Published on : Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Following last year’s successful debut of the Dream of the Red Chamber, Chef Alan Chan and Restaurant Manager Ng Chong Kim present another year-end dining masterpiece. After months of research and experimentation in Jiang-Nan Chun’s kitchen, diners can look forward to their innovative interpretation of another literary legend, Journey to the West, from December 5, 2013 till January 5, 2014 at Four Seasons Hotel Singapore.
Authored by Wu Cheng’en during the 16th century Ming Dynasty, the masterpiece is also known as The Legend of the Monkey God. Based on select chapters from the 100-chapter tome, Chef Chan and Ng created a six-course menu that depicts the pilgrimage Buddhist monk Xuan Zang and his disciples – Sun Wu Kong, Zhu Ba Jie, Sha Wu Jing and the White Dragon Horse – took in search of the sutras in India.
The first course highlights the events from chapters one to three, in which Sun Wu Kong trained his troop of monkeys into a formidable army with weapons obtained from the Dragon King of the Eastern Sea. Drawing inspiration from myriad colours in the underwater world of treasures, sea life and sea warriors, the seafood combination platter of Alaska crab, slow-cooked lobster with passion fruit sauce and chilled abalone was created.
Based on the playful exploits of Sun Wu Kong and the other monkeys frolicking at the waterfall, Chef Chan made the second course a nourishing broth in the form of double-boiled monkey head mushroom soup with chicken, fig and sea coconut.
As the pages are turned from chapters five to seven, the third course of braised seafood ball in rich carrot broth is aptly presented in a gourd arising from the five gourds of immortal pills consumed by Sun Wu Kong in a drunken stupor.
As guests are served the fourth course of sous-vide short rib with Chef’s Sauce, they will be regaled with the origin of this dish. In detailing how Sun Wu Kong was tricked and thwarted by the Bull Demon King in his journey westward via a fiery mountain, guests will be enlightened on the significance of the “spring roll” that garnishes the dish.
In a seemingly harmonious turn of affairs as the four disciples continued their journey to Jin Ping Town in Tian Zhu County, the celebration of abundant harvest, good weather and three Buddhas’ blessings is mirrored in the steamed mixed grain rice with cod and Spanish chorizo wrapped in bamboo leaf. Reflecting Chef Chan’s innovative approach through nuanced flavours, the Spanish chorizo enriches the flavour of this dish.
As the last course unveils an account rife with temptation faced by Xuan Zang, Pastry Chef Audrey Yee’s warm almond cake with red peach soup and vanilla bread pudding ice cream is a metaphor for Xuan Zang’s seduction by the Spider Demons. The dessert’s alluring colours, flavour and crystallized sugar ball allude to the intricacy of the spider web spun to deter the advance by Xuan Zang and his disciples.
“Since we started planning this months ago, Chef Alan and I have been challenging ourselves to tell the story of this Chinese classic as innovatively as we can,” says Restaurant Manager Ng Chong Kim. “Each dish is a combined expression of culinary and literary art, which we hope will benchmark the dining experience for both epicureans and literary aficionados alike.”
Priced at SGD 138.00 per person, the six-course menu is subject to 10 percent service charge and prevailing government taxes.
The “Journey to the West” set menu is available:
Monday to Saturday
Lunch: 11:30 am to 2:30 pm; dinner: 6:00 to 10:30 pm
Dinner only: 6:00 to 10:30 pm
Source:- Four Seasons Hotels
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