Lo Hei Yu Sheng Lunch @ New Majestic

CNY09 Ren Ri Lion Dance @ New Majestic
By sheer coincidence, we arrived at the same time as the Lion Dance Troupe so we got to watch the performance before settling down for lunch at New Majestic Restaurant.Hmm, I'd never seen the oranges being arranged in a pomelo before as most local lion dance troupes peel some Mandarin Oranges and then arrange the pieces to form a Chinese word, Xi 喜 (signifying happiness). Mum said that the pomelo arrangement is a very traditional Cantonese formation...something about 7 stars and a moon...whatever that means.

Table for 4

It's the Chinese New Year (CNY) season so every table was laid out with extra long chopsticks to use when tossing Yu Sheng and a plate of sweet miniature Mandarin Oranges.

My plate of Ikan Parang Yu Sheng - New Majestic Ikan Parang Yu Sheng (small) @ S$48

It's "Ren Ri"人日 (Everybody's Birthday) so naturally, we kicked off with a plate of Yu Sheng. We went with the traditional version as we prefer the sweetness of Ikan Parang 西刀魚 (Mackerel) to the oiliness of Salmon in this dish. The portion of fish was pretty generous so we got a few slices each. This is a welcome change from a few other places where one would be lucky to get more than a slice of fish. The flour crisps were awesomely light and the dressing was not cloyingly sweet. We finished almost everything but left just a little to signify abundance.

Longevity Peach Buns - New Majestic Longevity Peach Buns

We were then served a platter of Steamed Longevity Peach Buns. Initially, I found myself wondering why we were served Longevity Buns when we didn't tell the staff that we were celebrating anyone's birthday. Then I remembered that it was Everyone's Birthday. Oops!The buns were moulded into the shape of a Peach because the fruit is a symbol of longevity in ancient China and are typically filled with a sweet Lotus Seed paste.

Lotus Seed Paste in my Longevity Peach Bun

I'm not a huge fan of buns, especially not sweet ones like Lotus Paste or Red Bean Paste buns. However, this bun was different, it had to be eaten by all because of its significance. So I ate mine thanking my lucky stars that it was a little bun. The bun was fluffy and the lotus paste wasn't excessively sweet which made it easier for me to finish the whole bun.

Roast Pork Belly - New Majestic Roasted Pork Belly

Next was a platter of Roasted Pork Belly served with mustard. The waitress portioned it out for us and left the serving platter behind for those who wanted to wipe the mustard off with their cubes of Roasted Pork Belly.

Twin Porkers...ok, cubes of Roast Pork

I was halfway through the dish when I remembered that I'd forgotten to take a picture. So here is a picture of the 2 remaining cubes on my plate. I like the Roasted Pork Belly here because its not too fatty or salty and has a nicely crispy crackling. This is a Must-Try!

Lotus Root Soup with Fa Cai Lotus Root Soup

We were then served Lotus Root Soup 莲藕汤. This soup is a staple for most Chinese households during CNY because it's name implies abundance year after year. Though this is a soup that can easily be prepared by any home chef, I still found that the soup here had a richness of flavour that surpassed even the best home-made stuff that I've ever had. I think they must have boiled this for far longer than most home chefs would, resulting in a richer soup. If this is available when you visit, do give it a try!

Prawn with Mango Cream Sauce Prawn with Mango Cream Sauce

Next we had the Prawn with Mango Cream Sauce. It was brilliantly executed with the slight tanginess of the mango cutting through the cream and the succulently sweet flesh of the prawn coated with a lightly browned batter. This was an interesting variation to the Lime Cream Sauce version that I've eaten before. Between the 2 flavours, I prefer the Lime Cream Sauce better because the tanginess of the lime is a little sharper in comparison with the mango. This is worth a try.

Serving Waxed Meats Claypot Rice

In a previous post, I mentioned that I wanted to get my Lap Mei Fan 腊味饭 (aka La Wei Fan) fix before CNY is over. I got my fix on this occasion because I will be away for a few days starting tomorrow. This is one of my favourite Cantonese CNY dishes that is unfortunately not available outside of the CNY season.The above picture is of one of the friendly service staff portioning out our rice.

