Days of Nostalgia at Jiang-Nan Chun, Four Seasons Singapore
One of the great things about Singapore, is the fabulous food that is found here. Speak to anyone who has lived in Singapore for more than 50 years and they will tell you how they helped their mothers with the making of Hakka Stir Fry Taro Dumpling “Suan Pan Zi” or standing by the steamer to wait Chinese steamed sponge cake “Ji Dan Gao” to be ready. Just like the people in Hong Kong will definitely remember their roast goose and braised pork belly which they have been eating since young.
These traditional dishes play an important aspect in our family bonding but unfortunately, in some cases, they are already disappearing in the menu. Not all is gloomy because Hong Kong-born Chef Alan Chan has brought back his fond recollections of the plethora of authentic flavours he grew up on in the “Days of Nostalgia” menu.
Making a debut in Jiang-Nan Chun from 1 to 31 March 2013, travel through time to understand the earlier influences that define Chef Chan’s current menu selection.
My lunch started with some exquisite dim sum such as the Steamed Chicken Puff ($8/pc). Inspired by the traditional “Chicken Nest Bun” (literally translated from 鸡窝包) which is a beehive-shaped bun with bite-sized chicken cooked in a starchy gravy of onions and mushrooms, Chef’s modern version of the bun is in a pretty inverted dome shape, served with Baby Ablone, diced mushrooms, shrimps, spring onion and ginger. The bun is white and fluffy and goes very well with the filling.
Another dim sum I tried was the Teochew style Steamed Minced Pork Dumpling ($3/pc). The steamed dumpling starter had a filling that nearly burst through the “sexy” translucent wheat flour skin. Encasing with shrimp, peanuts, preserved vegetables and mushrooms, it is light with a good bite texture.
Double-boiled for a minimum of eight hours, the Chicken Broth ($34) served with sea horse, sea dragon and sea coconut is a nourishing start to the meal.
These golden, bite-size Deep Fried Shrimp Cake ($24) with Chinese Cabbage has a flavourful and moist prawn paste. The flavour was good enough on its own without any helping on the accompanying sauce.
Pork belly is one of the most popular dishes in Cantonese cuisine and it can either be served roasted or braised. By ensuring that the classic flavours have been kept intact, Chef Chan’s repertoire of Braised Pork Belly with King Oyster Mushrooms and Honey Bean ($24) served in a claypot imparts an authentic dining experience.
The ingredients may be inexpensive but they tasted rich. The pork belly is thoroughly braised in spices not too over powering. It gives a good chew but not rubbery. The oyster mushrooms are soft and juicy, it absorbs the essence of the sauce giving it an intense aroma.
If you are craving the sweet and creamy yolk center of a different variety (that is, not the typical Liu Sha Bao), Steamed Rice Cake ($3/pc) with Coconut Milk and Salted Egg Custard is something worth trying. These delectable and chewy glutinous cakes are addictive. It’s the yellow egg custard filling that I drool over. It is not too sweet and it is made into a lovely fish shape. Perhaps they can consider selling this for next year’s Chinese New Year.
For a more savoury dessert, the Deep-fried Sweet Potato Pastry ($3/pc) which is stuffed with Lotus Paste and coated with sesame is equally elegant and absolutely delicious. It rounds up the meal on a fragrant note.
Jiang-Nan Chun @ Four Seasons Hotel
Address: 190 Orchard Blvd
For reservations, please call +65 6831 7220 or email [email protected]