Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM
Copyright all rights reserved
All Food photos are of REAL food and wines with NO photoshop!
The irreverent and intrepid Travelling Gourmet TM visits Singapore’s iconic 5 Star luxury hotel, the marvellous…
MARRIOTT hotel. I was honoured and privileged to try Wan Hao’s new dishes on the new Menu by Executive Chinese Chef Brian Wong from Malaysia…PLUS Marriott’s new 2017 MOONcakes! How good it that!
Wah Hao after its revamp is now very elegant with an Oriental Zen atmosphere like the home of a Confucian scholar. Chinese calligraphy adorns the walls. The discerning connoisseur of Cantonese ‘haute cuisine’ savours fine dishes…to the soothing sounds of Chinese classical music played on traditional instruments like the Er Gu and Pi Pa.
Tim Sum Trio aka The Three Musketeers was delectable..Awesome Jamon Iberico ‘Char Siew’! So “sweet” and flavoursome with just the right amount of fat…and that “al dente” chewiness… Nestled in a cute mini bamboo basket I found a little dumpling with a transclucent almost clear skin. The filling comprised juicy sexy Scallop with that coveted fungus, the Morel Mushroom beloved of French Chefs. Heavenly! The Char Siew or traditional Cantonese style roast pork was made from Jamon de Iberico from Spain. Naturally sweet and juicy with the right mix of tasty fat and lean meat, it put the usual mundane variety to shame. C’est la gastronomie…
Prized and premium Abalone from South Africa in Chef’s Secret Sauce was truly very well done! Overcooked abalone tastes like shoe leather…and it must be just braised but not overdone in order to give the discerning gourmet the unique flavours and textures of the ocean. Yum! Yum! Nom! Nom!
SAS Pork with Clementines!
The classic favourite of both Orientals and Occidentals is…SAS or Sweet & Sour Pork!
Creative and modest Chef Brian Wong’s creativity gives this dish a new avant-garde twist caressing the fall-off-the bone tender pork rib with a slightly sweet-seductive, piquant Clementine Sauce! Sublime delight! OMG! A dish to assassinate the evil dwarf dictator of North Korea for!
TOBIKO Fried Rice…
Fried Rice is fried rice right? Not here in Wan Hao…it is wok fried at high heat with minced Shrimp brunoise and Tobiko for a touch of Japan! The pinky-orange colour of the dish comes from the Tobiko which is Flying Fish Roe aka caviar sustainably harvested. Light and most satisfying!
A sweet finale is very important to any meal and Chilled Chrysanthemum Tea Gelee paired with tangy-fresh Mango Sorbet delighted my palate as the flavours danced on my taste buds like ballerinas in Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.
On 28 August 2008 I was the first gourmet in the world to match MOONcakes from the Marriott paired with Moët et Chandon NV Champagne on the Singapore Flyer, which was the highest and biggest observation wheel at that time. MOONcakes in the Marriott are traditionally artisanally and meticulously made one by one. For 2017, the amazing and exciting flavours to look out for are:
Premium Coconut Paste with healthful Hazelnuts in a Baked MOONcake. A lovely East meets West marraige of fragrant flavours with crunchy hazelnuts which are beloved by the French, plus Coconut which features so much in Singapore and Nyonya cuisine. Seductive aromas of Gula Melaka seduce…
Healthful über-crunchy and super satisfying without being cloyingly sweet is MIXED Nuts MOONcake! Nom Nom Nom! Yummie!
The HOney Lemon Lotus Paste with Lychee Martini Truffle is new and NOT to be missed. OMG! I love Lychees and Martinis too! So does Commander James Bond 007…
The KING of Fruits!
Marriott is deservedly famous for its Pure “Mao Shan Wang” Premium Durian in snowskin. Mao Shan Wang Durian is famed for its creamy texture, unique and intense fragrance and buttery nuances. The great British Naturalist and Scientist, Sir Alfred Russel Wallace (January 8 1823 – November 7 1913), loved the Durian and he was an Englishman and an “Ang-Moh aka “Kwei-Low”! Wahahahah!
In his famous book The Malay Archipelago 1869, Sir Alfred R. Wallace wrote:
“The five cells are satiny white within, and are each filled with an oval mass of cream-coloured pulp, imbedded in which are two or three seeds about the size of chestnuts. This pulp is the eatable part, and its consistence and flavour are indescribable. A rich butter-like custard highly flavoured with almonds gives the best general idea of it, but intermingled with it come wafts of flavour that call to mind cream-cheese, onion-sauce, brown sherry, and other incongruities. Then there is a rich glutinous smoothness in the pulp which nothing else possesses, but which adds to its delicacy.It is neither acid, nor sweet, nor juicy, yet one feels the want of none of these qualities, for it is perfect as it is.”
To be brutally honest, if you love Italian Gorgonzola Blu cheese and Crottin de Chavignol from the Loire Valley, you definitely can love the King of Fruits…the Durian.
I always like to practise my German with Marriott’s cheerful and dynamic Director of Food and Beverage, Daniel Burstein, and Daniel shared with me how his team brainstormed to find the most innovative and unique Mooncake flavours for 2017, “We had many ideas…and to incorporate Eastern and Western flavours and top class ingredients into our traditional Mooncakes, which are all handmade fresh daily!” I’ll drink to that! Marriott Mooncakes are arguably the BEST in Singapore!
The precious ‘piece de resistance’ is the…most delectable special Mooncake crafted in the artisanal way with White Lotus Seed Paste infused with an enticing savoury accent…studded with the ham of gourmets, namely Parma Ham from Italy. There are also healthy crunchy pistachios and a single egg yolk! This special Mooncake is SAS (Sweet & Savoury) at its BEST satisfying the most discerning afficionado with a pleasing smooth-as-silk Lotus Seed paste that is not grainy at all. The icing on the cake is that it is matched with bottle of bubbly Perrier Jouët Champagne NV! OMG! Yum! Yum! Nom! Nom! Available as a Limited Edition Wan Hao Baked Treasures Premium Gift Set comprisng 4 Mooncakes and one bottle (375ml) of Perrier Jouët Champagne NV at S$228 inclusive of GST. Well worth it! Excellent price to quality ratio, and a very prestigious and sure to be appreciated corporate gift!
320 Orchard Road Singapore 238865
Wan Hao Cantonese Fine Dining Restaurant on Level 3
Tel: +65 6735 5800
Nearest MRT Station: Orchard