It's the Seventh Day of the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations heralding the Year of the Dragon. Traditionally, in Singapore and Malaysia, local Chinese will have big celebratory dinners and, for the first course, will toss the "yee sung' (raw fish salad). It's messy, it's fun, and it's supposed to be auspicious - the higher you toss, the better your fortune for the new year.
Our dinner this evening:
- amuse-geule were steamed lotus paste-filled "birthday buns", traditionally served to celebrate birthdays - the 7th Day of the Chinese Lunar New Year is the Birthday of Man, i.e. every human being's birthday; a small saucer also contained strips of barbecued, caramelised pork - another traditional food item served during Chinese Lunar New Year in Singapore;
- the indispensable "Yee Sung", of course. Chinois' version had lots of crispy bits, rather than shredded vegetables which I preferred. But the raw salmon fillets and top-shell used were fresh, and the plum sauce-based dressing were nice. Still, I'd had better elsewhere this season (Tien Court, Hua Ting, Imperial Treasure);
- Soup course was a deliciously milky sharks-bone soup, with shark cartilage, fish maw and sharksfin. The BEST soup I'd had so far this year!
- Scallops and prawns, stir-fried with asparagus and spicy sambal-dried prawns.Very spicy, the way local Singaporeans love it. The only drawback were the scallops, which were obviously not fresh but frozen ones, and pretty chewy. Two thumbs down;
- Cantonese-style steamed marble goby (Soon Hock) - this dish more than compensated for the earlier disappointment - the Soon Hock fillets were ultra-fresh and yielding, and the steaming was perfectly timed;
- Braised abalone, abalone mushrooms and large dried oysters, with black moss fungus. I simply adored this course - well-seasoned sauce, soft-long-cooked abalone fillets;
- Slow-cooked pork belly slices with chestnuts and tofu-skin twirls, in a claypot. The slow-cooking yielded sweet, melt-in-the-mouth pork belly - absolutely scrumptious;
- The fish-meat noodles which followed was too sweet and not really to my taste.
- Pumpkin cream and black glutinous rice with vanilla ice-cream dessert was light and delightful.
Satisfactory meal - I actually expected more out of Susur Lee, but I guess the kitchen struggled with the busier-than-usual Chinese Lunar New Year crowds (restaurant was full house).
Chinois by Susur Lee
26 Sentosa Gateway
Tel: +65 6884 7888
Chinois by Susur Lee
26 Sentosa Gateway, Singapore 098138, SG