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Chef Aaron Tan Puts a Spin on Cantonese Cuisine at Man Fu Yuan

Man Fu Yuan’s new menu by executive Chinese chef, Aaron Tan, is a blend of a contemporary and modern take on classic dishes.

Located in the heart of the civic district, Man Fu Yuan in InterContinental Singapore at Middle Road is surrounded by some of the country’s most historic buildings. Established in 1996, the restaurant is known for its classic Cantonese-styled cooking and generous use of fresh ingredients.

Newly minted executive Chinese chef Aaron Tan takes over from Eric Neo and introduces a new ala carte menu that pays tribute to his Cantonese heritage and recipes at the hotel’s outposts abroad. The braised beef short ribs in lotus leaf, for example, was inspired by his trip to InterContinental in China.

Tan’s homage to the ubiquitous oyster sauce, a staple in Chinese cuisine for many centuries in all its forms, is the Chilled Fanny Bay Oysters in Hua Diao Wine, Ikura and Bonito Shoyu. He’s deconstructed the elements of the condiment using fresh ingredients that provide the briney-ness and umami oyster sauce gives, together with a whiff of earl grey smoke.

Chilled Fanny Bay Oysters in Hua Diao Wine, Ikura and Bonito Shoyu (Image courtesy of Man Fu Yuan)

For mains, the Braised Beef Short Ribs with Wild Mushrooms in Lotus Leaf is a winner. The ribs and wild mushrooms are wrapped in lotus leaf and then covered with crusted salt that is lit ablaze for a short second in a wonderful display of showmanship and to bring out the tea-like aroma of the lotus leaf underneath it.  The result? Bone-tender short ribs in a rich mushroom sauce.

Braised Beef Short Ribs with Wild Mushrooms in Lotus Leaf (Image courtesy of Man Fu Yuan)

Looks are deceiving. Despite its comparatively drab appearance, the Poached Marble Goby Fish with Mala Green Peppercorns in Salted Vegetable Broth competes in sapor. The flakey meat of the Indonesian Marble Goby is a testament to Man Fu Yuan’s focus on fresh ingredients. The numbing green peppercorns give a kick to complement the salty fermented vegetables perfectly. Safe to say, we had more than a few ladles of the tangy fish broth.

Poached Marble Goby Fish with Mala Green Peppercorns in Salted Vegetable Broth (Image courtesy of Man Fu Yuan)

To soothe the taste buds after that fiery addictive soup, try the nourishing Kung Fu Soup with Double-Boiled Sakura Chicken, Abalone, Maca and Morel Mushrooms. A rich, broth is achieved by boiling down chicken bones and seasonal morel mushrooms which are harvested and dried during their peak.

Kung Fu Soup (Image courtesy of Man Fu Yuan)

Tan also believes that bonding over communal dining is one of the characteristics of Chinese cuisine. It’s the reason why he’s chosen dishes such as Buddha Jumps Over the Wall and Man Fu Yuan’s Premium Steamboat as the Chef’s Signatures in the ala carte menu.

 

Man Fu Yuan  is located at Level 2, InterContinental Singapore 80 Middle Road, Singapore 188966. Tel: +65 6825 1008. Opening Hours are from 12:00pm to 3:00pm, 6:00pm to 10:00pm on Tuesdays to Fridays, 11:30am to 3:00pm, 6:00pm to 10:00pm on Weekends and Public Holidays.

 

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