Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Jade at Fullerton Hotel Singapore: New Look, Superb Chinese Cuisine

Jade at The Fullerton Singapore has completely transformed! Gone are the warm golds and brown hues; this Chinese fine-dining favourite is now cloaked in beautiful pastel teal and bird egg blue. The colours are certainly more jade-like now.

Here's Chef Leong Chee Yen on Jade's philosophy, and his passions.

Little alcoves as private dining areas
There are various alcoves carved out by the huge screen-like partitions, for private dining.

The most amazingly crispy skinned roasted pork belly
Roast Pork with Ultra Crispy Skin (S$14 per person/S$29 per portion)
Practically every self-respecting Cantonese restaurant will have this staple roast, and do it reasonably well. But Jade's version blows the competition out of the water, with its super-crispy delicate skin. It takes a gruelling 1.5 hours to double roast, and chef uses a craggy metal tin cover to scrape the skin so as to achieve that extra brittle texture.

Baked Lemongrass Char  Siew Lamb Rib Loin
Baked Lemongrass Char Siew Lamb Rib Loin (S$23 per person)
Wow, lamb rib done char siew style - that's genius. The NZ lamb ribs are marinated with the sauce, topped with bruised lemongrass and barbecued with a honey glaze. You'll want to finish every morsel of meat.

The Daily Soup today has delicately carved tofu resembling coral or anemones
The Daily Soup (S$13 per person) today has delicately carved tofu resembling coral or anemones. Those are some leet knife skills! The soup is also full-bodied, having been brewed for over three hours. Chef coaxes the flavours out by expert flame control - a medium fire to bring ingredients to a rolling boil, followed by high heat to get essence out of pork or fish bones, and then a low heat simmer to concentrate flavours.

Sautéed Beef Tenderloin  with Crispy Garlic in Black  Pepper Sauce
Sautéed Beef Tenderloin with Crispy Garlic in Black Pepper Sauce (S$23 per person/S$47 per portion)
Oh, Japanese wagyu beef tenderloin so tender and sweet! It's sauteed with spring onions, fried eggplants, onions, capsicum, sliced roasted garlic and a sweetish black pepper sauce.

So good I must show another shot.

Sautéed Beef Tenderloin  with Crispy Garlic in Black  Pepper Sauce
The meat is seared perfectly medium well, and the crispy garlic chips are an addictive crunchy flourish.

However, if you don't take beef, you can go for seafood.

Wasabi Prawns
Wasabi Prawns - yet another staple these days in Cantonese restaurants. I didn't get to try this but it looks pretty good!

Osmanthus-flavoured Char Siew Bao
Osmanthus-flavoured Char Siew Bao (S$5.80 for two pieces)
This is part of the dim sum menu. We all know char siew baos hardly differ but the osmanthus lends an unusual twist to the ensemble. The scent is stronger than the taste, but whether you like it or not depends on how much you like a floral accent in your food.

Golden Mantou stuffed with  Chilli Crab Meat
Golden Mantou stuffed with Chilli Crab Meat (S$7.20 per piece)
Another gem from the dim sum menu: this one has the chef making chili crab easy for us to eat - he's already plucked out the crabmeat and stuffed it in a fried mantou.

Served with lemongrass tea with calamansi jelly.

Fried mantou bun with chili crab filling
Mmmmmh. I wish there were at least two mantous. Good things should come in pairs, no?

Oh speaking of dim sum, I need to come back for the weekend dim sum brunch! My old post is from *gasp* 2010! It severely needs an update!

Simmered Egg Noodle with  Boston Lobster and XO Chilli  Sauce
Simmered Egg Noodle with Boston Lobster and XO Chilli Sauce (S$39 per person)
Everyone was floored by this, and we were especially taken by the noodles which had absorbed all the lobster flavours. It was the star whereas the lobster was the sidekick. We begged chef to put just the noodles on the menu, but it's impossible to make the noodles this good without involving the lobster, so well, looks like we have to go for the works.

The XO sauce is also excellent. Dried scallops and dried shrimps are slow-cooked for 8-9 hours with chili padi, oil, garlic and shallots.

The star is the well-braised noodles that have soaked up lobster essence
Interestingly the noodles are inspired by Hokkien dark noodles. So you see the use of pork lard, dark soy sauce, garlic and cabbage. The lobster is deep-fried and simmered with these. The noodles are simmered with prawn head oil (prawn heads roasted with ginger and dried chili)

Hot almond cream with egg  white pistachio “Muah  Chee”
Hot almond cream with egg white, pistachio “Muah Chee” (S$8 per 2 pieces)
Premium almonds are soaked for two hours before being blended and sieved, and cooked to a cream. It's then topped with a gently poached egg white, which has a texture that reminds me of bird's nest. The pistachio muah chee is a cute take on the peanut version. The skin is remarkably thin but resilient.

Chinese Chef de Cuisine Leong Chee Yeng - Jade 2
We had a chance to talk to Chef Leong. He has been here 10 years now, and his food is better than I remember. But he is also a skilled food artist and ceramicist, having created over a thousand works of pottery, some of which are displayed in the restaurant.

Here are some of his food art examples:

Stunning food artistry by Chef Leong
Behold this little Chinese deity made from dough, and a beautiful cypress-like bonsai made from gelatine. We were all blown away.

A dough figurine with exquisite detail
Look at the fine detail and how the chef has captured the flowing sense of movement.

Chef Leong has his own ceramic pieces decorating Jade
Each piece of his pottery comes with meaning. One of these was for his daughter's birthday, a large vase with mountains depicting his support for her. He also explained how he got certain unusual textures using water and precise timing.

Jade now sports a bird and flowers theme
I'm definitely liking the new look and the food is worth coming back for. I hear the dim sum calling my name...ah, will probably have to book in advance too. The weekend brunch is too popular.

Level 1 Fullerton Hotel
1 Fullerton Square
Singapore 049178
Tel: +65 6877-8188

Many thanks to Jade for the invitation and hospitality. Photos taken with the Canon EOS M5 kindly loaned by Canon Singapore.

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