Here are 5 little-known facts about Fullerton Hotel’s Jade Restaurant that will surprise you!
Regulars of Jade Restaurant at Fullerton Hotel will tell you about the consistently delicious nosh available here. Helmed by Chef Leong Chee Yeng, who was recently awarded the “Majestic Restaurant Asian Cuisine Chef of The Year” at the World Gourmet Summit Awards of Excellence 2016, the food at Jade Restaurant is inventive and well-deserving of its accolades.
We recently sat down with Chef Leong to find out the secrets to his creativity.
1. Stay true to your roots.
Although Chef Leong has lived in Singapore for many years and is now a Singapore citizen, he grew up in Kuala Lumpur where he had front-row access to some of the best street food in the city. One of the signature dishes at Jade Restaurant, the Lobster Noodles are inspired by his childhood memories of eating soy sauce noodles in Malaysia. While the version served at Jade has been given a gourmet twist with a generous serving of Boston lobster, its preparation style is similar to that of Chef Leong’s childhood favourite – simmered in black soya sauce and lathered with pork lard for an added fragrance.
2. Condiments are just as important as the main dish.
You probably wouldn’t think much of the sauces or condiments that accompany a dish, but according to Chef Leong, these sauces can make or break a dish. For example, the Peking Duck at Jade Restaurant is served with orange peel at the side, a unique twist that was inspired by the classic French dish, Duck à l’orange. According to Chef Leong, Jade Restaurant regulars are so used to having orange peel served alongside their Peking Duck that they’ll feel odd without it.
Another signature dish that is elevated by its accompanying sauce is the guo tie (Chinese dumplings). The version served at Jade Restaurant is a homemade concoction of minced ginger, black vinegar, chilli oil, soya sauce, sliced chilli, and finely sliced coriander. This heady mix of ingredients helps elevate the humble dumpling into a way more memorable dish.
3. Let your environment inspire you.
As the Fullerton Hotel is housed within a heritage building, Chef Leong wanted his dishes to pay homage to the building’s unique history. One great example would be the Crab Meat Bun. Drawing inspiration from Singapore’s national dish – chilli crab – Chef Leong combines the various elements of the dish into an easy-to-eat bun. The mantou is stuffed with chilli crab before being steamed and deep-fried, making it easy for diners to enjoy all the flavours without the mess that usually accompanies a chilli crab meal.
4. Simplicity is key.
When you look through a restaurant’s menu, do your eyes automatically zoom in on the signature items? And, are they usually the most expensive items on the menu? This is not the case at Jade Restaurant. Chef Leong says, “If the ingredient is expensive or premium to begin with, it’s easy to make it taste good. True skills lie in being able to cook a simple dish well.” For example, one of the restaurant’s signature items is the Black Pepper Beef. It may seem like an ordinary dish, but with the chef’s adroit handling of the wok and fire control as well as his secret ingredient (deep fried sliced garlic), the result is a wonderfully aromatic dish that keeps customers coming back for more.
5. Cultivate other interests outside of work.
Apart from his work as a chef, Chef Leong is also a prolific ceramic artist. In fact, his work was recently exhibited and auctioned at the hotel in June 2015. The showcase featured more than 30 of Chef Leong’s handcrafted traditional and contemporary ceramic pieces, with all proceeds from the sale being donated to the Autism Resource Centre. You can also see some of Chef Leong’s works as you walk into Jade Restaurant. Because he often uses these ceramic works to showcase his food during culinary competitions, these art pieces forces him to think outside the box when it comes to food presentation and styling.
Win a “50 Treasures’ dinner for 2 at Jade Restaurant worth $136!
(This contest has ended.)
Enter the draw by completing the following steps:
1. Answer this question in the Comments section below: “What is the secret ingredient in Chef Leong’s Black Pepper Beef?”
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Deadline: 16 May 2016, 6pm
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20 Jan 2017