Sunday, January 6, 2013

Jiang Nan Chun : Dream of the Red Chambers

Not all have read the Chinese Classic "Dream of the Red Chamber" 红楼梦 but now it is not just a book but has been transformed into a seven course meal curated out of the 168 recipes from the book. The chef together with the manager of Jiang Nan Chun, a cantonese restaurant in Four Seasons Hotel has come up with this innovative recreation of the classic Chinese love story which will be available till Jan 10. 

The entire was not only a feast for the eyes but also for the mind as the very knowledgeable staff takes time to explain the romance behind each dish. The taste, of course, is beyond words. But I wonder how would Jia Baoyu and Lin Daiyu react when they see this? 
The Amuse Bouche of spicy marinated cuttlefish and sour mango pickles.

金钗胭脂镜花楼 

香片烟熏鸭、蛋白炒茄带、琉璃龙影

Trio of jasmine tea-smoked duck breast, wok-fried tomato with egg white and crispy scallops, and crystal shrimp jelly 

红粉佳人戏水月 燕液龙皇炖鸡汤

2nd:  double-boiled chicken soup with bird's nest shrimp dumpling. 
A robust soup concentrated with the essence of herbs and the chicken
富甲天下红楼宴 云南肘子红烧肉

3rd:  Braised pork belly with Yunnan ham and preserved bean curd sauce.

A dish that is considered a lavish during times of poverty and whipped up by Granny Liu( 刘姥姥).
大富观园相映红
六头南非鲍鱼伴鲜竹皮蒸鲜蟹
4th: six-head South African braised abalone and crab claw steamed in bean curd skin

风残月烛雪中鲜 姥姥京沪蒸鳕鱼
Steamed cod in Jing Hu-style with fermented rice sauce and black mushrooms.
The fermented rice sauce was oh-so-good, even though it had turned out that the chef and the manager had been debating and experimenting in order to get the perfect ratio of rice wine in the sauce. Not a single drip was left.

红楼残梦花非花  碧绿金丝燕窝粥
6th:  Boiled bird's nest congee (*in the centre*) with spinach sauce.
We finished the entire bowl and one may innocently wish for the delicate beauty of Lin Dai Yu. This was unanimously the favourite dish of  the ladies that day.

一缕风流化云雾 牡丹酥拼枣泥山药糕
7th: Duo of puff pastry with red bean paste and red dates with yam root jelly. One of the most intricate Chinese dessert so far. 

Besides this course, there were also some ala carte dishes which were fairly remarkable. 

花雕醉鸡 drunken chicken

龙太子饺、松露菠菜汁汤海皇石榴汤
Steamed lobster dumpling w scallop crabmeat and shrimp
Steamed scallop w cod in spinach sauce and truffle oil
(a dim sum dish that is available on ala carte menu)
An average plate of Jiang Nan Chun Fried Rice which was slightly greasy.

Spinach Egg Tofu with Deep Fried Monkey Head Mushrooms (Highly Recommended)
Beautiful Elegant Herbal Jelly with sesame straws 
Complimentary plate of dessert : Jiang Nan Chun Pineapple Tarts ( CNY is coming) and Water Chestnut Cakes and a shot of lime juice as palate cleanser (complimentary)
For Chinese cuisine, I usually believe one can get equally good or better dishes at zi char stalls but Jiang Nan Chun is quite an exception, even though we have not tried its dim sum. Delicious, traditional yet with a heritage spin, this Red Chamber Meal will definitely be the one which we can recall if we think of Jiang Nan Chun. I hope there will be another course on 水浒传 in future.
Jiang Nan Chun
Four Seasons Hotel
Lunch 11.30am-2.30pm
Dinner 6pm-10.30pm
http://www.fourseasons.com/singapore/dining/restaurants/jiang_nan_chun/

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