Jiang-Nan Chun: Most Indulgent Peking Duck Experience in SingaporeThursday, May 26, 2016
Dreaming of crispy Peking Duck skin that crackles like a thin slice of caramel in your mouth? Or a slice of tender and succulent...
|Jiang-Nan Chun, Four Seasons Hotel Singapore|
|Fine traditional wood carvings contrast with rough fishermen baskets - a manifestation of Jiang Nan, located south of the Yangtze River|
|Traditional medical cabinets serve as decorative backdrops|
|Traditional chopstick holders are incorporated into the exquisite design of the reception counter|
What's special about the Peking duck?
Caviar aside, here's essentially what differentiates the roast duck here from its counterparts.
Fresh ducks undergo special preparation methods for 14 hours before they are roasted in a mesquite wood oven, which not only imparts succulence to the meat, but also ensures that the fat beneath the glossy crispy skin is greatly reduced.
I was eagerly anticipating the arrival of the Peking duck when it was swiftly wheeled out by the Chef, making a dramatic entrance in the dining hall. Watching the chef wield his magic and carve the duck in front of guests was a feast for the eyes.
|Chef carving the beautiful glossy Peking duck|
The crispy duck skin was the first to be served, followed by slices of succulent duck meat. I usually find Peking duck skin a little too oily and the meat, when taken alone without any sauce, too dry for my liking, but I soon discovered that Jiang Nan-Chun's Peking duck is truly in a league of its own.
|Crispy skin that crackles in your mouth like caramel|
I thoroughly enjoyed the crackling crispy skin without the extra layer of fats, which is perfect for even the most health-conscious patron, and as I sank my teeth into a slice of duck meat, I was immediately greeted by the wonderful aroma and an explosion of intense flavours.
It was only then that a wave of realization hit me - I have yet to even pair it with the condiments that accompanied this dish.
In line with Jiang Nan-Chun's new concept of "享乐主义", or "the principle of enjoyment and happiness" which promotes the idea that how you eat, and why you eat, is just as important as what you eat, the various eating methods of "Peking" versus "Cantonese" roast duck are explained when the condiments and pancakes are served.
Caviar is the main highlight of the condiments and surprisingly, it complements the traditional flavours of the Peking duck perfectly, lending the finishing touches to an unforgettable experience.
|Highlight of the condiments - Caviar|
|Peking Duck served with a generous dollop of caviar|
Words fail to describe how impressed I was as I have never tasted Peking duck that has approached this level of sophistication.
But that's not all that Jiang-Nan Chun has to offer.
Beyond just duck, some of its signature dim sum and claypot dishes are prepared in the specially-customized duck oven to greatly enhance the depth of flavours.
|Crispy Flaky Pastry with Black Pepper Beef, Steamed Shrimp Dumpling with Mushroom, Char Siew Sliders with Homemade Pickled Green Chilli|
Can you see the beautiful layers on the Crispy Flaky Pastry with Black Pepper Meat? There is a total of seventeen symmetrical layers alternated between water-based and oil-based skin, forming a crispy textured pastry that envelopes the wood-fired black pepper meat within.
It takes many hours to make this and the chefs' hard work certainly pays off. Just take a bite and let the light, flaky layers melt in your mouth, revealing the juicy black pepper meat.
I felt like I went to dim sum heaven.
|Crispy Flaky Pastry with Black Pepper Beef|
The Char Siew Sliders with Green Pickled Chilli is yet another work of art that showcases the chefs' attention to the finest details.
Only Kurobuta pork, the most highly prized pork in Japan, is used to create its signature Char Siew. The juiciness, tenderness and distinctive flavour set it apart from the usual char siew, and that tangy sweetness of green pickled chilli gives it that extra punch.
|Char Siew Sliders with Pickled Green Chilli|
Now, how could I forget the steamed shrimp dumpling, a dim sum mainstay? Jiang-Nan Chun's version is clearly a notch above the rest as it comes with thin, silky smooth skin and generous portions of large succulent shrimps.
|Steamed Shrimp Dumplings with Mushroom|
AppetizerWhat I love about Jiang Nan-Chun is how innovative the dishes are. Take this appetizer for example. The soft shell prawns are fried to perfection (they're so crispy you can actually eat them whole!) with curry leaves and spices based on the chef's secret recipe. The almonds and crispy rice added that extra crunch which made this dish highly addictive.
|Soft Shell Prawns with Sliced Almonds & Crispy Rice|
Double-boiled SoupsJiang-Nan Chun's double-boiled soups are well-loved by VIPs and dignitaries alike, and it is not hard to see why.
To create a rich stock, the base of the soup is boiled for eight hours with fresh, natural ingredients. Then, key ingredients are added to the stock and boiled again for another eight hours.This process ensures that you reap the wellness benefits of their nourishing soups, which have a rich, complex flavour yet remain incredibly light on the tastebuds.
Double-boiled soups are my idea of comfort food and needless to say, I finished my bowl of hearty soup in a heartbeat.
|Wagyu Beef Oxtail with Lemongrass-infused Oil|
The Wagyu Beef Oxtail with Lemongrass-infused Oil is a new signature dish at Jiang-Nan Chun. Cooked for over 30 hours in the mesquite wood oven, the meat is so tender it melts in your mouth. It is exceptionally flavourful and goes very well with a bowl of fragrant white rice.
At Jiang-Nan Chun, even the tiniest of details is not spared and you'll be happy to know that every bowl of rice is individually steamed, so that every grain is moist and soft.
|Steamed Cod Wrapped in Paper Rice Roll|
Can you tell that this dish evokes silk in the water ripples? This dish tells the story of one of the Four Beauties of China, Xi Shi. According to the legend, she used to wash her silks in the famous West Lake in Hangzhou and her gorgeous reflection stunned even the fishes, so they swam lower below the waters.
I enjoyed this wellness dish with cod, mushrooms and water chestnuts, accompanied by a touch of truffle personally shaved by the chef for every guest.
DessertDesserts are less traditional and like every item on the menu, each brings an element of surprise to the table.
|Crispy Salted Egg Yolk Puff Pastry|
Fans of salted egg yolk can get your fix here with the Crispy Salted Egg Yolk Puff Pastry with Almond. I was particularly enamoured with this as a refreshing and creative spin is given to the salted egg yolk craze by incorporating almond cream in this delightful crispy puff pastry.
|Avocado cream, coconut sorbet, osmanthus jelly and cocoa nibs|
Those of you who are a little more health-conscious can opt for the Avocado cream dessert which is lighter on the palate yet equally tasty.
|Yogurt Cream, Mung Beans, Longan, Chia Seed, Sour Plum Granite|
Tea Pairing & Wine PairingIn line with the concept of 享乐, you can always look to the servers for recommendations on a cup of tea or a glass of wine to complement every dish and to complete your dining experience.
From now till 30 June 2016, call 6831 7220 and quote "25% off Peking Duck" when making a reservation to enjoy 25% off the Signature Peking Duck (U.P. S$98).
There is also a special wine-pairing promotion @S$65++ for 3 glasses of wines curated by their resident wine experts.
Four Seasons Hotel Singapore
190 Orchard Boulevard
+65 6831 7220
Lunch - 11.30am - 2.30pm
Dinner - 6pm - 10.30pm