It’s nearly Christmas! Pardon the long silence on this blog. With two kids taking turns to fall sick (and I’m still recovering from a stubborn flu), I’ve been too busy and tired to update. But if you’re following me on FaceBook and Instagram, you can still see my little daily updates.
I’ve also turned down invites to several festive media tastings recently. Some readers might feel that an invited tasting might not present the same experience as that of a paying customer. But as a blogger, occasionally I choose to attend certain events that arouse my interest. And if the experience is blog-worthy, I will share it here. I cannot guarantee that you might derive the same satisfaction as I did. However, my thoughts based on my experience is listed here for your reference.
One main reason why I enjoy attending media invites is discovering new and unusual ingredients, like this Amadai fish (also known as “tile fish”). It is an expensive delicacy, specially flown in from Japan.
Amadai isn’t a large fish; the piece in the picture below is about the size of a typical de-shelled crayfish.
The most popular method of cooking Amadai fish is by frying. As its scales are difficult to remove, they are left on. After frying, the scales stand up and turn papery crisp.
I was a bit apprehensive about eating fish scales, but this didn’t taste of fish scales at all. The fried scales were surprisingly light and very crunchy. The flesh was delicate and tasted slightly buttery; though it was a bit over-fried for my liking. The fried fish was lightly seasoned with shichimi (7-flavored) powder, though after a while I was craving for some sauce or mayo to complement the slightly dry fish. Nonetheless, this Amadai fish was certainly an eye-opener.
The Amadai fish was certainly novel, but the dish that impressed me more was the Canadian lobster. The Canadian lobster we sampled was wonderfully meaty, with gorgeously sweet, succulent, and delicate flesh.
You can choose to enjoy it in a variety of ways, but the recommended method is in superior stock. They sear the lobster in hot oil first, then gently simmer the crustacean in rich stock containing halibut.
This might seem like a typical pork stir-fry. But what elevates this dish is the use of premium Kurobuta, cordycep flowers, and organic raw extra virgin coconut oil. The coconut oil subtly perfumes the dish with its distinctive, creamy fragrance.
For this dish, the chef decided to substitute rice with barley for a lighter sensation. The smooth, slightly chewy grains of barley — tossed in savoury sauce and topped with luscious braised sea cucumber and scallop — was certainly a pleasant change.
For the coming Lunar New Year in 2014, usher in the Year of the Horse with the Hearty Five Treasure Yusheng.
What I like about this version is the generous use of pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, white sesame, peanut, and crispy taro strips. These make for a deliciously nutty and aromatic lo hei yusheng.
And if you look closely at the picture above, the fresh vegetables are topped with mango strips and gold leaf flakes for a truly luxurious touch.
In addition to the perennial favorite salmon, Crystal Jade Golden Palace also uses premium amberjack fish for their Hearty Five Treasure Yusheng.
The dressing for Crystal Jade Golden Palace’s yusheng is a unique blend of special plum sauce and fragrant hazelnut oil.
Our tasting ended with a sampling of steamed savoury and sweet cakes (available for takeaway), sliced and pan-fried for us to try.
Pricing for steamed rice cakes:
- Black-eyed Pea Cake 眉豆糕 and Carrot Cake 萝卜糕, $25.80 (round)
- Glutinous Rice Cake 年糕, $23.80 (round)
All the above items are unique and seasonal creations for Lunar New Year 2014. Available only at Crystal Jade Golden Palace from now until the end of the Lunar New Year on 14 February 2014.
Crystal Jade Golden Palace
290 Orchard Road
Tel: +65 6734 6866
Many thanks to Crystal Jade Culinary Concepts for the invitation.