Saturday 18 September 2010

Jia Wei Chinese Restaurant @ Grand Mercure Roxy Singapore

Earlier this week, I was invited to a tasting dinner at Jia Wei Chinese Restaurant together with Maureen from “misstamchiak blog”. This Chinese restaurant is at level 2 of Grand Mercure Hotel which is located in the heart of Katong that is just 15 minutes away from Changi International Airport. Within the hotel itself, there are two restaurants and bars that serves different varieties of food range from fine Chinese cuisines to authentic Singapore's Traditional Buffet dishes and Western delights.

Jia Wei Chinese Restaurant has being operating in Grand Mercure Hotel since December 2007, which will be coming to its 4th years of operation this December. This Chinese restaurant offers an exquisite and oriental fine dining experiences with its fusion Chinese cuisines created by its award-winning Chef, Lee Tuck Seng (李德胜).

Chef Lee brings with him over thirty years of culinary experience culled from his various postings in various renowned hotels and restaurants. His is specialised in Cantonese cuisine where he always continuously refines the art of cooking through improvisation and experimentation. I love what Chef Lee’s has code for his philosophy towards his work; “Put your whole heart in it and your plates will reflect it”.

To start off with the dinner, we each have a bowl of “Hot & Sour Soup” as starter before the main dishes are served. The taste of this soup is just nice for our liking as it is neither too spicy nor sour compare to most of the Szechuan Hot and Sour Soup. According to Chef’s Lee, he actually used “white peppercorns” that makes the taste mild instead of the usual “Szechuan Peppercorns - 花椒 “ which gives a more numb and spicy taste to the soup. And I must agreed this is quite an appetising soup to stir up our appetite for the upcoming dishes.

"Grilled Cod Fish with Chef's Special Sauce" is my favourite pick out of the 5 tasting dishes from the menu. From what Chef Lee has shared, he actually used some salted plum (水梅), tomato sauce, chilli oil and etc to create this sweet sauce which I think it has a quite similar taste towards Teriyaki sauce. With this suace, he used it to brush on the cod fillet before and during the baking process in order to achieve the attractive golden brown colour on the surface of the fish. There are also some side vegetables such as baby corn, mushroom and broccoli that makes a great combination with the drizzle sauce too.

This “Roasted Chicken with Garlic” platter comes with a few pieces of roasted chicken and Mock Goose (素斋鹅 - usually you will find this crispy bits served on top of the vegetarian bee hoon) that tops with some crispy fried minced garlic. The chicken has a very crispy outer skin and surprisingly the meat is still very tender and juicy when bites. If you prefer, you can eat this with their special chilli sauce which I think goes pretty well with the chicken.

For vegetable dish we had this "Stir-fried Scallops with Asparagus" which you can still enjoy the fresh and crunchiness of the thick asparagus slices.

Homemade Fried Mee Sua is also one of my favourite noodle dishes other than Braised Ee Fu noodles. I have tried this similar fried mee sua dish in a few restaurants before and the one served at Jia Wei has definitely more “hidden” ingredients. Bad sad to say, this is not the best fried Mee Sua as compare to what I had eaten before, perhaps too many ingredients adds complexity to the taste of this dish.

Having a cup of this wonderful "Chilled Aloe Vera with Lime Sorbet" is definitely a good choice from the array of desserts on the menu. This dessert consists of 3 different textures such as the Aloe Vera cubes at the bottom of the cup that gives you crunchy bites, middle are some soft and silky jelly follow with a scoop of Lime Sorbet on top. The Lime Sorbet was kind of sour but it actually blends well with the jelly and Aloe Vera, which made this a very refreshing dessert after those dishes.

While chatting with each other during the dinner, I was sharing about my passion towards using Durian as an ingredients in my recipes blog when Jennifer suggest that in this case we must try their special Durian desserts which is available in their Ala Crate Menu known as "Deep-fried Durian Ice-Cream" and "Durian Paste" from Feast @ East Buffet Restaurant that is located at level 3.

This is indeed a special Durian dessert where the Ice Cream is coated with a layer of batter and deep-fried till golden and crispy. This must be done in a skillful way in order to achieve the right crispy texture for the outer wrapper and yet retain the ice cream from melting in the parcel. The ice cream parcel is then served with mango puree sauce together with some pomelo in it which you reminds you of the Mango Pomelo dessert(杨枝甘露). Overall the taste of the mango sauce goes pretty well with the ice cream parcel, but if you don't wish to mix the two flavour, you can mango sauce and just enjoy your durian parcel where the ice cream will starts to ooze out when bite.

The second Durian dessert is specially taken from Feast @ East Buffet Restaurant that is located at level 3 of this hotel. Personally I will still prefer the Deep-fried Durian Ice Cream than this Durian Paste, as I love the bursting layers of flavour from the crispy outer skin, durian and mango puree.

After the dinner, Maureen and I each received a box of complimentary “White Lotus Seeds with Macadamia Nuts” mooncake as mooncake festive season gift from Jennifer, Director of Sales & Marketing department of Grand Mercure Hotel. Other than baked mooncake, this year Jia Wei also came out with a new flavour snowskin mooncake known as “Moonberries”. With its high nutrient contest and antioxidant qualities, this ruby-red juice is the perfect ingredient for a mouth-watering mooncake selection suitable as gifts or personal consumption. If you are interested to get some as gifts, you can refer HERE for more details.

Recently Jia Wei has also launched an Executive Set Menus, which is specially created for busy executives. This Executive Set Menus (refer to their online menu list HERE) contain 4 separate menu sets, each of which boasts a selection of 4 menu choices. The 4 menu sets are rotated on a weekly basis, which mean you could enjoy a different choice from the extensive choices from each menu set.

But if you prefer something more rest and relax, perhaps you can consider their “Yum Char” High Tea that comes with varieties of dim sum, noodles and deserts. This Yum Char High Tea is available from Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11.00am to 5.00pm. Despite on the High Tea time, Dim sum is also available on daily lunch menu. Posted by Picasa

Lastly, I would like to thank Ms Jennifer Narcis of Grand Mercure Hotel, Roxy Singapore and Ms Vanessa Koh of Asia PR Werkz Pte Ltd for hosting this tasting event.

Jia Wei Chinese Restaurant (家味酒家)
Grand Mercure Roxy Singapore
50 East Coast Road
(Opp. Parkway Parade Shopping Centre)
Level 2
Singapore 428769
Telephone: (65)6340 5678

Operating Hours:
11.30am - 3.00pm (Monday to Saturday)
11.00am - 3.00pm (Sunday and Public Holidays)

6.00pm to 11.00pm (Daily)

Yum Char(High Tea):
11.00am to 5.00pm (Friday, Saturday and Sunday)

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