Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM
Copyright all rights reserved
The MOON is glowing at the Mandarin Orchard…
The audacious and debonair was privileged and honoured to have a very special VIP Tasting of the Mandarin Orchard’s NEW and most EXCITING…
MOONcakes a few days ago…Yum! Yum! Goddie Goodie! Located on the Bond Street of sunny Singapore, this 5 Star Hotel has lovely accommodation and also the most skilled and talented Chefs like Executive Sous Chef Liew Tian Heong , and of course…the iconic Mandarin Chatterbox Chicken Rice created by meiner guter Freund Chef Peter Gehrmann who now is in the USA.
Wait a minute…it is not just the Chatterbox Chicken Rice that the Mandarin Orchard is renowned for…but also for the most exquisite MOONcakes both traditional…and avant-garde..The traditional Baked MOONcake features sexy…smooth…Lotus Seed Paste with Double Egg Yolks. FOUR egg yolks were the norm in days gone by BUT now with everyone wanting to be health conscious and to live forever like the MOON Goddess…TWO egg yolks is considered auspicious and prestigious and not ‘Over the top” 🙂
MOONcakes go well with wine!
In 2003 I was the FIRST gourmet to match MOONcakes with Wines. The Guinness Book of Records acknowledged that it was a world record, BUT it could not be entered in the Guinness Book of Records…because it was a record that could NEVER be broken. All records in the book must have the possibility that they will be broken one day…
Mandarin Orchard’s traditional MOONcake with Lotus Seed Paste go well with Trimbach Riesling Cuvee Frederic Emile 2007 from the Alsace region of France on the border with Germany.
There is also a LOW Sugar MOONcake for those who are every health-conscious, and that is the majority of us in this day and age. Not to be alarmist, but please be aware that too much sugar in your diet makes you a FATTIE! It is true.
I was really following my personal maxim, which is ,,Das Leben es ist unbestimmt, isst erst den Nachtisch” or translated from the German, “Life is uncertain, eat dessert first!”. This is because I was enjoying MOONcakes, normally eaten as a dessert until suddenly…
Where is the Chef?
In a flash Chef, Liew who had been telling me about his mooncakes, suddenly disappeared…
The special Mee of Kuching in Sarawak!
Bouncy Chef Liew re-appeared with a big bowl of his signature Kolo Mee Sarawak Style! OMG Yummie Yummie! Made with very special curly noodles ‘al dente’, it was garnished with two whole baby ABALONES! The lovely and very tasty soup pleased my palate no end! Signature dish of Kuching, the city of the CAT! (Kuching means ‘cat’ in the Malay language) The other mee of Sibu called Kum Kwa Mien has straight noodles and less “Liau”. I was among the first journalists to write about Sarawak and Damai Beach resort, when Sarawak Tourism first started promoting it as a tourism destination.
Kolo Mee to fly to Sarawak for! I NEVER say that asinine phrase “to die for”. How goondoo is that! When you are dead you cannot eat or taste anything. Note the two plump Abalones at 12 o’clock and 10 o’clock…
Chatterbox is now not only famous for the renowned Chatterbox Chicken Rice served with a clear Consomme with Tofu Brunoise and special hot Chilli sauce, Dark and delectable premium Soy Sauce and spicy minced Ginger…
It is also becoming well known for Chef Liew’s captivating Kolo Mee and lovely Lobster Laksa! In fact, President Tony Tan loves to dine here and so did the late President Nathan. To let you into a secret…former Prime Minister of Thailand, Khun Thaksin, also adores dining here…Shhhhh!
Iberico Ham and Crunchy Nuts!
The other baked Mooncake that I really like is the MIxed Nuts with Jamon de Iberico or Iberico HAM from Spain. Ay yai yai Caramba! I adore the flavours and CRUNCH of the healthy nuts , the sweetness of some candied winter melon and the sensational taste and texture of Spanish ham! At breakfast buffets I detest turkey ham! It must be the real thing! Real bacon and real honey baked ham!
The James Bond MOONcake!
If you like the supple Snowskin Mooncake…my name is Martini…Lychee Martini 🙂
I do recommend the Lychee Martini Snowskin Mooncake…redolent with the intense flavour of lychee fruit plus the “kick” of a Vodka Martini. This “Martini” is NOT “shaken, not stirred” a la 007, BUT is simply scrumptious! I like this mooncake with a ice-cold Vodka Martini, shaken not stirred, made with Stolichnaya Vodka…and if at all possible, with a voluptuous, curvaceous Hungarian blonde lady at my side….007 would love this!
CRANBERRIES are full of goodies that help fight heart disease and UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections and even Cancer! Amazing but true! Therefore, you must try the HEALTHY Cranberry Snowskin MOONCake with its sweet but not overly sweet flavours and sexy and smooth lotus seed paste without an overly sticky mouth-feel.
On a most savoury note, Chef Liew went off to his kitchen to come back with crispy and yummie Chicken Wings battered in Salted Egg Yolk and a super-crispy Fish Skin also battered in Salted Egg Yolk!
A good Chef I always feel is like the winner of the reality show “Survivor”. Good Chefs can outlast, outplay and outwit the people in F & B…those that sometimes through ignorance or incompetence, try to make his job harder instead of easier…C’est la vie mes amis,
I love Chatterbox in the Mandarin Orchard Road and her marvellous MOONcakes! Bon appetit!
Mandarin Hotel Orchard
333, Orchard Road
An original poem by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM
Copyright all rights reserved
The MOON glows
The sun shines
The world spins
like an orange
in the sky
Round, the MOON
glows softly, quietly
in the heavens
in our galaxy
small and insignificant
in the Universe
The MOON glows
Lovers hold hands
Time stands still
Love, Romance, Happiness
Happy Hearts rejoice
The MOON glows…