaurant - Salmon and Abalone Yu Sheng in Chef’s special dressing “Ginger Shoyu” (2) Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Azur Restaurant - Crispy Salmon Skin and Abalone for the Lo Hei

The Salmon and Abalone Yu Sheng in Chef’s special dressing “Ginger Shoyu” was nicely laid out. See the huge bowl of crispy salmon skin? Yummmm. The abalone was nice too but mostly lost in the huge pile of salad. The Ginger Shoyu sauce was very nice as compared to the cheap sweet sauce used in most other places. Scroll to the end to see pictures of the tossing!

Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Azur Restaurant - Treasures from the sea (Fish Maw, Sea Cucumber, Crabmeat, Dried Scallop) (2)

Next up was Treasures from the sea (Fish Maw, Sea Cucumber, Crabmeat, Dried Scallop). This is the type of soup that would be featured in most wedding banquets if the wedding couple chooses not to go for sharks fin. But at Azur, they have jazzed up the soup with lots more ingredients. I found the soup to be flavoured very well with the ingredients used. It was hearty and there was a lot of bite. As you can see from the pictures, it really is chock full of ingredients. The soup was a tad too starchy though and I had to stop at half a bowl in case I couldn’t eat the rest of the lunch.

Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Azur Restaurant - Treasures from the sea (Fish Maw, Sea Cucumber, Crabmeat, Dried Scallop) Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Azur Restaurant - Steamed Garoupa in Pickle Chilli and Crispy Pork Lard (1)Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Azur Restaurant - Steamed Garoupa in Pickle Chilli and Crispy Pork Lard

Steamed Garoupa in Pickle Chilli and Crispy Pork Lard – Now fans of pork lard, you surely have to try out this fish as it’s practically swimming in it. Those crispy brown things are the pork lard! I had a tiny nibble of it, don’t want to be at odds with my doctor, and it was sooo good. The fish itself was tender and fresh tasting. Surprisingly, the pork lard didn’t make the fish taste oily and for me, there wasn’t a noticeable pork flavour in the fish as well, which is a good thing. Instead, what I detected was a hint of sweetness in the soya sauce due to the pickle chilli. For ease of serving, garoupa fillets will be served at the buffet instead of whole fish.

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Gastromania Feast @ Far East Square !!!

And what a feast it was! If you think tackling a buffet requires skill, think again! It’s nothing compared to the Gastromania Feast at Far East Square organised by OMY! The makan session lasted FOUR AND A HALF HOURS and saw us chomping through EIGHT restaurants and eateries! I ate enough for breakfast, lunch, dinner and the next day’s breakfast! Seriously, I don’t think I’ll be thinking about food for the next few days….

Far East Square has come a long way. The 61 shophouses that made up most of Far East Square date back 170 years when Telok Ayer Street was a landing site for Chinese immigrants arriving in Singapore by boat. Yes, the river used to come much closer back then. Opened in 1999, it is now a heritage conservation project with a vibrant mix of restaurants, cafes, and pubs, as well as shops, pushcarts and kiosks.

These are the 8 eateries we covered!

  1. Zhou’s Kitchen
  2. SPRING JuChunYuan 聚春园
  3. Garuda Padang Cuisine
  4. Shin Kushiya
  5. Mont Calzone Pizza & Pasta
  6. Mirchi – Taste of India
  7. The Original Hock Lam Street Beef Kway Teow
  8. Oni cupcakes

First Stop : Zhou’s Kitchen

One of Tung Lok’s numerous restaurants, Zhou’s Kitchen is designed to replicate the experience of dining at home. The place feels casual and features all-time Chinese favourites such as Clam Soup with Cabbage, Beancurd with Dried Shrimps and Curry Fish Head.

Zhou's kitchen - Pork shank with mantou (4)

For our Gastromania Feast, we were served 2 humongous platters of pork shank together with piping hot steamed and fried mantous (buns). I can never resist fried mantous and yesterday was no exception! The mantous were pretty good, with a crispy exterior and a fluffy inside.

Zhou's kitchen (2)

Of course, this being a blogger’s meal meant that we all had to have our fill of photo taking first, (almost 5 minutes worth I think!) before the patient waiter could start dividing up the meat for us.

Zhou's kitchen - Pork shank with mantou (3)

Close up shot of the pork shank. I took slices from different parts of the shank. Some bits were really flavourful and tender, almost melting in my mouth. However, other parts were rather tough. It was lucky I took more than one slice because quite a few bloggers had complained about the same thing too.

2nd Stop : SPRING JuChunYuan 聚春园

SPRING JuChunYuan

Next, we hopped across the walkway to SPRING JuChunYuan, which is housed in the building of the former Chui Eng Free School, one of the first chinese free schools in Singapore, established more than 150 years ago. To be frank, I have passed that historic looking building many times over the years, but I hadn’t paid close attention to it so I was quite shocked to find that a restaurant now resides in it!

