It is time for the mane and hooves to shine this Chinese New Year, and the reins on our tummies are in the hands of Peony Jade‘s horse-centric menu, the “Eight Beauties Of The Blossoming Spring”. With three new dessert creations and other prosperous signatures boasting of the season’s joyous and exquisite display of colors, fresh floral scent, choice seasonal produce and a playful touch of culinary flair; this ain’t a time to be thinking about IKEA’s meatball surprise.
We started our octad meal with this year’s horse-shaped “Instant Enormous Windfall, Good Health & Longevity” yu sheng, artistically illustrated by generous layers of salmon, tuna belly, and abalone slices hiding all the shredded vegetables below their spread. The fresh crunch of the radish contrasted with the bouncy bite of the jellyfish is enough of a reason for it to retain its iconic superiority when it comes to CNY dishes.
We would love to say that the “Abounding Riches”, a dainty serving of crispy pork skin paired with flavorful glutinous rice served over a piece of soft white bread and a spot of sweet sauce, stole the rest of our carnivorous appetites; but we got distracted by the loud pounding of the yellow block that came right after. “Prosperity Forward” is a baked ingot cementing the traditional fat choi cast, and it was a slight pity that the attempts to break the shell (which in turn broke the plate) turned out to be more exciting than the conventional taste of the dish.
Next up was an unique take on the imperial abacus, “Abundance Wealth”, by mimicking its structure using lobster, abalones, dried scallops, and bamboo shoots. The sauce and mini dough bits did a brilliant job of sealing all the individual flavors in, and from it we were almost too full to appreciate the “Reaping Good Fortune” truffle roasted chicken that came onto the table too soon. We have to applaud the lavish use of the word “truffle” because it was roasted over truffle oil, served on truffle sauce, and decorated with delicate slices of truffle. This chicken did not have to cross the road at all because we could smell it a mile away.
“Abundance & Bounty Wealth” is a pot of stewed sea treasures subjected to slow-heat for hours, impressing us with the softness of everything involved in the dish. Again, the taste could afford to be more exciting, but it did serve well as a dish of nostalgia for the older crowd. For us, we preferred the daring mix of Western and Asian techniques that were fully captured in the interesting combination of roasted mandarin duck and sweet lychee for “Reaping Good Fortune”. Both the meat and the fruit turned out to be juicy, moist and tender, and the dish provided an addicting twist to mark the end of the course.
We were provided with choice of nian gao desserts, and the barely palm sized jade-colored horses turned out to be a lovely choice. The smooth skin texture against the bird nest bits and glutinous rice paste allowed for idle chewing and the full tastebud appreciation of all three components.
Although the prices tend to run as high as the sincerity level of Peony Jade, we know that starting the year with countless abalones and little jade horses cannot go wrong. Happy Chinese New Year everyone!
Location: 10 Bukit Chermin Road, Singapore 109918
Contact Number: +6563755567
Email : [email protected]
Check out Peony Jade’s website for more information about the CNY menu.
This was an invited tasting.