Paradise Dynasty (March to May 2015 Promotion)

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Signature Dynasty Xiao Long Bao ($14.80 for 8 pieces)

Think of Paradise Dynasty, and the signature multi-coloured xiao long baos come to mind. A basket of Signature Dynasty Xiao Long Bao comes with 8 flavours, namely the Original, Cheesy, Szechuan, Garlic, Ginseng, Crab Roe, Black Truffle, and Foie Gras, which are also sold separately in single-flavoured baskets of 6 and 10. It was love at first bite for me, especially with the Foie Gras Xiao Long Bao, and I’m sure many can relate.


Chilled Malva Nut Tree with Pear Bits ($4.80 or $3.80 for OCBC cardmembers and PGR members)

This season, Paradise Dynasty takes a bold step, bringing forth an exciting and somewhat exotic menu, available at all outlets from 9 March to 31 May 2015. Some items on the menu might not bode well with conservative diners, for instance the Braised Duck’s Tongue and Steamed Bullfrog with Diced Chilli, but those who are well acquainted and appreciate these delicacies will be first to flock there for a chance to satisfy their cravings. A popular Shanghai dessert, Chilled Mava Nut Tree with Pear Bits also makes a rare appearance in this 3-month long promotion –a refreshing and not too sweet dessert perfect to end the meal with.

OCBC Credit/Debit card members and PGR (Paradise Gourmet Rewards) members get to enjoy special prices during this promotion. For instance, 6 pieces of durian xiao long bao is available at a special rate of $8.80 (usual price $10.80).

Durian lovers will be enthralled by the durian xiao long bao, made with the highly prized Mao Shan Wang durian. Continue reading

Duck Specialties by Roast Master Chef Nobuyuki Sato at Shisen Hanten of Mandarin Orchard Singapore

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One of the best things that’s happened to Singapore’s dining scene this year is the opening of Shisen Hanten at Mandarin Orchard Singapore. Shisen Hanten (or Akasaka Szechwan Restaurant) is an establishment of great esteem, started in 1958 by the late Chen Kenmin who is regarded as Japan’s “Father of Sichuan Cuisine”.

A bit of history: Born in the Sichuan province of China, Chen Kenichi perfected his craft in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China before settling in Yokohama, Japan. The legacy is passed down to his eldest son, Chen Kenichi, who is one of Japan’s most celebrated iron chefs. To date, there are a total of 14 Shisen Hanten branches in six cities across Japan. Chen Kentaro, son of Chen Kenichi, picked up the tools of the trade through observing his father in the kitchen and learning by experience. He further honed his skills by working in Sichuan restaurants around the Sichuan province in China from 2005 to 2008.

Shisen Hanten at Mandarin Orchard Singapore is its first debut outside of Japan. The extensive menu features innovative and modern Sichuan cuisine, as well as dim sum favourites, seafood and all-time favourites (such as Ma Po Dou Fu, Gong Bao Ji Ding, La Zi Ji and more).

Set lunches are priced at $42++/$50++ per person. Set diners are priced at $68++/$98++/$138++ per person.

This August, Barbecue and Roast Master Chef Nobuyuki Sato presents a special line-up of signature duck specialties, which include the Shisen Hanten Roasted Duck ($16 per portion/$32 for half/$62 for whole), Szechwan Tea-smoked Duck ($16 per portion/$32 for half/$62 for whole), Osmanthus Pipa Duck ($32 for half/$62 for whole), Whole Duck stuffed with Hokkaido Rice and Goose Liver ($78 for whole), and Duo Braised Duck, Local and Hong Kong Styles ($20 feeds 2-3 pax/$30 feeds 4-6 pax/$60 feeds 7-10 pax).

Chef Kentaro travels to Singapore frequently to oversee the restaurant to ensure that quality remains at the high standards they’ve set. So fortunate to be able to meet him in person!


Osmanthus Pi-Pa Duck ($32 for half, $62 for whole)

Shisen Hanten serves Pi-Pa duck at its best. Coated in a sweet savoury glaze, the Osmanthus Pi-Pa Duck is roasted together with osmanthus flowers with aroma that seeps into the meat during the roasting process. The result is tender succulent meat with a floral hint. The accompanying osmanthus sauce may come across as overwhelming to some with its excessive sweetness and overly generous osmanthus specks. The meat itself needs no sauce –it’s perfect on its own.


Cold sliced jellyfish with sweet & sour sauce

While you’re there for the glorious roasted duck, don’t forget to check out the rest of dishes on the menu, which are equally impressive.


Foie Gras Chawanmushi with Crab Roe Soup ($28)

The Foie Gras Chawanmushi with Crab Roe Soup is a must-try. Multiple hidden layers include foie gras at the bottom followed by smooth silky chawanmushi, topped with a thick and chunky crab roe soup. Amazing.


Stewed fish fillet in super-spicy Szechwan pepper sauce ($26/$39/$52)

The stewed fish fillet in super-spicy Szechwan pepper sauce is another dish ubiquitous on any Sichuan restaurant menu. Tender succulent and thick slices of fish are served in a broth laced with spices. Here, the spice level is slightly toned down to cater to the constant stream of Japanese clientele.

Chen’s Mapodoufu “Stir-fried tofu in hot Szechwan pepper-flavour meat sauce served in Claypot ($20/$30/$40) is expertly done. One would usually consume Ma Po Dou Fu with plain rice. Here, rice is served in a stone bowl that’s topped with some vegetables and beansprouts. Chen’s Mapodoufu “Stir-fried tofu in hot Szechwan pepper-flavour meat sauce is poured over the rice and mixed up like a “bibimbap” (Korean mixed rice).

This ingenious way of eating Ma Po Dou Fu is oddly delicious and comforting.


Chen’s original spicy dry noodle ($12)

Another staple on the menu would be Chen’s original spicy dry noodle, tossed in an assertive sauce with bits of well-marinated minced meat.

Shisen Hanten truly impresses, with Sichuan cuisine executed with the finesse of Japanese cooking. Singaporeans are in for a treat.

The Roasted Duck Specialties menu by Master Chef Nobuyuki Sato is available for a limited time only from 12 August 2014 till the end of the month. For reservations, call 6831 6262/6266 or email shisenhanten.orchard@meritushotels.com

Fairmont Singapore brings in Szechuan Guest Chef Su Zhen Fu of Beijing Chao Jiangnan Restaurant from 11 to 20 July at Szechuan Court Restaurant

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Poached Sliced Beef and Enoki Mushroom in Chilli Oil Peppercorn Broth ($38)

An exciting pieces of news for those who derive pleasure from the numbing and burning sensations on the tongue: Fairmont Singapore welcomes native Szechuan Chef Su Zhen Fu of Beijing Chao Jiangnan Restaurant to tantalise local taste buds at Szechuan Court Restaurant from 11 to 20 July 2014.


Dried Sliced Beef with Szechuan Pepper Hot Bean Sauce; Sweet and Sour Pork Ribs; Healthy Seasonal Vegetables tossed with Sweet Vinaigrette; Chinese Lettuce with Sesame Paste

The menu curated by Chef Su Zhen Fu will feature a plethora of Szechuan dishes, some of which not commonly available in Singapore. Continue reading