Are you tired of the usual, predictable lo hei with salmon or other raw fish? How does some char-grilled wagyu sound instead? Yes, Peach Blossoms at Marina Mandarin Singapore is shaking things up a little by going wagyu!
It certainly is unconventional, given that a number of Chinese (especially Buddhists) do not take beef. But these days, even non-Chinese partake in the lo-hei ritual, especially as part of a company get-together. And for those of us who do love beef, this option makes a nice change indeed.
The wagyu beef "yu sheng" comes with Hong Kong style sesame dressing instead of the usual plum sauce.
牛气冲天！Embrace the new year with bullish vigour!
It helps that this beef salad is really tasty. The crisp, cold vegetables are perfect with the sesame dressing and wagyu slices. I appreciate that it's not doused with cloyingly sweet sauces.
Char-grilled Wagyu Beef Yu Sheng
served with Hong Kong-style Sesame Dressing
$68++ (4 to 6 persons); $118++ (10 persons)
But if you still prefer the traditional fish-based yu sheng, tossing to 年年有余， they have that as well.
At the media tasting, we also got to preview some of the dishes that will be available during Chinese New Year.
Double-boiled Chicken Broth with Ginkgo Nuts and Cordycep Flower
$35++ per person
The Cantonese are fastidious about soups, and this one feels really fortifying with lots of cordycep flowers at the bottom.
Baked Lobster with Sliced Garlic and White Truffle Oil
Available within Harmonious Set Menu at $1488++ for 10 persons
Lobsters will probably be very popular next year (Year of the Dragon), especially since its name in Chinese is 龙虾, the "dragon prawn". This baked lobster is delicious, but slightly on the chewy side. If you prefer, there is also a steamed lobster with superior sauce, and lobster yu sheng too.
Peach Blossoms Abalone Treasures Pot - $248++ (4 to 6 persons); $398++ (10 persons)
10-head Quality Whole Abalone, Fish Maw, Quail, Sea Cucumber,I don't know about you, but this pot just makes me want to go, "HUAT AH!!!"
Dried Scallops, Marinated Soya Chicken, Roast Duck, Roast Pork,
Deep-fried Live Prawns, Flower Mushrooms, Black Moss,
Abalone Mushrooms, Radish, Lotus Root,
Baby Corns, Pig’s Tongue, Fried Bean Curd Skin
What a beautiful "pen cai" with layers of auspicious ingredients.
My favourite item in there? The crispy skin roast pork - it's so good, I'll trade abalones for it!
Peach Blossom's newly appointed Chef, Chan Shun Wong (陈顺煌), is from Hong Kong. He looks deceptively young (I hear he has an 11 year old kid). Chef Chan will keep to preparing authentic Cantonese food but will add a modern twist to create interest.
Steamed Marble Goby with Fragrant and Raw Minced Garlic
Available in both A La Carte (market price) and Set Menus (from $388++ for 4 persons)
Of course, the Chinese must have a fish dish. This one is superloaded with garlic! You can request for it to be less intense, if you like.
We also got to sample their 年糕 Nian Gao in two very pleasing flavours:
Front *桂花马蹄糕 Water Chestnut Cake with Osmanthus ($28.80 per cake)
Back *椰汁枣皇糕 Red Dates Cake with Coconut Milk ($28.80 per cake)
I thought the red date cake was quite interesting.
You can have other desserts too. The hashima comes in the traditional hot version with red dates, and also a cold one with almond cream in a young coconut.
There are also colourful cold desserts - avocado, strawberry and mango with scoop of ice cream. I can see these being a hit with kids!
The Four Treasures Pastry ($18.80 per box) makes a nice gift when visiting.
*莓果酥 Mixed Berries Pastries*
*凤梨酥 Pineapple Tarts*
*腰果酥 Cashew Nuts Pastries*
*莲蓉核桃酥 Walnut with Lotus Paste Pastries*
Peach Blossoms itself has undergone a S$1 million makeover to usher in the new year. It's got a brand new menu and now seats 180. The four renovated private dining rooms will welcome guests with a choice of 11 premium teas.
The Chinese New Year menu, including orders for take away starts from 16th January right up till 6th February 2012.
Level 5, Marina Mandarin Singapore
6 Raffles Boulevard
Tel: +65 6845-1111
Weekdays, 12.00pm – 2.30pm
Weekends & Public Holidays, 11.00am – 2.30pm
Daily, 6.30pm – 11.00pm (Last order at 10.30pm)
Thanks to the lovely folks at Marina Mandarin Singapore for the CNY preview tasting.