Thursday, 8 January 2009

Oxpicious Picks - Part 1

Every festive period, you can trust the hotel chefs to pump up their creative juices and turn out ever more unique offerings year after year. Some work well, and some just raise eyebrows, but you can be sure they’re interesting and packaged pretty. We’ve trawled through our piles of press releases and highlight some good picks to help you ring in the Bovine Year in style.

Don’t the hotels love to play with raw sea creatures at this time of the year! Look at what Szechuan Court at Fairmont Singapore has turned out! A veritable landscape of delightful faux goldfish made from slivers of salmon and such, against a backdrop of vegetative mountain ranges! As the Chinese fengshui principle goes, “you san you sui” (literally “have mountain have water”) gets you the best chi. Called Szechuan Spicy Ox Vein Yu Sheng with Oceanic Blueberry Sauce ($188++), it's only available at the restaurant.

Available at:
Szechuan Court
Level 3 Fairmont Hotel, Singapore
Tel: 6431 6156

We like the “tropical beach bunny” spin that Peach Blossoms at Marina Mandarin Singapore put on their yu sheng. The Mandarin Salmon and Ebi Yu Sheng with Tropical Fruits ($68 for small, $136 for large) is all ‘holiday tropical’ with passion fruit, chempedak, mango, kiwi and rambutan are tossed with juicy raw ebi (Japanese sweet prawns) and salmon served with fragrant citrus sauce. Eat at Peach Blossom or take it home.

Then there’s restaurant’s Four Treasures Nian Gao ($38) – a pretty treat. Just look at the pic – how to resist? And one must admit, the price isn’t too bad either. Give it away or keep it for yourselves. It contains four small nian gao: yam cake, carrot cake, pumpkin cake and their newly launched Japanese sweet potato with lotus paste and coconut nian gao. Nice.

Available at:
Marina Mandarin Hotel, Singapore
Tel: 6845 1118 for advance orders
(available 12 Jan – 9 Feb)

Small family invited for a very civilized CNY afternoon tete-a-tete at your sun-dappled patio? Consuela’s already cleaned out your best fine china tea service? I’d serve these sweet little macaroons and pralines in oxpiciously chinois flavours of orange and pineapple. And doesn’t the gold just look prosperous? They’re bound to please Daddy! Get them from Carousel at Royal Plaza on Scotts. (Macaroons at $22 for 12 pieces, pralines at $17 for 9 pieces.)

Available at:
Carousel, Royal Plaza on Scotts
25 Scotts Road
Tel: 6589 7799

But if volume and quantity is an essential feature at your CNY table, Meritus Mandarin has just the thing. The mammoth Celestial Nian Gao ($68) which weighs in at 800g. Yes it looks like a massive mooncake, but it’s filled with nuts galore – macadamia, almonds, pine nuts, peanuts – and dried grapes, then coated a mixture of shredded coconut and flour, and baked. I’d say it’s worth a try if you like nuts. Hmmm...

Available at:
Meritus Mandarin Hotel, Singapore
Deli Booth (Level 1, Main Tower)
333 Orchard Road
Tel: 6831 6262/66

And finally, are you swinging through Hong Kong just before CNY? How lucky you are. But before you catch your flight home, potter over to the famous Yung Kee (well known for its goose) and grab a couple boxes of their super sought after goose liver or preserved pork lap cheong (10 pieces to a half kati, approx $20 or HKG $99). Did you know the restaurant’s got a Michelin star now in the inaugural Hong Kong / Macau 2009 Michelin Guide? So don’t miss this seasonal sausage – forge ahead with those high heels and totter up the hill, now!

Available at:
Yung Kee
32-40 Wellington Street,
Central, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2522 1624 / (852) 2523 2343


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