Before I start with my Hong Kong posts, here's one more Chinese New Year (CNY) dinner at a local eatery. The Makansutra forummers held their first monthly dinner at Le Chasseur and it was the group's CNY dinner too...which means there's Yu Sheng and Lo Hei!
This is yusheng with a difference though. It's apparently the Teochew style - none of those garishly and artificially colored vegetables!
Just lots of fresh greens, white radish and carrot tossed in a sweet plum sauce blended in-house. Certainly very unusual and healthy-tasting!
Of course, what is yusheng without fish? A generous rosette of raw toman fish slices - this is so fresh, the fish was still swimming an hour ago. According to the organisers, it was supposed to have been green carp, but that was not available in the market today.
I could not get a photo, but KF Seetoh made an appearance at the dinner, regaling us with details of yusheng's origins and significance.
Double Cold Cut platter - sliced pork with preserved Sichuan vegetables (left) and beef shank (right). They gave out mandarin oranges too, as it was CNY.
Peppery pig stomach soup, chockful of ingredients! There were huge chunks of pork rib with soft bones (oh, love these!), so those who don't like pig stomach had something else to feast on. The pig stomach has been very well-cleaned, so do try some if you have never done so before.
I love pig stomach soup. Lots of memories of this soup made by mom. This was very peppery indeed, the way I like it, but it could do with more body and robustness. Still, what a great soup for the cold spell we've been having.
Grilled Live Prawns and Cuttlefish - one of the signature items here. The live prawns are poached in seawater for 30 seconds, and then finished off on the grill for the smoky aroma. The cuttlefish was also beautifully grilled. Some said certain parts were a little chewy, but not offensively so.
Steamed Soon Hock with Black Olive. You can't beat fresh fish. This was quite nice, and the black olives lent a different flavour. But I'm still partial to the usual Teochew treatment (ginger, sour plum, tomato and preserved vegetable).
Crispy Cleo Pata (Philippine style Pig Trotter). Awesome! Crispy skin, tender flesh! We spied that this dish only costs S$19 a la carte, which is a good deal! I would come back for this.
Eight Treasure Duck - this immediately called to mind our KL excursion and the Eight Treasure Duck at Restoran Sek Yuen. This one looks more flat, the KL one was more rotund.
The duck is totally stuffed with lovely ingredients - mushrooms, carrots, waxed sausages, chestnuts, mei cai (preserved vegetables) and so on. Everything had infused its flavour into the tender duck. This dish needs to be ordered at least three days advance. It's more than S$60 per duck.
Steamed Beancurd with minced meat and salted fish. The salted fish added some real kick. Great with rice.
Claypot rice. This was pretty well-charred at the bottom and sides, which made me very happy because I love the crispy crust! Interestingly, they used basmati rice, which made it very light-tasting. I inhaled like four bowls with no trouble at all! I do wish they used better lap cheong (Chinese sausage) here. The chunks of salted fish were also a little bit too big, and needed more even distribution.
The claypot rice was paired with Indian Lettuce Fried with Chinese Cheese or nam yu. I suppose some greens to balance the heaty rice sounds wise.
Stir fried yellow chives with prawns. The battered shrimp was a little cold and soggy by the time it came to us. But I didn't mind. Still tasty with the chives.
An off-menu surprise treat of Korean dried persimmons - these are elongated rather than flattened. These were sweet, moist and delicious. Later I saw some at a fruit stall, but nothing like this quality.
Dessert was Tau Suan with Grilled Youtiao. One of the highlights of the evening! Best tau suan I have ever had in a restaurant! It's got more beans than starch, and is cooked just right. The savoury fried youtiao with its grilled aroma also set off the flavours very well. I am so coming back for this one!
You must be wondering by now, why this French-sounding restaurant is serving Chinese and local cze-char fare. The chef-owner Andy lived in Mauritius for a while, and had a restaurant with a similar name there. He wanted to continue the tradition here. Le Chasseur means "The Hunter" in French, but it's completely Chinese.
It's a simple eatery with few frills, and it's kept prices very friendly too. This nearly 12-course meal (with so much meat and seafood) only cost us S$35 each. They also offer single meal dishes like fried rice and hor fun for just S$5.50. As with many restaurants offering so many dishes, there will definitely be hits and misses. But the good stuff, they certainly do well! Chef Andy is very passionate about cooking, and is very happy to explain the special aspects of his food preparation.
This place knows how to draw the crowd in with pictures. There are big photos at the entrance, and when you step in, you will also see huge photos of the food up on the wall, like a menu mural! Oddly enough, they also put up a cholesterol food chart for patrons' reference! There are also signs on the wall that proclaim no MSG, no GST, no service charge, no artificial coloring and no artificial essences used.
I would like to thank the Makansutra forum veterans Andrew and Tony who tirelessly organise these dinner sessions each month at no profit to themselves. These dinners have been going on for years. It's food, fun, friends and lots of BYO wine! Anyone is welcome to join us. Check out the Makan Meetings subforum for arrangements. The next one should be in March, as Feb will see too many CNY dinners already.
31 New Bridge Road (opposite Central/Clarke Quay MRT)
Open daily 11am to 11pm
Tel: +65 6337-7677
Mobile: +65 9144-0322