The Lunar New Year celebration at InterContinental Singapore's Man Fu Yuan is always something that regulars would look forward to each year. I was fortunate enough to be invited down by the team at the property for a preview of some of the new dishes and surely enough, it did not disappoint.
Inspired by Japanese flavours, the Treasures Yu Sheng at Man Fu Yuan comes with a delicious sake goma sesame sauce that is complex but yet, light at the same time. Instead of just raw salmon which most yu shengs in Singapore are served with, this luxurious version comes with baby abalones as well as scallops from Hokkaido.
My favourite dish from that evening had to be the Double-boiled Chicken Soup, Fish Maw, Bamboo Pith, Matsutake Mushrooms. I have always been a fan of soups and this thick and flavourful broth was perfect - the viscosity and consistency of this soup was immaculate but more importantly, the use of fresh matsutake mushrooms really shined through in this dish. This prized ingredient provides that richness and woodiness that is truly unique!
The suckling pig at Man Fu Yuan is definitely one of the restaurant's signature dishes and this year, Chef Eric Neo and his team has prepared it in a much more modern way with Foie Gras and Daikon atop a piece of thin crepe. While the crepe was not big enough to wrap the entire bundle of joy up for the consumption through a single-bite, that roasted suckling pig itself was perfect in every bite - the skin is incredibly crisp and the fattiness as well as the tenderness of the meat underneath is simply delicious.
Now I do not care what people say about treasure pots (or pen cai), I absolutely love them - there is something about bring all these delicious ingredients together in a luscious braised sauce. Man Fu Yuan's Abundance Treasure Pot comes with braised sea cucumber with minced prawns and pork, 10-head whole abalone, Canadian lobster, Hokkaido scallop, live prawns, fish maw, goose web, pig's trotter, sea whelk, dried oyster, chicken wing, preserved meat sausage, liver sausage, flower mushroom, cabbage, fried beancurd skin, fried yam as well as fatt choy!
Another notable dish served during dinner was this Steamed Lobster, Chinese Wine, Egg White. Even though the lobster itself was cooked nicely, for me the real star of this dish is that addictive combination of Chinese wine and egg white - topped with plenty of pork lard no less.
The Dragon Tiger Garoupa (known as 龙虎班 amongst Chinese diners) is a prized ingredient and it really is one of those things you order if you wish to impress your friends and family. Personally, this was probably the least exciting dish for me and even though the freshness of the fish did come through, I did not really understand the combination of flavours - the Chinese ham reminded me vaguely of Iberian ham which was odd in my opinion.
The presentation of Man Fu Yuan's interpretation of glutinous rice and boneless chicken is quite impressive. I was unable to get a photo of it in the dark - it was lighted up in flames and served to us in pitch darkness - but the flavours are a huge standout.
The food at InterContinental Singapore's Man Fu Yuan is as good as I remember it to be. Part of the dining experience here is about immersing yourself in the theatrics as well as the loud presentations of certain dishes - not necessary for the execution of flavours but definitely crucial in making this one of the most memorable lunar new year tastings that I have been to this year.
This was an invited media-tasting session, though all views expressed are my own.