Jiang-Nan Chun Singapore Restaurant Review
Chef Albert Tse Wai Shing Paves the Way to Modern Chinese Cuisine
of China and Hong Kong, the best place to enjoy a wide range of
Chinese cuisine is Singapore. Here in this little island-city-state
is to be found a wide selection of the many regional cuisines of
China, including Szechuan, Cantonese, Hunanese, as well as those
from Beijing and Shanghai, and even the lesser-known ones.
third course featured one of Chef Tse’s award-winning gastronomic
A fascinating new development is the birth of Modern Chinese Cuisine,
a hybrid creation that is gaining popularity within the culinary
community in Singapore. Amongst the Chinese restaurants that offer
their interpretation of Modern Chinese Cuisine, the best is The
Four Seasons Hotel Singapore’s Jiang-Nan Chun Restaurant,
where Chinese Executive Chef Albert Tse Wai Shing reigns as one
of the region’s top veterans of Chinese Cuisine.
A five-course tasting menu for lunch at Jiang Nan Chun, well-known
for its traditional Cantonese cuisine, presented in an innovative,
contemporary style, is a delightful experience that I was able to
share with André Gayot while in the midst of one of his around
the world voyages in quest of the best.
It begins with a trio from the restaurant’s signature dim
sum selection: deep-fried yam dumpling filled with Chinese mushroom
and chicken, steamed dumpling with minced shrimp and crabmeat, and
fresh scallop with minced chicken dumpling. But the novelty is that
each dumpling is prepared in the classic Western tradition that
added an intense flavor dimension.
The second course, braised sharks’ fin with crab meat en papillote,
is sharks’ fin baked in a paper pouch and served with a distinct
flourish as waiters snip away the wrappers to release the fragrance
of the protein-rich combs of sharks’ fin topped with succulent
wedges of crab-meat and smothered in superior chicken stock. It’s
a magnificent treat for
the taste buds and for the eyes as well.
quality fresh abalone with truffle. This delicacy took two whole
days of preparations,
beginning with six hours of steaming of the fresh whole abalone
in a stock made from combining chicken, pork ribs, sea cucumber,
dried mushroom and Shaoxing rice wine. The abalone is then removed
from the stock and air-dried for one whole day to develop a glaze
and enhance the “bite.” It is then returned to the sauce,
to which shaved truffle is added and slow boiled for two hours,
after which it is left to soak for another day for the flavors to
be absorbed. Before serving, the abalone is quick-braised and presented
whole, garnished with seasonal greens and truffle shavings, and
bathed in the rich much-reduced sauce. As the sauce ingredients
and natural abalone juices have melded so perfectly, one can easily
imagine that the explosion of flavors presented by each succulent
mouthful of abalone defies description.
Abalone with Truffle
Bean Curd and Sautéed Monkey-Head Mushrooms with Oyster
simplicity of the next course, braised homemade spinach bean curd
and sautéed monkey-head mushrooms with oyster sauce, provides
a clever contrast to the richness and depth of the two preceding
dishes. The fist-sized monkey-head mushroom is named for its physical
resemblance to a monkey’s head (This probably gave rise to
the popular tale of the barbaric practice of eating of live monkey
brains. But really, has anyone out there ever experienced it first-hand?).
The monkey-head mushroom, as its name implies, is a member of the
mushroom family and, of course, not of the monkey family. Thoroughly
edible, it is served in bite-sized slices, sautéed in oyster
sauce. Crunchy to the bite with a smoky, nutty flavor, it contrasts
well in taste and texture with a smooth, spinach tofu.
A Chinese meal has come to an end when the fried rice or noodles
(as in our case) is served. But after such a succession of magnificent
dishes it was difficult to do justice to the tempting, delightfully
crunchy seafood fried noodles that appeared there before us.
finalist in the Asian Ethnic Chef category of the World Gourmet
Summit in Singapore in 2002, Chef Albert's summarizes his happy
philosophy of food:
“I derive great joy and happiness in cooking and creating
new dishes, and I hope to translate that into my dishes so that
any guest who walks into my restaurant will eat away their worries
and anxieties when they dine on my food.”
Indeed, our lunch provided a totally satisfying experience.
This classic Cantonese menu is modernized in its presentation, and
its interpretation is prepared with finesse and imagination by one
of the finest Chinese chefs in Singapore at Four Seasons Singapore’s
Jiang Nan Chun Restaurant, named after the rich verdant lands south
of China’s Yangtze River. Gayot/GaultMillau, who remember
discovered “The Nouvelle Cuisine“ in 1972, is more than
intrigued by this trend represented by Chef Albert. Make no mistake,
this is not simply a variation of “fusion.” It could
very well be the “Nouvelle, Nouvelle” of the global
to be missed if a visit to Singapore is in the cards.
Jiang-Nan Chun Restaurant
The Four Seasons Hotel Singapore
190 Orchard Road