Waxed Meats - served seperately from the claypot rice Waxed Meats served separately from the rice (from top: Preserved Sausage, Waxed Pork Belly, Liver Sausage & Waxed Duck)

It's essentially rice cooked in a claypot topped with preserved meats like Wind-Dried Sausages 腊肠, Liver Sausages (Yun Cheong) 膶肠, Waxed Pork Belly (Lap Yok) 腊肉 and Waxed Duck 腊鸭. In most Cantonese restaurants, after portioning out all the rice, the staff will take the claypot away to add stock to the burnt crust and boil it for the second course (to create a smoky porridge).

The meats are served separately from the rice so the diners can select the types of meat they prefer. Do note that the waxed duck (my favourite of the lot) is very salty and should be taken sparingly.

My Bowl of Waxed Meats Claypot Rice

The rice is served after drizzling a fragrant dark soy sauce mix and stirring it all up. I loved the firm grains of rice and the smoky, salty flavours of the preserved duck and slightly sweet flavour of the sausage! I laid off the liver sausages because I do not like to eat internal organs except Foie Gras. I didn't like the Waxed Pork Belly because it was too hard (from being dried) for my liking and I found chewing on it to be a chore.

Claypot Rice, Burnt Crust Porridge & Blanched Kailan

The Smoky Porridge (made from the burnt crust & stock) was served when I was halfway through my bowl of rice (I'm a slow-eater) and blanched Kailan (Chinese Kale). Pardon the partially eaten bowl of rice but the pic above shows what one would expect to be served when ordering this dish (though some time needs to be given for the smoky porridge to be made). I dunked a few slices of Waxed Duck into the Smoky Porridge to add flavour.The verdict? Mum and I felt that the claypot rice served at Lei Garden has a smokier flavour than the one served here but New Majestic was the clear winner for the second course of Smoky Porridge. I think its because they probably used Superior Stock for the smoky porridge versus the simpler stock (Chicken Stock perhaps) that was used at Lei Garden.

I think this is Comfort Food and is a Must-Try when dining out during the CNY season in a Cantonese restaurant.

Almond Cream in Young Coconut with Papaya Hot Almond Cream in Young Coconut with Papaya

I had the Hot Almond Cream in Young Coconut for dessert. Almond Cream is one of my favourite Chinese Desserts because it is fragrant and if done well, should not be too sweet, starchy or lumpy. The Hot Almond Cream here was excellent as it was cooked with coconut juice with the bits of papaya and the young coconut flesh adding hints of sweetness to the smooth and lightly creamy dessert. This is a Must-Try!

Platter of Nian Gao (New Majestic) Nian Gao 年糕

Finally, we were served some Glutinous Rice Cake called "Nian Gao" 年糕. This is traditionally eaten during CNY because its name seems to refer to a Chinese phrase "Nian Nian Gao Sheng" 年年高升 which means "to ascend to greater heights year after year".

My portion of Nian Gao (New Majestic)

I've always had battered and pan-fried Nian Gao. This is the first time that I was served a Nian Gao that is not only not deep-fried but also comes in 2 tones (perhaps combining the white nian gao used to make Koi-shaped cakes with the more commonly available brown nian gao). It was a very interesting variation as it had been coated with dessicated young coconut strips that was at once reminiscent of the Thai dessicated young coconut strips snack that I used to buy from Bangkok. This is definitely a Must-Try just for the experience and for good fortune!

Osthmanthus & Poh Lei Tea

We were all stuffed by the time lunch was over. I was glad to have warm cups of Osthmanthus & Poh Lei Tea to help wash everything down. New Majestic Restaurant 31-37 Bukit Pasoh Road New Majestic Hotel Singapore 089845 Telephone: +65 6511-4718Operating Hours: Daily: 11.45 am - 3.00pm (last order 2.30pm) & 6.30 pm - 11pm (last order 10.30pm) Jing (sister restaurant) #01-02/03 One Fullerton 1 Fullerton Road Singapore 049213 Telephone: +65 6224-0088

Operating Hours: Daily: 11.45 am - 3.00pm (last order 2.30pm) & 6.30 pm - 11pm (last order 10.30pm)

PS: The lunch bill came up to about S$45-50 per head.