As a tribute to Singapore’s golden jubilee, Master Chef Leong Chee Yeng of The Fullerton Hotel’s Jade Restaurant is introducing his SG50 Nostalgic Feast Menu inspired by traditional Cantonese dishes from the ’70’s and ’80s. The menu is curated in partnership with Wong Ah Yoke, the highly respected restaurant reviewer and food critic at The Straits Times.
Refurbished in resplendent shades of silver and gold, Jade is a modern Chinese restaurant, setting an exquisite air of elegance. Diners enjoy an ambience and service that is both elegant and refined. With two private dining rooms and two partitioned areas, the 120-seat establishment affords guests with exclusivity for special functions. Take fine dining to another level with sublime dim sum creations, wholesome soups and hearty signature favourites prepared by the team of master chefs at Jade and experience a showcase of inspiring and sophisticated dishes designed to please the most discerning palates.
The inspiration for Master Chef Leong’s Nostalgic Feast Menu comes from the expression ‘陶回古早味’, which means to capture classic flavours. It also alludes to pottery, as derived from the character‘陶’. His goal is to create a menu that sees the return of nostalgic Cantonese dishes; triggering old memories through familiar tastes and flavours.
“Though I grew up in Malaysia, I’ve lived and worked in Singapore for many years and consider it my second home,” says Master Chef Leong. “The Nostalgic Feast Menu I’ve created is my way of expressing appreciation for this country”.
His elevated interpretation of the Chinese Eight Treasures Duck (八宝糯米鸭) is marinated overnight and stuffed with eight gastronomic indulgences: dry scallop, salted egg yolk, mushroom, lotus seeds, ginkgo, Chinese sausage, roast pork and glutinous rice. Another Cantonese classic is the Pan-Fried King Prawns with Special Sauce (干煎大虾碌), a simple yet delicious recipe. The prawns are marinated with salt and dark soya sauce, seared in a wok, then coated in Chinese barbecue sauce, tomato ketchup and sesame oil.
The menu also features other old-time favourites such as the Crispy Yam Ring with Kung Pao Chicken and Cashew Nuts (佛莲砵腰果鸡丁). The center of crispy yet velvety yam ring has a filling of cashew nuts and chicken stir-fried with Kung Pao. Master Chef Leong’s Steamed Layered Cake with Salted Egg and Nuts (果仁千层糕) is soft and pillowy. It boasts alternating layers of salted egg yolk and coconut custard interwoven with pine nuts and macadamia.
“I selected dishes that I used to eat as a youngster growing up in the 1960s and 1970s but have become increasingly hard to find,” says Mr. Wong Ah Yoke. “Those were simpler times and these dishes were treats that were served only at banquets and special occasions. Roast Chicken or Chinese Eight Treasures Duck, for example, were served mainly at wedding or birthday banquets. The King Prawns were a must for Chinese New Year because of their auspicious-sounding name. Seeing these dishes on the dinner table again not only reminds us of happy occasions from the past but also shows how far we have come”.
With the launch of the menu, Master Chef Leong will also host his first personal art exhibition entitled Ceramics Indulgence (陶然食在) from 4 to 29 June. It will showcase more than 30 of his skillfully handcrafted traditional and contemporary ceramic pieces. In the spirit of this special occasion, all proceeds raised from the sale of the pieces will be donated to Autism Resource Centre to support its mission of helping individuals with an autism spectrum disorder maximise their potential in life through advocacy and provision of services in education, employment and empowering of family caregivers and professionals.
Master Chef Leong sees his pottery exhibition at The Fullerton Heritage Gallery as the coming together of his two passions – food and art. Both cooking and pottery are crafts that require skilled hands, precision and a sensitivity to transform inspired thought into a dish or object of beauty that will delight the senses. He believes that fire is the uniting element in the kitchen and studio. The flame used to fire his wok is similarly used to fire the kiln for his ceramics. What began as a hobby evolved into a passion and now, many of his ceramics and figurines are displayed around Jade, adding to the ambience of the restaurant.
As part of his upcoming exhibition, he has hand-picked a selection of pottery and porcelain pieces that reflect his love for nature. Many of these ceramics incorporate organic textures like tree bark, foliage and rocks in hues of jade green to represent trees, brown for the earth and cerulean blue to symbolize the sea. The first 50 guests to place their reservations at the restaurant during the exhibition period will receive a complimentary one-of-a-kind handmade ceramic bowl handcrafted by Master Chef Leong.
The Nostalgic Feast Menu* is available from 4 June to 31 July 2015.
陶回古早味食宴 – Nostalgic Feast Set Dinner Menu – $125++ per person (6 pax)
陶回古早味食单 – Nostalgic Feast Set Dinner Menu – $85++ per person (2 – 5 pax)
陶回古早味食单 – Nostalgic Feast A La Carte Dinner Menu (2- 4 pax)