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CNY 2018: Golden Peony @ Conrad

~Invited Session~



Chinese New Year at the Golden Peony at Conrad Singapore is a feast for the eyes and stomach. Expect top quality ingredients presented in inventive manners that at the same time does not deviate from its Cantonese traditions.




Executive Chinese Chef Ku Keung is trained in Cantonese cooking, but has been living in Shanghai for quite some time. It is quite obvious that he has brought in some Shanghainese influence into his food!


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Fortune 3-D Meringue Yu Sheng with New Bedford Scallop, Salmon, Crispy White Bait, and Fish Skin


Golden Peony is also known for its over-the-top Yu Sheng food masterpieces, and this year is no different. Other than being a feast for the eyes, they certainly do not stinge on the ingredients!




The picture itself can hardly do justice to the massive size of this Yu Sheng! The customary Chinese incantations and blessings English version as well!


I was quite tickled by the literal translations!


Everyone was waiting to toss the mixed ingredients! Let’s do it! HUAT ah!
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Managed to snatch some blessings for my own I love the golden flakes on the scallops. It feels as if I would be much luckier after eating them! 1


Double-boiled Cordyceps Flower Soup with New-Calendonia Obsiblue Prawn and Black Chicken in Whole Young Coconut


I always loved Cantonese soups, and this is super innovative. Mod-Cantonese? Is there such a word? There is the traditional double-boiled element, and new ingredients cooked the traditional way (the New Calendonia Obsiblue Prawn is a deep-sea prawn that line-harvested and is blue in colour! Obviously it will turn orange when cooked).


There is also a modern use of the coconut to round off the brininess of the broth, making this an interesting combination. Not savory, nor sweet.


Black chicken!


My favorite type 5 Stir-fried Half Lobster topped with Crispy X.O Chili Sauce Why only half! I wish I could lick my plate after this dish. This could have been easily presented in a more ‘Western’ restaurant and it won’t have looked out of place.


Cantonese stir fry paired with mash potatoes and a deliciously piquant X.O. chili sauce. Delish!


7 Fortune Eight Treasure Stewed Duck


To be honest, I had no idea what was inside this when the chefs started wheeling these ‘things’ in and lighted them up. Then they started using scissors to cut them up and out comes: file2-2 Ta-dah! Stewed duck! file4-2 I had thought this was done like a beggar’s chicken, which could be a little dry and tough since it was duck, but this was expertly stewed and the meat practically fell off the bone.


Very tasty and would have been excellent with white rice. I know right, I’m downright Cantonese at heart.




file5-2 Braised Australian Abalone in Japanese Beancurd Black Moss, Chinese Mushroom, and Seasonal Vegetable


Out of all the dishes presented today, this was the most ordinary dish. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad dish, just wasn’t as exciting as a flaming duck or a 3D Yu Sheng.


Still, we have to eat our greens every meal, isn’t it?


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Roast Whole Suckling Pig with Shanghainese Sticky Rice, Fritters, and Chicken Floss



OH YAS. I was looking forward to this dish the most when I saw the menu. Golden Peony is also known for its suckling pig + rice combination dish, and Chef Ku has chosen to pair it with Shanghainese Sticky Rice this year!


Look at the beautiful crackling on this dish. Suckling pig, wrapping a slab of purple sticky rice, and fried dough fritters with fried pork floss. If you think this dish is overly porky, think again. Very fragrant, and very filling!




14 Crispy Jujube pastry with Japanese Sweet Potato Puree with Pearls, and Fried Nian Gao with Sweet Potato and Taro


This, is without a doubt, and strangely, the highlight of the night. The fluffiness and flakiness of the jujube pastry was absolutely on point, almost melting in your mouth the moment it hits your tongue.


The sweetness of the pastry was just right, and not overpowering. The fried nian gao is also a must at all traditional Chinese New Year dinners and Chef Ku has presented this in a very innovative way that marries all the sweet flavors just right.






Golden Peony
Conrad Centennial

Poke Doke @ Milennia Walk

01 There are one too many poke bowls around and I guess it has reached a stage of same same but slightly different across board. I have my preferences but I am more than happy to welcome a new player in the market.


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Turns out on top of poke bowls, they also offered cooked food bowls - that reads as expensive chap cai png already.


3 sizes are available and differ only in number of scoops of poke.




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My record stands at four visits in a week, I think I am hooked. Between spicy and wasabi salmon, my heart goes on with spicy. There is just something about it that is well on point - hits all the right notes without being over the top. The flavours are well explored and infact regardless the combination, they come together in harmony.


Tuna however, is not their forte.


Gone poke-ing, be back soon!


P.S. I have no qualms tossing to these individual pots of yusheng this CNY, so tasty and none of the artificially coloured vegetables nor overly sweet dressings.




Poke Doke
Millenia Walk


CNY 2018: Dragon Bowl @ Aperia Mall

~Invited Session~

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Dragon Bowl prides itself as Singapore's answer to Bi Feng Tang cuisine, known to be stronger in taste, heavy use of bean paste and uniquely Cantonese. They have 3 outlets and each has a different focus, Aperia Mall's more on their zichar dishes.
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CNY menu for dining in and takeaway alert!


