For most people, Chinese New Year is the holiday most people look forward to. With the long break and red packets available, there’s nothing not to love. Here at WhatsNext, its our favourite time of the year for one reason only- food! Pineapple Tarts, Love letters, Steamboat and Yusheng, what’s not to love. And if you like us love food, then there’s no better place to enjoy CNY food than at Resorts World Sentosa. Here are some of the highlights of this year’s delicious CNY Menu from the tasting session a couple of weeks back.
Our first stop for the day was Forest 森 located in Equarius Hotel. For those not driving, there is a courtesy shuttle service from the lobby of Hotel Michael every 15 minutes.
First up on our tasting menu was their Signature Salmon Yu Sheng. What makes this dish unique is the chef’s attempt to make the dish more healthy, featuring Crispy White Bait and a special Yuzu Honey-Lime Dressing in lieu of the traditional plum sauce. In addition to these two unique ingredients, the vegetables and fruits used are all freshly prepared which adds an extra freshness to the dish. This delightful combination gives a great zesty flavour which is light on the taste buds and is a refreshing change to the normal heavy sweetness present in the traditional Yu Sheng dish. For the health conscious or those who are seeking to add a twist to their usual Chinese New Year dish, this Signature Salmon Yu Sheng is just the thing for you.
(The Signature Salmon Yu Sheng ranges from $68(small) and $118(large), which is good for 4-8 persons)
Next on the tasting menu was yet another interesting take on a traditional dish. This unique Hot and Sour Soup was both surprising in appearance and taste. Instead of the typical red or black soup one would expect, this Hot and Sour Soup is a clear soup. The broth base is specially prepared by boiling chicken breast for about 6 hours which gives it a really flavourful base. Also, instead of using normal vinegar, a white Japanese vinegar is used which keeps the soup clear. Apart from this unique choice of vinegar, the dish also features Kaffir Lime Leaves which gives it a very light sourness somewhat reminiscent of Tom Yum Soup. Finely shredded tofu and a Chawanmushi style steamed egg add another unique twist to this traditional Chinese dish. Finally, braised Fresh Red Flower Crabmeat is added to add a sweetness to nicely contrast with sourness of the dish. This finely balanced ensemble of flavours is both light and refreshing which allows you to thoroughly enjoy the rest of your dishes without the lingering taste of sourness on your tongue. This dish is a definite must try even for those who are not into hot and sour soups.
Our last dish for this stop was the French Duck Breast. Carefully prepared sous-vide style, the duck breast is then pan seared and served with black bean and black truffle sauce. The sous-vide cooking ensures that the thick slice of duck breast is evenly cooked without the outside being overly tough, this gives a nice even texture throughout the meat. The black bean and black truffle sauce is also nicely prepared to give a light delicate taste without the normally overpowering taste of black beans or truffles. The lightness of the sauce nicely contrasts the slightly heavier taste of the duck meat and really brings out the flavour of the meat. This allows you to really enjoy the duck breast without it being drowned out by the taste of the sauce.
Along with these dishes, we were served a refreshing lemongrass basil drink with a small dash of lime. This drink is light on the taste buds and taking a sip or two between dishes nicely resets the palate allowing you to really savour the taste of the next dish. A great compliment to any meal, this drink can also be enjoyed on its own and provides and nice interlude in our warm and humid weather.
Feng Shui Inn
Next on our list is Feng Shui Inn, a fine dining restaurant featuring Cantonese Cuisine located in Crockfords Tower.
The first on our tasting list at Feng Shui Inn was its Longevity “Lo Hei’. This special “Lo Hei” has a unique artistic presentation in that the ingredients are arranged to look like a monkey. This is in line with this coming Chinese Lunar New Year’s theme which is the year of the monkey in the Chinese Zodiac. Apart from the great artistic presentation, this dish features a number of unique ingredients: Dried Banana Chips, Crispy Fish Skin, Wholegrain Cornflakes, Barbequed Pork (Bak Kwa) Strips and Smoked Salmon. These unique ingredients add additional dimensions to this traditional Chinese New Year dish which give it a really luxurious feel. The banana chips and pork strips add additional sweetness to this dish which enhances the taste of the fresh vegetables and fruits used. The fish skin is slightly salty and blends nicely with the sweetness of the other ingredients and the smoky flavour of the salmon adds an extra depth to the flavours of the dish. All in all, this dish is a really interesting take on the traditional dish with an extra luxurious feel from the choice of ingredients which really adds to the season’s flavour of wishing prosperity to all.
