When multi-talented Master Chef Leong joins forces with Singapore’s renowned food critic, Wong Ah Yoke, to curate a special menu as a tribute to Singapore’s golden jubilee, expect wonders. These selected dishes were served only at banquets and special occasions back in the 1960s and 1970s and are slowly phasing out. You will find Cantonese classics like the lobster-sized Pan-Fried King Prawns with Special Sauce (pictured above), mostly enjoyed during Chinese New Year because of its auspicious-sounding name. Old-time favourites such as the Crispy Yam Ring with Kung Pao Chicken and Cashew Nuts also makes an appearance, winning us over with its velvety center and fork-tender kung pao chicken.
The Double-boiled Winter Melon Soup (pictured right) is a meal on its own, featuring a medley of ingredients including thin slices of duck, held in a beautifully carved melon bowl. Other highlights include the Roast Chicken, which is hung to dry for 5 to 6 hours for an extra crisp skin. Desserts you must leave room for: Pan-Fried Red Bean Cake, Chinese Sugar Egg Puff and Steamed Layered Cake with Salted Egg and Nuts. Prices: Nostalgic Feast Set Dinner Menu – $125++ per person (6 pax), $85++ per person (2 pax) An a la carte dinner menu good for 2 to 4 pax is also available. Note: The Chinese Eight Treasures Duck and Double-boiled Winter Melon Soup require pre-ordering one day in advance. Jade Restaurant, The Fullerton Hotel, 1 Fullerton Square (Lobby), Singapore 049178
In a bid to reintroduce time-tested recipes by three culinary pioneers of Singapore, Shermay Lee returns to The Clifford Pier with a standout menu of eight dishes selected from their respective cookbooks. You can expect a myriad of Peranakan, Cantonese and Indian-influenced dishes – all familiar comfort dishes representative of those from the colonial era. Get hands-on and roll up your very own Peranakan Popiah, a signature dish of the late-Mrs Lee Chin Koon’s. (Here’s how to roll a perfect popiah.) If a combination of heavy gravy and rice is your biggest weakness, then you’re in for a treat and you’ll love these: Cantonese Beef Cheek Stew, Chicken Almond-Cashew Curry and Babi Chin. The first two dishes originate from “The Best of Singapore Cooking” (Mrs Leong Yee Soo’s cookbook). Shermay gives a slight twist to the beef cheek stew with an aromatic mix of cinnamon, star anise and peppercorns. For curry lovers, finishing that bowl of chicken almond-cashew curry will be no mean feat and we highly recommend dipping the accompanying papadum straight in. The third dish, according to a recipe by her grandmother, is a fork-tender pork shoulder that is braised in dark soya sauce before being served with white rice and nonya achar.
Another dish worth mentioning is Mrs Ellice Handy’s (former principal of Methodist Girls' School) Fish Kedgeree, one of the many recipes featured in her cookbook, “My Favourite Recipes” that preserves those from British colonial kitchens. Boiled rice mixed with flaked ikan kurau, hard-boiled kampung eggs and butter is served with a trio of house-made tomato chutney, nonya achar and cilicuka.
Save room for some Singapore Heritage Desserts, essentially a quad of cakes and pastries that embrace flavours most of us grew up with. The Rose Bandung is overly sweet, as most macarons tend to be, so fans of non-sweet treats would prefer the Kaya Roll or Marie Biscuit Cake. The former is slightly denser than your usual Swiss Roll, while the latter is buttery and eggy and made with our childhood favourite Marie biscuits. Tip: Order their signature Teh Tarik for a strong finish to your meal. The eight dishes from Singapore’s Culinary Grande Dames’ Menu are priced from $23 to $26 each. The Clifford Pier, The Fullerton Bay Hotel, 80 Collyer Quay, Singapore 049326 See also: Popular Cantonese dishes in Singapore Best Chinese Restaurants in Singapore
Written by Peh Yi Wen