Celebrate the moon at Jade restaurant in The Fullerton Hotel. Chinese Executive Chef Leong Chee Yeng shows that he is both an artist on the canvas and in the kitchen with an inspired six-course menu that charms with its subtle flavours and beautiful presentation.
When you walk into Jade restaurant at The Fullerton Hotel, the pastel blue and cream tones are inviting and welcoming. Beautifully crafted sculptures — vases, pots, and such — decorate each table. Anyone familiar with award-winning Executive Chef Leong Chee Yeng will know that the many pieces of art in the restaurant are handmade by him. A painter, sculptor, and calligrapher, Chef Leong is known as much for his artistic talents as he is for his genius in the kitchen.
His latest creation, the Mid-Autumn Treasures menu, is no exception. Available only from Sept 25 to Oct 1, the six-course menu is inspired by the traditions of mid-autumn, such as “admiring the moon”, and features symbolic references to the festival traditionally celebrated by the Chinese around the world.
From the poetic naming of the dishes in Mandarin to the exquisite presentation of each dish, everything served on the table resembles a work of art, with the moon as its central theme. We begin with the Trio of Moonlight, which includes sautéed sliced duck in Chinese wine and soy sauce; chilled fresh abalone scented with fragrant rose wine; and deep-fried scallop stuffed with shrimp paste and green pear for a refreshing crunch.
The cold, deeply flavoured abalone was a delightful contrast to the warm deep-fried scallop, and each of the three items were well-balanced, with flavours that complemented and did not overpower each other. This starter dish prepared the palate for the deeply savoury and hearty double-boiled chicken soup, served with a delicate layer of housemade beancurd that is mixed with finely minced chicken. Rich, nourishing and perfect for the spell of rainy weather we are all currently facing, this soup also has a slice of winter melon stuffed with dried scallop, carefully carved and placed in the bowl to represent the reflection of the moon on a lake.
Next up, we sampled the delicate, fresh sliced grouper fish, accented with the fragrance of roasted garlic, braised with yam and pan-fried housemade beancurd, and decorated with a disc of salted egg yolk that symbolises the full moon of mid-autumn. Here we truly see not only Chef Leong’s artistry, but also his fine handling of Chinese cuisine, demonstrating his expertise in subtle and nuanced flavours. Personally, this was my favourite dish of the menu.
There is also a fantastically melt-in-yourmouth steamed egg white with prawns, scented with vintage Chinese Hua Diao Wine. It is packed with umami (savoury) flavours, and the steamed egg white is flawlessly smooth — with nary a bubble or curdle — and quite literally melts in your mouth.
This is followed by a fragrant wok-fried rice with honey-glazed pork char siew, as well as preserved black olives and fish roe for extra umami. It is also given an extra little crunch with some puffed rice, which makes a total delight to eat for its textures and flavours. Fried rice, the staple of any Chinese cuisine, is one of the dishes I rarely enjoy — I have had too many plates of fried rice that were heavy-handed on the salt and grease, as if more salt equals more flavour. Well, it does not. Nor should the rice be cooked, washed and drained (we’re still looking at you, BBC).
However, the fried rice served up by Chef Leong is none of those things. Here, we have perfectly cooked grains of rice bursting with plenty of wok hei (a term to describe the charred, smoky flavour from a scorching hot wok), with a hint of saltiness from the olives, and some sweetness from the char siew. A single serving is not enough, truly.
Finally, the meal is finished on a sweet note with a delightfully refreshing pineapple and coconut ice cream, served with osmanthus jelly, a ridiculously cute rabbit-shaped egg white cake that melts in the mouth, and a selection of petite baked and snowskin mooncakes from this year’s Jade Signatures Mooncake Collection.
Truthfully, I am a sucker for all things cute and tiny, so while I was not overly impressed by the cake itself — which was sweet and soft but not much else, flavour-wise — the “rabbit” still made its way to my social media pages instantly.
Of the trio, the ice cream was the winner for me — really light and zesty, with lovely creaminess coming from the coconut. Jade’s Mid-Autumn Treasures menu is priced at $98++ per person, and one guest dines free with every three paying adult guests.
Overall, this is fine Chinese cuisine at its best, and well worth a try.
JADE @ THE FULLERTON HOTEL SINGAPORE
1 Fullerton Square
Telephone: +65 6877 8911 / 8912
Email: [email protected]
À la carte and set menu
Monday to Sunday
11.30 am to 3.00 pm (last order at 2.30 pm)
6.30 pm to 10.30 pm (last order at 10.00 pm)
Weekend yum cha
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays
11.30 am to 3.00 pm (last order at 2.30 pm)