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?
Trio of jasmine tea-smoked duck breast, wok-fried tomato with egg white and crispy scallops, and crystal shrimp jelly
2nd: double-boiled chicken soup with bird's nest shrimp dumpling.
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).
4th: six-head South African braised abalone and crab claw steamed in bean curd skin
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.
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.
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
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