Woohoo Chinese New Year is coming! What are you looking forward to during this season? For me, one of the highlights is definitely the numerous gatherings with family and friends, which is more often than not, centred around sumptuous meals of Yusheng Lo Hei prosperity toss and luxurious pots of Poon Choi!
In the food blogosphere, we started our CNY feasting considerably early, and one that certainly made a deep impression on me is at Peony Jade Restaurant @ Keppel Club (the other outlet is at Clarke Quay). Their Bonsai-shaped Monies Tree Yusheng came with premium seafood such as lobster, Alaskan crab claws, tuna belly, Atlantic salmon, sweet shrimp and sea urchin, its freshness in taste was further elevated by a unique sweet sauce with notes of citrusy yuzu and..... truffle oil! What a extravagant toss to enormous windfall, good health and longevity! Huat Ah!!!
Deep-fried lotus root chips, crispy fried vermicelli, roasted pine nuts and toasted sesame seeds enlivened the dish with an extra delicious crunch, the combination of this Yusheng was altogether delightful and arguably worth the price (an auspicious $198.88). Okay to splurge lah, since it's a once-a-year affair and besides, the portion is generous for 15 people.
The Yusheng is just one of the many dishes in Peony Jade's "Eight Rhapsodies of Spring" festive repertoire, specially created to usher in the New Lunar Year of Sheep.
Other dishes on the festive menu includes Hong Kong Roast USA Goose sealed with Chef's Special "Fa Cai" Broth. I must say the bird was really well-prepared to my liking, infused with aromatic Chinese herbs like Angelica root and spices like star anise before being roasted for up to 2 hours to succulent perfection.
Since 2015 is the year of sheep accordingly to the Chinese zodiac, it is none too surprising to see mutton-centric dishes such as Slow-fire Stewed Lamb with bamboo shoots, mushrooms and beancurd skin. Its gamey flavor did not make me a fan, but would perhaps please those who gravitate towards this intensity, as well as its exceedingly melt-in-the-mouth tender texture.
I was more enamored with these Handcrafted Goat-shaped Deep-fried Hum Soi Kuok. The pastry team gave the traditional fried dumplings an ingenious twist by shaping the glutinous rice dough into a most adorable form, before stuffing it with diced pork and shitake mushrooms. Its outer is fried to crispiness, yet retaining a layer of chew mochi-like texture just underneath. The entire combination was so cute, so delish! I'm not sorry, little meh meh, that I had bitten your head off and gobbled you up!
Steamed Black-eyed Pea Cake was another favorite which had me giving nods to the softness of its handmade carrot & taro paste, nutty crunch of the black-eyed pea and the partly sweet partly savory flavors from the added golden pumpkin, mushroom and Chinese jinhua ham. What a brilliant combination executed to lip-smacking goodness!
Though Poon Choi is traditionally a peasant dish that originated some 900 years ago, it is anything but a humble dish nowadays. Peony Jade's modern rendition came brimming with 18 premium ingredients!
Let me count for you okay: Whole 10-head Australian abalones, Sakura chicken, pork knuckle, golden oyster, roast pork, South African spikes sea cucumber, fresh whole scallops, pork tendons, fatt choy, fish maw, kings prawns, shiitake mushrooms, homemade sea-grouper mousse cake, golden dried canopy, taro, beancurd skin, radish and broccoli! Certainly a luxurious pot of gratifying indulgence! I super like!
Peony Jade's signature Claypot Jasmine Rice with its smoky aroma and sweet-salty waxed meats such as Chinese sausages, liver sausages and homemade air-dried duck drumstick is another endearing classic which is apt for any meal as well.
Desserts took on an exquisite turn, with display of Artisan Peony-shaped Pastry filled with white lotus paste, salted egg yolk and macadamia nuts. Those handcrafted Prosperity Goats are not only an adorable sight to behold, its salty egg custard beneath that soft snowskin outer was such a joy to nibble on.
Together with the citrusy sweet Glazed Kumquat with Vanilla Beans, all are conveniently available as gift sets too. Can buy for your family, friends, business associates..... (or me too if you like :p)
Dishes and Gift Sets from Peony Jade's "Eight Rhapsodies of Spring" and other Festive Creations are priced at:-
- Instant Enormous Windfall, Good Health and Longevity Bonsai-shaped Monies Tree Yusheng: $198.88 (serves up to 15 guests, available for dine-in at Keppel Club only).
- A Wealth of Prosperity and Longevity Hong Kong Roast USA Goose: $188.88 (serves up to 12 guests)
- Prosperity & Smooth-sailing Hand-crafted Goat-shaped Deep-fried Hum Soi Kuok: $9.88 per order of 3 pieces (available for dine-in only)
- Steamed Black-eyed Pea Cake with Golden Pumpkin: $38.88 (approximately 1 kg per cake, serves up to 15 guests)
- Abundance Fortune Slow-fire Stewed Lamb: $78.88 (serves up to 6 to 8 guests)
- Reaping Abundance Wealth Australian Premium Whole Abalone Poon Choi: $468.88 (mini premium pot package, serves 6 guests) and $598.88 (premium pot package, serves 8-10 guests). Each package comes with 3 complimentary festive creations: Atlantic Salmon Yusheng, Peony Jade's Signature Cherry Wood Charcoal roasted Gold Duck and Pan-fried Longevity Glutinous Rice with Lup Cheong, Liver Lup Cheong, Preserved Meats & Mushrooms.
- Reunion Steamed "Abundance Wealth" Claypot Jasmine Rice with Chinese Sausages, Liver Sausages and Homemade Wind-dry Duck Drumstick: $68.88 (for up to 6 guests) and $88.88 (for up to 10 guests)
- Triumphant Harvest and Joyous Contentment Peony-shaped Gift Set: $78.88 for a box of 8 pieces)
- Huat Ah Prosperity Goats Gift Set: $88.88 per set
- Overflowing Wealth Glazed Kumquat with Vanilla Beans: $18.88 per jar
As most items require a one-day advance order, it is advisable to make reservations prior to avoid disappointments.
Peony Jade Restaurant
Address: Bukit Chermin Road, Keppel Club (Level M), Singapore 109918
Contact: +65 6276 9138
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-2.30pm, 6pm-10.30pm / Sat-Sun 10.30am-2.30pm, 6pm-11pm
Address: Blk 3A Clarke Quay $02-02, Singapore 179020
Contact: +65 6338 0305
Opening Hours: Daily 11am-3pm, 6pm-11pm
Prices are subjected 10% service charge and prevailing government taxes.