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Wednesday, 28 January 2015

[Media Invite] Dinner at Fu Lin Men Chinese Restaurant @ Jurong Country Club

9 Science Centre Road, #02-01 Jurong Country Club, Singapore 609078
Tel: 6569 7011

Fu Lin Men Chinese Restaurant is Passion Group's fine dining Chinese restaurant, with an emphasis on Cantonese cuisine. It was founded by Hong Kong restautanteur Mr. Wong Ping Fai and led by award-winning Executive Chef Mr. Roy Tan executing his creativity herein - hence one can be assured that they are in great hands when it comes to one's epicurean experience here.

The restaurant looks like a perpetual elegant ballroom, with its plush carpet, white overalls and generous installment of chandeliers. From dimsum to a la carte menus to special occasions such as wedding banquets, this place offers nothing but comfort, impeccable service, beauty and good food. If fresh and flavorful is your kind of thing, then do give this hidden gem at Jurong Country Club a try.

Step out onto the verandah and enjoy the lush greenery or breathtaking sights that Sunset paints over the area, a beautiful sight to behold - an added catalyst to further boost this restaurant's merits.

Anyway, having said all that, this is a media invite attended by the representatives of Hungrygowhere as well as invited reviewers such as Hans and Esther, etc; hosted by the lovely Keziah and Daniel.

The current appetite-piquing specials to look out for would be their signature "Four Heavenly Kings" menu, comprising of superior Chinese seafood delicacies served in thoughtful personal sets at incredible prices.

South African 15 Head Abalone - soaked in clear water with sliced ginger and spring onion to reduce
 fishy smell; the entire process takes 4 days and then abalone is braised for another 4 days
Whole Dried Sea Cucumber - soaked in boiling water for 12 hours and repeated twice; washing
done by brush and braised with ginger & spring onion; stuffed with seafood and meat paste
Braised Fish Maw - rich in collagen; soaked in hot boiling water for a day; using foie gras paste
 to cook to perfection
Dried Shark's Fin - steamed and soaked in hot water for a nice texture; seperating the
softness from hardness; re-steamed for perfection thereafter

The special seafood items are free from chemical processes and prepared in the freshest way possible. They are rich in quality on their own, but infused with goodness of other ingredients such as foie gras paste and seafood paste etc, intrigued us even more.

There is also a special The Shroom Set riding on the truffle season trend currently, for the mushrooms lovers.

I had the Braised Fish Maw & Scallops with Foie Gras Paste Set (SGD$45.00), hence I shall describe that first.

We began with this Deluxe Appetiser Platter - comprising of seaweed on cracker, fried shrimp / fish rolls, and octupus with crispy fried lotus root. The dainty items were fresh and promising, especially the shrimp rolls which had a lovely, prominent aroma - a good start of more to come.

Unfortunately, due to the unavailability of sea whelk (if I remember correctly), the soup was replaced but I got a lovely Double Boiled Ginseng and Chicken Soup as a replacement. How's that for a treat? Tender chicken in ginseng's unique bitter-sweet flavored soup, sweetened further by wolfberries.

Next, the specialty of Braised Fish Maw & Scallops with Foie Gras Paste - one has to recognise superior fish maw compared to the fried ones easily available everywhere. The fish maw was smooth, with a chewy, bouncy texture nearly like squid, only much softer. The gentle flavor was enhanced by foie gras pate infusion; and the pairing with succulent scallops was simply invigorating.

Following that, I had the Stir-Fried Chicken Filet with Mint and Sweet Pepper, arranged artfully on a rectangular plate. The creation was lovely, with the stir-fried chicken retaining its natural sweetness, yet acquring a chargrilled-like texture and flavor. Prepared brilliantly with mint and sweet peppers, the dish reminded us of kebab - the healthier version.

Being a small eater, I thought I was very full after the previous course, but when the Fuzhou Braised Rice was served next, I surprised myself by eating far more rice than I usually do. The gravy was awesome, tasty but not overly-thick or starchy like what one gets at some zichar stalls. It tasted strongly of the seafood it was prepared with, softening the rice to make every mouthful a worthy wonder.

