The Fullerton Hotel’s signature Jade restaurant 玉楼, helmed by Master Chef Leong Chee Yeng, celebrates Mid Autumn Festival aka “that time of the year to eat mooncakes” – with a 6-course Mid-Autumn Reunion Dinner Feast starting 25 August to 8 September at S$88++ per pax. This specially-crafted dinner displays creative interpretations from Chef Leong, weaving tales of the festival’s origins into the dishes that are served. As you read on, I’ll be inserting my views and opinions of how this yearly festival remains one that’s most entertaining to me.
Starting with a trio of appetizer bites, Chef Leong has depicted the the evening sky on a plate with steamed sea prawn sitting atop a cloud of steamed fluffy egg white, while savory and sweet shredded chicken with preserved fruit in a crispy vermicelli basket represents the moon. Now the moon is a very significant theme during this festival as that is where our Mid-Autumn protagonist Chang’E purportedly lives in exile upon fleeing the scene of crime after ingesting narcotics. Legend has it she got so high and drugged up that an overdose caused her to start floating towards the sky. She was aimlessly floating ala George Clooney and Sandra Bullock’s space blockbuster Gravity, before finally landing on the lunar orb where she pretty much serves the rest of her existence as a refugee. Sorry hunnie, you’ve earned yourself a one-way ticket for larceny (records showed that said narcs belonged to her husband, tsk tsk). I am not making this up, really it’s all true.
How about we feast on the multi-course dinner alongside serious pondering over what could possibly the morals of this incredulous tale be?
嫦娥奔月三品味 Trio of Mid-Autumn Combination
灯笼彩椒凤尾虾, 麻香蜜餞手撕鸡, 茶薰斎鹅
Steamed Sea Prawn Roll with Capsicum and Mushroom, Shredded Chicken with Preserved Fruit in Honey Mustard Dressing, Tea-smoked Bean Curd Carrot Roll
Boiled Sea Grouper Soup with Black Fungus and Chinese wine served with Steamed Quail Egg
Fragrant Crispy Duck Stuffed with Yam Paste
Stewed Whole Abalone with Dried Scallop and Homemade Edamame Bean Curd
Fragrant Wok-fried Five Grain Rice with Crab Meat
Shaved Almond Ice with Osmanthus Jelly
Chilled Rabbit Shaped Egg White Cake
Petit Traditional Oven Baked and Snow Skin Mooncakes
As I partook in dish after dish of this Mid-Autumn themed multi-course dinner, I truly enjoyed the boiled sea grouper soup tremendously. With a milky appearance that came from gentle boiling to coax out the fish’s essence, this broth was soothing and hit all the right spots, while the quail egg was cooked just perfectly, retaining a silky texture reminiscent of biting into a baby scallop. I also liked the baked crispy duck with yam paste very much and wished there was more of it; only two precious pieces were served – a beautiful harmony of textures from the crispy yam enveloping a soft, earthy mashed yam and crunchy pine nuts over a delicious slice of roast duck. Overall, it’s an elegant dinner with gentle flavors and reasonable serving portions.
Incidentally, the appearance of the duck dish and the stewed abalone following it were styled in a somewhat forestry concept and therefore, they brought to mind another character in the legendary tale – Wu Gang, a woodcutter who got banished to live on the moon after offending the gods over carpentry issues. Anyhoo, Wu Gang’s deal is he’d be allowed parole if he could cut down a tree that grows on the moon. Little did he know that this was a punk move since all the trees on the moon would instantly grow back from their stumps whenever he chopped them, so… much ado about nothing, if you ask moi. The Gods: 1, Wu Gang: 0.
So at the conclusion of this morbid tale, boys and girls – what’s the moral of the story here?
The congregation of bunnies, led by mixologist Jade Bunny – again another character in the story, sorta Chang’E’s part pet, part frenemy and depicted here as desiccated coconut-crusted marshmallows, have arrived at the following nuggets of wisdom:
1. Take the high road and do your best to not marry a druggie.
2. Exercise extreme precautions when using recreational drugs, particularly the ones that don’t belong to you, and strap yourself with sandbags.
3. Never involve yourself in a debate with the gods over the pros and cons of real hardwood flooring vs. laminates.
4. Lunar loneliness coupled with a dude bearing the curse of a constant wood can only lead to going at it like bunnies, and an overpopulation on the moon.
5. A jacket of desiccated coconut is poor disguise and bad fashion sense for frenemies.
The full moon falls on September 9 so here’s my suggested itinerary: dine at Jade at Fullerton Hotel before 8 September, nibble on some mooncakes, kidnap the adorable marshmallow bunny from the dessert course and hide it inside your handbag, look up into the sky and do your best to spot the lonesome maiden/petty theft who’s still residing on the moon – squint if you must, and taunt her with your sugar high-induced frenzy. Last but not least, share this story and may the legend live on!
Happy Mooncake Festival. Peace out, everybody.