Wan Hao at the Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel has just recently been refreshed with slicker interiors and a new coat of paint. Usher in the year of the Fire Rooster ahead with auspicious set menus and specially-created dishes for the Lunar New Year (2017) ahead from 09 January 2017 to 11 February 2017.
Chinese restaurants within 5-star hotels have been busy with creating these impressive yu sheng dishes - usually in the shape of the Chinese zodiac animal. Since 2017 is the year of the Fire Rooster, Wan Hao's Abalone and Salmon Yu Sheng with Crispy Fish Skin is designed in the shape of a rooster - of course you do not get this with your takeaway yu shengs (which starts from S$68+).
One of the standout dishes for me during dinner has got to be this Wan Hao Nourishing Pen Cai with Pig Trotter and Crispy Oyster - which according to my knowledge, is also one of the most luxurious and expensive pen cai that will be sold in 2017. Available in two sizes at S$688 (6 Adults) or S$1,088 (10 Adults) for takeaway, this fortune pot comprises of 3 layers of deliciously-cooked ingredients: 3-head Australian Abalone, Black Moss Iberico Meatballs, Whole Pig Trotter, Crispy Dried Oysters, Large Japanese Conpoy, Sea Cucumber, Fish Maw, Japanese Shiitake Mushroom, Chinese Cabbage, Black Moss, Mustard Greens, White Radish and Beancurd. The braised sauce was delicious but the highlight has got to be those crispy oysters which I guess will only make sense if you are enjoying it in the restaurant (unless you can get Wan Hao to separate them for you to fry back home).
My favourite dish of the evening however has got to be this Braised Bird's Nest Broth with Crab Meat, Conpoy and Wolfberries. Chef Brian Wong from Wan Hao at the Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel consistently comes up with delicious soups and this is no exception. The broth itself is delicious and the addition of bird's nest provided that consistency with some bite and texture. Bird's nest is also believed to have beauty benefits so who knows?
The crowd favourite that night however, has got to be this Stewed Spare Ribs with Hawthorn and Preserved Plum. The fork-tender spare ribs were drenched in this flavoursome hawnthorn and preserved plum sauce which was the perfect mix of sweetness and sourness. I really liked the spare ribs itself but the sauce was a little too heavy personally.
One thing that I do look forward to each year at Wan Hao is the glutinous rice that is wrapped in lotus leaves. For 2017, the Wok-fried Glutinous Rice, Crispy Rice, Chinese Sausage and Preserved Meat served in Lotus Leaf comes with crispy rice on top for added texture and bite but expect the good old glutinous rice underneath it!
After sampling three different desserts from Wan Hao at the Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel, I can safely say that the Baked Nian Gao and Yam Tart is one of the most interesting takes on the traditional nian gao that I have tasted this year.
This was an invited Media Tasting session, though all views expressed are my own.