JuChunYuan itself is brand name with an equally rich heritage, dating back to 1865. Did you know that Fo Tiao Qiang, aka “Buddha Jumps over the Wall” was created at JuChunYuan in Fuzhou China in 1876???? When the restaurant manager told me that, it kind of sent goose pimples down my arm to realise that I was dining at restaurant with such a historic legacy!

SPRING JuChunYuan - Buddha jumps over the wall (2)

This huge tureen of shark’s fin, abalone, scallop, sea cucumber, fish maw and more costs a whopping $1288!!!! The waiter carrying this must be really careful, or else…

SPRING JuChunYuan - Buddha jumps over the wall (6)

And this here costs $128 since this is 1 person’s portion out of a possible 10.

SPRING JuChunYuan - Buddha jumps over the wall

Gotta have a closer shot of the abalone, scallop and sharks fin….

SPRING JuChunYuan - Buddha jumps over the wall (3)

Ok we didn’t get to sample the $128 portion. We did however get to sample some of the renown Buddha Jumps over the wall. There is so much goodness in there that even the blogger sitting next to me who had a sore throat joked that it had been cured. Notice the pretty teapot with the dainty tea cups in the background. I think I drank more than 20 cups of tea in the short span of time because they were oh so dainty!

SPRING JuChunYuan - (3) 

3rd Stop : Garuda Padang Cuisine

Garuda, established in 1976, is supposedly the most successful and one of the largest Padang cuisine restaurants in Indonesia. Together in a partnership with TungLok Group, they have now expanded into Singapore as well.

Garuda Padang Cuisine - Fried chicken with blue ginger floss

We got to sample their signature Fried chicken with blue ginger floss. Each portion usually goes for about $5, but the picture above shows 2 portions. I found the chicken to be average. It was slightly salty, but I suppose if we had tried it with rice, it would be just nice. I liked the blue ginger floss, which had a nice crunchy texture to it and gave the chicken quite a unique flavour.

Garuda Padang Cuisine - Lime Soda

You have to try their lime soda if you go to Garuda. I love the zing that the lime gives to the soda. It was really refreshing!

Garuda Padang Cuisine - Selection of dishes

Many other dishes to choose from…

4th Stop : Shin Kushiya

I am quite well acquainted with Shin Kushiya, having had the opportunity to be invited to the myVillage Shin Kushiya branch some months back. Shin Kushiya is famous for its Kushiyaki. Prior to October 2006 when they first started, there was no other restaurant featuring the Kushiyaki dining concept. Kushiyaki by the way is the Japanese term for “Charcoal-grilled skewers”. Some might ask, what then is Yakitori? Well that refers specifically to charcoal-grilled chicken skewers.

Shin Kushiya

If you visit the Far East Square Shin Kushiya branch, you get to watch the chefs hard at work. Top left photo: Bloggers checking to make sure that their tools of the trade are still working alright…

Shin Kushiya - 4 different types of kushiyaki

Ebi Shiso Maki (Prawns), Buta Bara Yaki Miso (Pork Belly), Black pepper yakitori (chicken), Tomato Maki. The experience this time round was not as fantastic as at myVillage. The yakitori in particular I felt was tough and dry. I still love the tomato maki though. Every mouthful is indeed a burst of sweet flavour and goes so well with the salty bacon wrapped around it. 

Shin Kushiya - Yuzu Cooler

We were served Shin Kushiya’s signature drink, the Yuzu Cooler. It was as good as the previous time and is a definite must order! I just love the citrusy yuzu with the soda water. Makes you feel as if you’re having something healthy…

Shin Kushiya - Kuro Goma Heaven (Black Sesame Ice Cream)

Kuro Goma Heaven Black Sesame Ice Cream – I am not that big a fan of black sesame fillings when it comes to Chinese desserts. Surprisingly, I loved the flavour of this ice cream. It’s like eating green tea ice cream, you either love it or hate it. You are supposed to pair the ice cream with the black sesame paste on the side to get a more intense flavour. But I think, green tea ice cream is still my favourite.

5th Stop : Mont Calzone Pizza & Pasta

Are you still with me at this point??? We were all asking ourselves the same question by the time we reached the 5th stop! But plod on we must!!!

Next up was Mont Calzone Pizza & Pasta restaurant. You can enjoy hearty Italian cuisine at reasonable prices in this laid-back pizzeria. Apparently, all pizza selections can be made into calzones. I’ve only ever tried the calzone once in my entire life and that was in the US. A calzone is like a humongous curry puff, with pizza filling instead of curry of course.