Finally, the conclusion of a sumptuous meal came in the form of Mango Sago - startlingly fragrant. In my experience with various mango sago desserts - the soup is usually creamy / milky and sweet, lacking in mango-aroma even though one could still enjoy the mango chunks within. This one - mango's aroma has its stamp from the light soup to the mango cubes all the way, cooling the palate like a dream.

Now, let's explore the Superior Comb Shark's Fin in Stone Pot set (SGD$48.00) -the other set that I managed to steal the most bites from, other than my own.

Besides the thick slabs of shark's fin here as one could see - soft, tender in its gel-like chewiness, this has to be the most generous personal serving of shark's fins broth we came across. The stone pot kept the soup piping hot, and best of all- the broth was prepared with superior stock, carrots and Australian pumpkin to give it the attractive golden hue. It was a very refreshing flavor with just the tiniest tinge of sweetness, complementing the natural taste of the shark's fin very well.

Then there was Deep Fried Fish Fillet in Thai Style  - an interesting deviation from the traditional Chinese dishes. The fish was crispy on the exterior and succulent on the inside; its slight flavor boosted by the Thai chilli sauce served with it.

Next up, Baked Roast Pork with Jumbo Mushroom - plump juicy mushroom with roast pork made tender through baking. There was a filling in the mushroom cap that was indiscernible, giving it a piquant savoury taste, a tad salty in my humble opinion.

Udon with Sesame Sauce came up next - looking deceptively plain, but the lure was in the bite. It was very bouncy, one could not help chewing strand after strand like an addiction, especially when the noodles were infused deliciously with sesame's fragrance. Well, take that from someone who usually does not eat udon!

The Hawthorn Pudding was something I had been eyeing since the start of the meal, and now at the end of the meal, I must say that the wait for this was well worth it. Served in a sophisticated glassware, this tarty pudding had a unique class of its own, melting lusciously in the mouth, like chilled jam literally - a welcome respite from the savoury dishes of earlier on.

Next, the most luxurious set here - the South African 15 Head Dried Abalone Set (SGD$88.00). The deluxe appetiser was the same for all the sets (except the Shrooms set), and the soup for this set was the Ginseng soup I had mentioned earlier on. The verbal review on this dish was that it was superb, needless to say - nothing like your canned abalones at all.

The other item for this set is the Stir-Fried Diced Beef Fillet with Garlic, also artistically arranged. We shared these cubes of very tender, very palatable beef - holding its own beautifully amongst superior treasures of the sea. If anyone of us had doubts on whether the beef would taste as suculent as it looks, the first bite was all that one needed to clear all doubts.

Finally, the Ramen with Szechuan Minced Pork for the set.

Last but not least, let's take a look at the Pan Fried Sea Cucumber Stuffed with Prawn Paste Set (SGD$38.00). Appetiser was the same as ours, and the sea whelk soup was replaced by Ginseng soup as well.

Next is the Pan Fried Cod Fish, followed by the Ramen with Szechuan Minced Pork as well as Hawthorn Pudding, both aforementioned.

Finally, let's look at The Shrooms Set. The Starter Platter comprises of Char Siew (BBQ pork), Black Fungus and Beancurd Skin Roll.

The Soup is Morel Turnip Chicken Soup.

Next, the Truffle Cod Fish.

Following that, the Stir Fried Diced Ribeye with Ceps Sauce - a mushroom sauce that gave the rather succulent beef a lovely flavor, making it sumptuous and akin to western mushroom-beef patty flavor.

The last savoury item for this set is the Flat Udon in Golden Soup - also a mushroom soup. The dessert was also the lovely Hawthorn Pudding.

We have come to the end of the review of Fu Lin Men Chinese Restaurant and its sumptuous "Four Heavenly Kings" menu. Thank you Fu Lin Men and wonderful hosts + crew for the excellant recommendations, as well as Hungrygowhere for the invite.

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