Our second dish was Pan Seared Tiger Prawns and for those with a prawn allergy, they had Pan Seared Scallops as an alternative. The prawns and scallops are seared to perfection, retaining their sweetness and juiciness. Both the prawns and scallops were drizzled in a light turmeric sauce which helped to enhance the flavour of the seafood. The lightness of the sauce also ensured that the flavours of the seafood were not drowned out as one would normally expect from such a spice. The sides of watermelon and asparagus help to balance the taste of the seafood and sauce ensuring that it doesn’t leave an overly heavy feeling on the tongue.
The final dish of this stop was the Chinese Premium Ham Fried Rice and Prawns. This fried rice is very light and does not leave one bloated as would normally be the case from consuming carbohydrate heavy food. The Chinese ham is finely diced which ensures that you don’t get an overly salty taste with each spoonful. The saltiness of the Chinese ham also pairs nicely with sweetness of the prawns and altogether produce a nice balanced flavour which is what makes this fried rice taste so light. The rice is garnished with small fried garlic shavings and rice crisps that add a nice crispy feeling to the rice. The fried garlic shavings are not overly fried which prevents it from having a bitter after taste which you usually find in fried garlic, it has a really nice aroma without being too overpowering. We also had a special XO sauce which is an original recipe of the Head Chef. This special XO sauce is a great condiment for any dish but it pairs especially well with the fried rice. The sauce is rich yet not overly strong and nicely enhances the flavour of the food you add it to.
Our last stop for the day is Avenue Joffre, a fine dining restaurant with which serves cuisine from Shanghai, Guangdong, Szechuan and Beijing located in Crockfords Tower.
As with our first two stops, the first dish was the Yu Sheng. Avenue Joffre serves the traditional Yu Sheng with abalone and this dish comes without any special ingredients unlike the first two restaurants. If you want the traditional stuff, Avenue Joffre does it nicely.
Next up we had the Braised Pork Knuckle with Dry Oyster and Fat Choy. This dish might be a bit protein heavy with the dry oyster and pork knuckle for some but these two go really nicely together. The rich flavour of the oyster and pork combine nicely and thanks to the thorough braising, both are not too tough. Fat Choy which is Cantonese for prosperity is a must have for traditional Chinese is one of the main ingredients in this dish. Together with the braised mushrooms and vegetables, it rounds out this dish nicely. If you like the traditional favourites, this dish definitely has it.
The final dish we were served was Szechuan Poached Sliced Fish in Chilli Oil. This dish is a familiar favourite for those who love “Ma La” dishes. Roughly translated as Numbing Spiciness, the chili used is extremely hot and results in a numbing sensation on the tongue. The poached fish is soft and breaks easily in the mouth and is not the least bit fishy. Liberally doused in the Chili Oil and Szechuan peppercorns, the fish delivers a numbing sensation from the first bite. Although it has a numbing after effect, this dish is not too hot that it would put you off. This dish is a definite must try especially for those who love “Ma La’ dishes.
To finish off the afternoon, we were served a light clear herbal soup as dessert. Slightly reminiscent of “Cheng Teng”, this dessert has lots of Malva Nut which is commonly found in the aforementioned. In addition to malva nut, this clear soup has diced pear and wolfberries which gives the soup a slight fruity sweetness. This dessert rounds off any meal nicely and definitely should be tried at least once.
All 3 restaurants had a wonderful CNY menu spread. Depending on the style of chinese food you’d prefer, each restaurant caters to a different taste bud. Our personal favourite was Feng Shui Inn as it offered chinese food reminiscent of traditional dishes but with ingenius twists here and there. However, that’s not to say Forest’s modern chinese cuisine or Avenue Joffre’s cantonese style dishes were equally as good because to be honest, you can’t go wrong with either. So try if you are looking for new, fresh and bold flavours this CNY, RWS is definitely the place to have your renunion dinner.
For more information about the mouth-watering offerings featured here, check out RWS full CNY Menu here
Written by: Daniel Chin & Lemuel Low
Photos by: Daniel Chin for WhatsNextSG