Jade at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore has unveiled a refreshed interior in May 2017 alongside a refocused culinary direction. Following the success of this revitalisation but more importantly, to concentrate on serving quality food and great service, Jade has steered away from the two-seating weekend dim sum buffet menu to introduce the one-seating Gourmet Dim Sum Treasure set menus instead.
We opted for Jade's signature Eight Treasures Tea which is a delightful concoction of delicious and nutritious ingredients like rose buds, wolfberries, chrysanthemum flowers, jasmine tea leaves and dried longans to give it a touch of sweetness. There are three distinct set menus here at Jade for dim sum (only available on weekends and public holidays) - the Purple Flinch (S$68+), Paradise Flycatcher (S$88++) and the Royal Peacock (S$108++). The aforementioned prices for each adult (minimum two to dine) but if you prefer, you may also select from the Master Chef's Specialty menu or the A La Carte Dim Sum menu.
The Trio Contemporary Dim Sum is from the Royal Peacock menu and it consists of three items. My personal favourite is the Foie Gras and Truffle Shrimp Dumpling which is packed with flavours - the sliced truffle is not overpowering and the freshness of the shrimp gave it plenty of bite and texture. While I did enjoy the flavours and the beauty of the Golden Sea Urchin Siew Mai, I thought that the sea urchin did not do much for the dish - it could have been better off in a sauce (made from sea urchin and butter) on the side instead. The Scallop Dumpling itself was delicious but the salmon roe somehow did not provide that burst of saltiness that I was expecting.
The Garden of Roasted Delight is also from the Royal Peacock menu and it truly showcases the culinary skills and diversity of Chef Leong and his team. I dare say that every single component of this dish is something that most Singaporeans would be familiar with but each one of them is perfected before being displayed in front of your eyes like a beautiful presentation. The Crispy Roasted Pork Belly needs no introduction - I dare say it is the best pork belly I have had in Singapore. There is also a side of mustard if you prefer but I actually enjoy eating it on its own with nothing to steal away the beautiful flavours of this dish. The Roasted Duck breast was moist and the skin was still slightly crispy. The Honey-glazed Barbecued Pork was not overly sweet and surprisingly, it is not at all dry despite having a beautiful caramelisation on the outside. Other components of this dish includes the Thousand Lay Pig's Ear and the Thin-sliced Pork with Garlic and Vinaigrette.
While I am not Cantonese, I have a weak spot for Asian soups and the Double Boiled Fish Maw, Sea Cucumber, Bamboo Pith and Tofu Dumpling in Superior Consommé (found in the Paradise Flycatcher menu) here at Jade delivered. The most interesting component in this dish is probably the tofu dumpling which is made from fresh tofu skin. The rich flavours from the consommé and the premium seafood ingredients made this dish something to crave for on a frequent basis (especially on a rainy night).
The Wok-fried Rice Flour Rolls with Scallop in X.O. Sauce from the Purple Finch menu is probably one of my favourite dishes that I have tried in this lunch seating. The rice flour rolls are first steamed before being wok-fried to give it that smokiness and 'wok hei' that everyone has grown to love. It is finally tossed in premium X.O. sauce and served with perfectly-cooked plump scallops to create a winning dish.
For dessert, we sampled the Shaved Pineapple Coconut Ice with Champagne Jelly as well as the luxurious Bird's Nest Egg Tart from the Paradise Flycatcher menu. I particularly enjoyed the Shaved Pineapple Coconut Ice with Champagne Jelly (and I assure you it is not just because the dessert contained Champagne jelly) since it was delightfully refreshing. The ice (cream) is smooth and creamy and that acidity of the Champagne jelly provided the dish with plenty of character but more importantly, I loved how balanced it was throughout every spoonful.
As a skilled ceramist himself, Chef Leong is known to create art pieces out of the simplest ingredients. The final dish of this lunch tasting was the Lotus Paste Pastry Flowers which was served alongside a stunning gelatine centrepiece (not-edible). The lotus paste reminded me of mooncakes (possibly since I have eaten so many in the last couple of months) but the star of this dish for me, has to be the pastry - I love the paper-thin exteriors and how easily it broke apart to reveal the delicious insides.
It is common to hear people say that cooking is an art but Chef Leong has truly managed to marry both aspects of both culinary excellence and the artistic presentation of things to create dishes that not only tastes good but looks good as well. There is some kind of unspoken elegance in the dishes he create and I am truly excited to see what else does he have up his sleeves for Jade's tenth anniversary (which he has personally seen through from day one) next year.
This was an invited media-tasting session, though all views expressed are my own.