Looking at the menu of The Imperial Feast for this year’s CNY is rather comforting. Not only is variety as promised, each dish comes with an auspicious Chinese name that would easily please the folks. For instance, the Stir-fried Scallops with Broccoli in XO Sauce was aptly named 花开富贵 (flowers blooms with an abundance of wealth), Crispy Fish Skin with Salted Egg Yolk named 黄金满屋 (house filled with gold) and the Steamed Soon Hock in Soya Sauce, 福如东海 (fortune as vast as the East Sea).
We started off with the Smoked Salmon Prosperity Toss Yu Sheng. Smaller plates with the Yu Sheng’s different components were placed around the giant gorgeous plate, big enough to fit me, before adding them one by one with congratulatory Cantonese chants by the Maitre-D. Generous slices of smoked salmon were then laid on the multi coloured mix. And we started, Lo-Hei! Lo-Hei! Lo-Hei! Each bite was crunchy with the golden crackers, the smoked salmon added umami and the acidity coming from the plum sauce did much to whet my appetite for the successive platters. It was that good I went back for a couple more rounds. A long CNY feast must begin with one good Yu Sheng. For those feeling a little splendour, the option of the luxurious Summer Palace Yu Sheng ($168) which uses lobster, abalone and smoked salmon is also available. Other Yu Sheng versions include the nutritious Bird’s Nest & Pear Yu Sheng ($148) and vegetarian friendly Fresh Lily Bulb Yu Sheng ($88). Kudos to Summer Palace for taking that extra step to make their menu inclusive.Next was the Mini Buddha Jump Over the Wall. Probably a misnomer and overtly-modest, this was in no way mini. A medium sized abalone, together with dried scallops and generous amounts of fish maw was cooked in a deep herbal chicken soup stock. The result, a dark clear robusty broth that I thoroughly enjoyed. This could have been a main course judging by its sheer portion.The Peking Duck was also a winner. Chef Liu of Summer Palace did a perfect execution of Peking Duck with its crispy oily duck skin, together with scallions and cucumber silvers rolled into Chinese pancakes with a potent sweet bean sauce. This stole our hearts for the night, together with the long list of items that also include:
Stir-fried Scallops with Broccoli in XO Sauce
Crispy Fish Skin with Salted Egg Yolk
Steamed Soon Hock in Light Soya Sauce
Deep-fried Prawn with Mayonnaise and Mango
Braised Dried Oyster with Mushrooms and Sea Moss
Deep-fried Spare Rib with Red Wine Sauce
Crispy Mini Bun Served with Chili Crab Meat Sauce
Fried Glutinous Rice with Baby Abalone, Dried Shrimp and Cured Meat
Stewed Ee Fu Noodle with Crab Meat, Shredded Mushroom and Chive The long list did not seem to end until the desserts that we were offered not one but three! The first we had was the Chilled Pumpkin Cream with Aloe Vera and Sago which was a little flat on taste, and a little too bland for me. This was probably the only thing I did not find delight in for the night but the delicious Pan-fried Traditional Brown Sugar Glutinous Flour Cake and the Sweetened Red Bean Cream with Glutinous Rice Dumplings more than made up for it.With so much exquisitely crafted dishes in one setting, it is hard to be picky. And what better way to celebrate Chinese New Year than to sharing good food with your loved ones. I certainly would not mind doing this all over again.The Imperial Feast reunion dinner is priced at $138 per person and starts from 6.30pm. Apart from this, Chef Liu also specially created 9 other menus (Gold, Prosperity, Fortune, Ru Yi, Peony, Jade, Deluxe, Noble and Phoenix) which are available from January 25 to February 22.
The above article is written by Guest Writer @ramenking2016. You can find him on instagram where he shares his love for food and travel.