The signature Cantonese restaurant of The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, Summer Pavilion, has received a one-star rating (2016-2018) in the Michelin Guide Singapore for three consecutive years. Led by Chinese Executive Chef Cheung Siu Kong and Restaurant Manager, Gery Lee, Summer Pavilion has established itself as one of the best Cantonese restaurants in Singapore that not only offer amazing food, great personalised service but also one of the most beautiful interiors in the country. From 21 January 2019 to 19 February 2019, indulge in a selection of exquisite dishes this year with six- to eight-course set lunch and dinner menus. Diners who celebrate the first 15 days of the Lunar New Year at Summer Pavilion will also receive a set of exclusive Ritz-Carlton red packets and a pair of Mandarin oranges, per reservation.
Summer Pavilion introduces a brand new Suckling Pig, Black Caviar, Jelly Fish Yu Sheng this year and while the base ingredients look familiar, the sauce really brings the entire dish together. To make sure that the suckling pig and black caviar do not get lost in the tossing of yu sheng, these premium ingredients are added after the tossing is completed (smart!).
Over the years, this Yu Sheng dish has gotten a lot fancier across all top-tier Chinese restaurants in Singapore. We have seen the inclusion of things like fresh Alaskan crab, lobster sashimi and even caviar but this is definitely the first year that I am seeing suckling pig. If you are familiar with the Chinese zodiac animals, 2019 is the year of the pig and therefore, it is highly probable that every Lunar New Year menu that you encounter this year will include some kind of pork-dish simply to pay homage to the year ahead.
The Australian Lobster Soup, Asparagus, Carrot, Egg White, Lobster Stock is my favourite dish that evening and that broth is simply put, to die for. The natural sweetness from the fresh Australian lobsters really shine through that well-balanced broth - the flavours were pronounced but more importantly, that rich stock truly delivers the best of this dish in a single spoon.
If I had to pick the best-looking dish, it would have to be the Braised Stuffed Prickly Sea Cucumber, Iberico Pork, Preserved Vegetable, Winter Melon, Mushroom, Seasonal Vegetable. Visually, the dish is stunning and the use of prickly sea cucumber is always a symbol of opulence at this time of the year. The carefully-carved winter melon at the back may look just like a garnish but it certainly was a crucial part of this dish. I love the complex contrast of textures in this dish and despite having a mixture of different ingredients, the flavours were held together perfectly by that delicious braised sauce.
Chef Cheung introduces a dish from his childhood this year and according to him, this is something that he has enjoyed quite a bit while he was a child. Glutinous rice balls are often eaten by Chinese as a dessert but this savoury version is as good as it looks. Representing the carbohydrates in this dinner setting, the Poached Iberico Pork Rice Dumpling, Cabbage in Superior Stock may look simple but it is well-executed - the flavours are straight-forward but that stock (something that Summer Pavilion is known for) is just mouthwatering.
For dessert, I enjoyed the Chilled Superior Bird's Nest and a Pear Osmanthus Crunch Bar by the side. According to what I have been told, the superior bird’s nest is harvested from swallows that live near a cliff (which gives the natural yellow colour) and this highly-prized ingredient is incorporated into a simple yet refreshing dish. Dining at Summer Pavilion is always a treat - the food is excellent as you would expect, but what really stands out the most for me is the service.
This was an invited media-tasting session, though all views expressed are my own.