Dragon Bowl Fortune Package Takeaway Festive Goodies




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Prosperity Abalone Yu Sheng with Fish Roe ($38.80, Regular $56.80 for Large)


Don't these baby abalones resemble gold ingots? I'd say these are something different from the usual raw fish yushengs that have gotten several twists with more luxe ingredients to the likes of tuna, swordfish, lobster and caviar. I am waiting for a sea urchin version.



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Prosperity Fortune Treasure Pot ($238, $398)


Their version is more traditional with it being a braised pot of treasures.



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Herbal Kampong Chicken with Cordyceps ($33.80)




Tender one pot dish and herbal always appeals




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Yuan Yang Rice wrapped in Lotus Leaf with Waxed Meat and Sakura Shrimp ($26.80)


Sakura shrimp sure made this dish so tasty and not to mention, colourful!






From 1 February - 2 March 2018, Dragon Bowl will be offerin set menus for 4-10 diners. Prices start from $388++.








The Good Old Times Menu






From 3 - 31 January, these Dragon Bowl classics are available at the Aperia Mall outlet and they have brought back specially for their long time customers.




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"Song Fish Head" with Special Homemade Sauce ($19.80)


This dish is a my family's favourite and the key to it is the special bean paste sauce that either floats or sinks a dish. Their version came with a smattering of fried pork lard cubes and that outshone any other dish on the table.




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Wok Fried Coffee Flavoured Spare Ribs ($16.80)

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Sticky, meaty and a waft of coffee fragrance.


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Braised Claypot Eggplant with "Yu Xiang" Sauce ($14.80)


So tasty and suits anyone who loves eggplant. I would be happy just with this and rice actually.



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Wok Fried Milky Egg with Four Treasure ($18.80)


Comforting egg white dish with splashes of seafood and a starchy sauce.


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Braised Pork Belly with Yam ($16.80)


Similar to the braised marble goby except with more familiar flavours. I am a yam lover and this was right up my alley.




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Baked Marble Goby with Garlic and Roast Pork ($48.80)









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Wok Fried Three Cup Chicken ($16.80)


Gotta love them oyster mushrooms in this dish and basil leaves, the chicken was actually second fiddle.


So there, more reasons to visit Aperia Mall and also Dragon Bowl, there is something for everyone from January onwards!


Dragon Bowl
Aperia Mall

Sunday Brunch @ Audace, Dickson Road

DSC_6973 It's probably just me and sunday brunch - save for festive occasions, this hardly comes my way. With a brand new year, I guess I could reprioritize and have more leisurely brunches?
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Sunday brunch at Audace is truly an audacious affair, they do it omakase with 16 courses straight off the cuff of Chef's mind - well not entirely since there is a communal dining menu but basically we eat as he fancies, with inspirations from his childhood and experiences


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Betcha didn't know what lurked within - Sunday brunch menus!













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The hubba always feels for bubbly over the weekend whilst I have my other preferences.


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Chendol Daiquiri ($20) was hollering at me, a very ingenious concoction of coconut, rum and sweet jellies!


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Brunch situations be like.






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Pumpkin Soup, Coriander




Served warm, this sunflower seed studded daffodil hued beauty was tasty, very hearty and I was ready for seconds after this measly looking shot.


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Duck Terrine and Pickles


Somewhat nutty but nobody's complaining when it's duck terrine with really good bread.




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Smoked Mackerel, Pickled Onion



It was good, just not great. Strange though that the smokeyness did not come through and I probably would not be able to guess the protein if not for the menu.


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Focaccia with Cooked Ham and Mascarpone Black Pepper


I liked that burst of flavor underneath the ham, the peppery and slightly tangy mascarpone. 


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Arugula Salad, Parmesan, Lemon and Olive Oil Dressing




One can never go wrong with argula and parmesan, a simple toss up that I can replicate in my kitchen.



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Kohlrabi Salad and Buckwheat


Too raw even though I am a salad fan, the kohlrabi tasted like radish and overall too green.





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Freshly baked bread and butter.


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Capelin, Garlic, Parsley


I like shisamo in this, somehow these baby fishes taste  heaps better with garlic.


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Creamy Polenta did not go down too well with me, I guess it is just polenta in general. Mash would've done the same job and more satisfyingly too.


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Pan Seared Squid and Risotto got my thumbs up. Creamy, rich and this tiny bowl possibly knocked over all my diet plans. The pan seared squid curls up so beautifully and adds such a tender texture to this bowl of goodness.






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Braised Pork Belly




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Chicken Breast, Chorizo


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Pan Seared Flank Beef served with Dry Anchovy




Chicken ended up being the best of the medley of mains - tender, juicy and on point with the flavor balance. No foul play, suspected.




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These petit fours were clearly a spoil market version with so many nibbles! The almond chocolate chip cookies and lemon cream tartelette and candied berce were your usual dessert table fillers, delicious and not too impressionable.






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Macaroon Speculoos was a crumbly affair and created quite a sugar rush - one has to love your sweets to enjoy this.




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Chocolate and Passionfruit Cake is a tart and intense choice but it balances so well, I would recommend eating the cake together instead of by layers.


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Banana Parsley Icecream is acquired, the banana paste was too sweet and parsley icecream too grassy.


$69++ and 16 courses later, I dare say this is one brunch I will be returning for inspite of the misses. Menus get tweaked every now and then and seasonal produce gets featured too!


Audace
2 Dickson Road