Mont Calzone pizza & pasta - Black Truffle pizza (2)

The Black Truffle pizza. As I’ve said time and again, anything that has an egg looking like that will get me weak in the knees. I was quite glad to be sitting closest to this pizza heh heh heh! Unfortunately, this isn’t the best version of black truffle pizza I’ve eaten. The texture of the pizza was pretty hard such that at one point when I was slicing it, the pizza slice nearly flew off my plate! Also, I could hardly detect the truffle flavour.

After the black truffle pizza, I had to rest a while so I didn’t try out the other dishes. They do look good I must say, especially the sambal marinara pasta, which must be quite unique!

Mont Calzone pizza & pasta - Smoked salmon pizza

Smoked Salmon Pizza

Mont Calzone pizza & pasta -Sambal marinara pasta

Sambal Marinara Pasta

Mont Calzone pizza & pasta - Carbonara

Pasta Carbonara

6th Stop : Mirchi – Taste of India

With renewed vigour, we moved on to Mirchi – Taste of India. Mirchi is owned by the Harry’s Group, and specialises in authentic Northern Indian cuisine, both vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian.

Mirchi - Tandoori platter (2)

We got to sample the Tandoori Non-Vegetarian Kebab Platter which comprises of an assortment of fish tikka, chicken tikka, lamb kebab and prawns spiced with tandoori masala. Of the 4 meat items, I am surprised to say that I actually liked the fish tikka the most! As you know I am so fussy with fish, but this fish here was tender to the bite and tasty! I would have gobbled it all up if I hadn’t had to save space for the other items. The prawns were quite good too. I liked the succulent texture and the spices. The chicken was so so. The lamb was not so good. It tasted dry and lacked flavour. I tried to enhance it by adding some mint sauce to it, but the improvement was only marginal.

Mirchi - Lassitude (Lassi with attitude on the left)

Not a fan of lassi so I shan’t comment further. We were offered some seed looking things that had a minty flavour. Apparently you eat this to cleanse your palate.

7th Stop : The Original Hock Lam Street Beef Kway Teow

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Hock Lam street used to be where Funan Centre is now. Can you see the red fire station right in the middle of the picture? That fire station still stands along Hill street to this day, but sadly, Hock Lam street exists no more. In fact, before the Original Hock Lam Street stall was located in Hock Lam Street, 98 years ago it Tina Tan’s great granddad used to sell his delicious noodles on foot around Chinatown, carrying the heavy pots of soup on his back!

Hock Lam Beef - Tina Tan showing us how to prepare the noodles (3)

Think most people know of this famous Beef Kuay Teow place, especially if you’ve worked in the Shenton Way area. Did you know that it is now being run by the 4th generation? That’s Tina Tan, the 4th generation carrying on her family business. Several years ago, Tina Tan quit her $10k/month job just so that she could continue running the family business. That’s testament to how much love she has for the business, which must have been a huge part of her growing up years as well.

Hock Lam Beef - Original mixed beef kway teow with soup

We got to sample a smaller version of the Mixed Beef Kuay Teow with soup. I have to agree, the soup is damn flavourful! The soup is boiled for 24 hours, and the beef is hand sliced and not machine cut so that the fats are all adequately removed! The soup is therefore flavoured from the meats and not from the fats. Everything is done by them with the exception of the Kuay Teow, which is bought from a special supplier. I just love it when food is cooked the old fashioned way and with love. I don’t mind having to pay more if I know I’m getting quality and not something that is machine made and mass produced.

Hock Lam Beef - Mr Tan

Mr Anthony Tan, Tina’s father explaining the intricacies of his business.

8th Stop : Oni cupcakes

And finally, the last stop!!!

Oni cupcakes was set up in 2008 and offers cupcakes specially designed by in house bakers.

Oni cupcakes (3)

The pretty cupcakes elicited excited squeals from many of the bloggers. Don’t you agree they just look so cute?? I couldn’t decide which flavour to choose so eventually I took the chocolate one with the pink frosting. Unfortunately, I thought the cup cake was pretty average, bordering on dry to be frank. After that, I didn’t want to try anymore.

Oni cupcakes

I can’t get over the fact that they look so darn cute! Whoever Daniel and Jaslyn are, congratulations on your wedding! Maybe I should come back again for a second try.

The End!!!

AND AT LAST, we ended our culinary feast at Far East Square. Special thanks to the OMY team for putting this all together. I had a lot of fun sampling all the food and making friends with the other bloggers. It was definitely a well spent Saturday afternoon. Thanks OMY!

Now excuse me while I recuperate from a bulging tummy and from writing this long post!

Oh Please remember to vote for me at http://contest.omy.sg/let-the-feast-begin-gastromania/. I’m picture number 5, aka 365days2play! You stand a chance to win $50 and you will help me to win $500!!!

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