The event is a special collaboration with eight well-known restaurants, together with veterian food critic Ah Lun (黄卓伦), tasked with bringing a group of readers on an exclusive festive gourmet food trail for four consecutive Saturdays.
The Chinese New Year menu at Shin Yeh consists of:
风生水起： 腾龙大鱼生 Fortune Yu Sheng
大鹏展翅： 台式佛跳墙 Taiwan-style “Buddha Jump Over Wall”
年年有余： 树子蒸筍壳 Steamed Marble Goby with Small Olives
金凤迎春： 乌龙茶蒸鸡 Smoked Chicken with Premium Oolong Tea
祥瑞迎福： 红豆椰香雪花冰 Red Beans over Shaved Coconut Ices and Yam Cubes
Surprise Dish 1: Wok-fried Prawn Balls with Fresh Lily Bulbs and Gingko Nuts
Surprise Dish 2: Glutinous Rice Balls coated with Ground Peanuts (Muah Chee)
I enjoyed the Marmite mango chicken and their signature, award-winning laksa. The food at Straits Cafe are generally quite simple, hence it’s harder to be particularly fond of any dishes.
Moving on to Ah Yat Seafood Restaurant at Turf City, here’s the menu at the second stop:
Surprise Dishes: Golden coin meat and Salted egg yolk kueh
The two surprise dishes were really memorable. Both items are not available on their regular menu, but I think they will be crowd favourites if introduced. The head chef must have put in a lot of effort to design and craft these two dishes.
I enjoyed all the other dishes as well. Each aesthetically pleasing and rich in flavour. This is definitely one of the best menu I have sampled so far for this food trail.
Kudos to the head chef and the staff at Ah Yat Seafood Restaurant.
Surprise Dishes: Cuttlefish with fried Kang Kong, Fried Hor Fun with Seafood
I particularly like their award-wining chicken wing, pork ribs and Mao Shang Wang (猫山王) durian dessert.
The fried, crispy Kang Kong vegetable and fried, crispy Hor Fun were both delightful surprises. This style of cooking is not available in the regular menu, but are available upon request when ordering. Next time you head down to a Long Beach restaurant, do try ordering them. 🙂
Moving on to Marina Mandarin, here’s the menu for the day from their Peach Blossoms Restaurant:
The chef gave an on-the-spot demonstration of how to cook the fish soup which was served. This was followed by some stage games including an impromptus “fashion show” by gaming food trail participants.
A lucky draw was conducted at the end, whereby the top prize was an one night weekend stay at Mandarin Orchard, very generous of the hotel to sponsor this.
The chef greeted everyone with a traditional opera song, followed by an on-the-spot demonstration on rolling the perfect popiah. Ah Lun chipped in to demonstrate his version of popiah rolling too. Aussie Pete was also roped on stage to make his first popiah. You can read more about Pete’s experience on his blog.
Here’s the list of 5 feature dishes served at Crystal Jade, plus an additional surprise dish which was only revealed on the day itself:
火锅烧烤自助大餐 (including beef tongue and choice cuts of pork)
Surprise Dish: Steamed Tilapia
The restaurant is buffet-styled, offering a wide selection of fresh meat, seafood and vegetable for barbecue and steamboat dining.
The 6 feature dishes were already arranged neatly on the tables when we sat down. These items are not normally in the buffet menu, but were specially served for this occasion.
I particularly like the beef tongue and fatty pork. Ah Lun taught us to barbecue the beef tongue quickly, flipping it just once so that it will be chewy on the outside and tender on the inside. Delicious!
The restaurant chef did an on-the-spot demo on making kimchi which attracted the attention of many of the participants.
Moving on to the next restaurant, here is the list of 6 feature dishes served at East Ocean plus the surprise dish:
Surprise Dish: Animal-shaped Dim Sum
At East Ocean, dishes were served course by course. The highlight was a dish called “咸鲜”, whereby a fish was served both fried and steamed with heavy salt.
I enjoyed all the dishes served. From the seafood golden pumpkin soup to the Kagoshima Kurobuta (かごしま黒豚) to the goose feet noodle. Each was unique and delightful.
The surprise dish featured a platter of rabbit-shaped coconut buns and a platter of penguin-shaped lotus paste buns. They were so cute to look at that one can barely wolf them down.