Sheraton Towers Singapore‘s Li Bai Cantonese restaurant, named after the acclaimed Tang dynasty poet, and renowned for its delicate, authentic, Cantonese-style fine dining, has curated a series of festive menus as well as new offerings to usher in the upcoming Lunar New Year.
One of their new highlights this season is a luxurious & healthier spin on the quintessential perennial favorite, the Salmon Roe and Hamachi Loh Hei Platter, which features succulent slices of air-flown Japanese hamachi & fresh, bursting pearls of salmon roe adorning a medley of traditional ingredients such as radish, carrot, pickled ginger, & pomelo.
Australian Lobster is available as an add-on ($35/100g), which imparts a touch of decadence & seafood-y umami to the melange.
Aside from the quintessential Lohei components, Executive Chef Chung Yiu Ming has put a healthier spin on the perennial favorite this year: sunflower seeds, pepitas, & toasted quinoa are incorporated for that crunchy textural dimension; and a series of lighter, fragrant sauces are used to supplement the essential, saccharine plum sauce.
The Loh Hei Platter was a wonderful, appetizing start to the meal. Wholesome, fragrant, and an exciting amalgamation of textures, it wasn’t as cloying as some yushengs can get, perfect for the health-conscious as well as elderly. The succulent slices of hamachi & lobster, as well as briny pearls of salmon roe, imparted an upliftingly umami seafood accent.
The Second Course featured Braised Bird’s Nest Soup in Mini Pumpkin, which was light yet luxurious. The broth was delicately flavored – seasoned, naturally, with the mild, fragrant sweetness of pumpkin. Aside from its creative, adorable aesthetic, braising the Bird’s Nest this way enabled the pumpkin’s mild, earthy sweetness to permeate the soup, making for a very palatable and heartwarming course.
Next, the Braised Abalone and Stuffed Beancurd Skin with Sea Cucumber, Dried Oyster and Black Moss is an exclusive new highlight, specially curated with auspicious ingredients to usher in this festive season. Black Moss, 发菜 in Chinese, is a homonym for prosperity, 发财; whereas Dried Oyster, “ho see,” sounds like the word for good events in Cantonese.
Gently braised in Superior stock, each ingredient imparted a different texture & mouth-feel to the melee; with the tender, fragrant beancurd skin providing wonderful contrast to the chewy, braised abalone as well as the gelatinous, melt-in-your-mouth sea cucumber.
The Pan-fried Kurobuta Roll served with Crispy Noodle and Matsutake Mushroom presented a hearty, tasteful finish to the Main Courses. Featuring tender, judiciously fatty strips of Kurobuta encasing sticks of crunchy Japanese purple wild mountain yam & asparagus, with a side of nicely crisped shengmian and 2 renditions of Matsutake mushroom, this dish showcased the mellow, beefy umami of the Kurobuta perfectly.
Every meal has to have a Sweet Ending, and we were presented with Almond Cream with Hasma; Pan-fried Nian Gao with Cane Sugar; and Water Chestnut Cake to end off our exquisite feast; the latter two available as part of Li Bai‘s takeaway menu for Chinese New Year.
In line with Chef Chung Yiu Ming’s healthier choice ethos, all 3 creations are designed with less sugar so you feel less guilty snacking. The Almond Cream with Hasma was wonderfully smooth, rich, and nutty, with none of that cloying aftertaste commonly encountered with Cantonese tangshui; while the Nian Gao, enjoyably pan-fried with a warm, crispy exterior adorned with apricots, was chewy and judiciously sweet on the inside.
The Water Chestnut Cake, which was jelly-like in texture & came elegantly perfumed with osmanthus, had chunks of water chestnut within, making for a crisp and refreshing treat to end off the meal with.
Helmed by Executive Chef Chung Yiu Ming who hails from Hong Kong & who has more than 20 years of experience in Singapore, Li Bai offers authentic and exquisitely-crafted Cantonese fine dishes in a beautifully-furnished, opulent setting. Specially curated for the occasion, their Lunar New Year Set Menus (starting from $130/pax for 8 pax), as well as take-home festive delicacies, offer an exquisite, delectable way to celebrate New Year’s with.
Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant
Address: Sheraton Towers Hotel, 39 Scotts Road, Singapore 228230
Opening Hours: Lunch 11.30am – 2.30pm, Dinner 6.30pm – 10.30pm
Reservations: +65 6839 5623
*Words and Photography by Angel (@angell_ism)