Weekday Set Lunch @ Jing - Gastronomic Ruminations

Candied Cashews - Jing
I was on leave to run errands, so I took the opportunity to meet C for lunch at Jing. I'd not been to Jing before and was curious to check it out since its affiliated to New Majestic. While waiting for our Set Lunch to be served, we nibbled on Candied Cashews and talked about how beautiful the waterfront view would be when the Marina Bay Sands IR is completed. Jing had an airier feel in comparison to New Majestic due to the high ceiling and more space between tables. Aside from the insanely expensive parking fees during working hours on weekdays, Jing has a much nicer ambience. It was packed during lunch on a weekday as most of the clientele seemed to be working close by.

Trio of Appetizers: Crispy Duck, Roast Pork Belly & Jellyfish in Cream Sauce Trio of Appetizers: Crispy Duck, Roast Pork Belly & Jellyfish in Sesame Cream Sauce

Lunch kicked off with an appetizer platter that comprised Crispy Duck with Special Sweet Sauce, Roast Pork Belly with Mustard and Jellyfish marinated in a Cream Sauce. The jellyfish bits were a little chunkier than I would have liked but the cream marinade was an interesting variation from the regular sweet & slightly spicy marinade served in many Chinese restaurants. The Roast Pork Belly was juicy and tasty without being excessively salty. The crisp crackling was also a joy to crunch on. This is very similar to the Roast Pork Belly served at New Majestic, I was pleased to note a consistency in execution for this dish.

Closer look at the Crispy Duck

I don't recall seeing Crispy Duck on New Majestic's menu and was thrilled to have a new item to try at Jing. The duck was well-cooked with a crisp skin that was filled with the fragrance and flavours of five spice powder. The flesh was moist and tender. However, I guess its because I took such a long time trying to take pictures and working on the other 2 appetizers that by the time I got to the duck, it was not as hot as I would have liked it. Mental note to self to start with the duck in future.

Double-boiled Watercress Soup Double-Boiled Watercress Soup

Next we were served a home-style cuisine soup, Watercress Soup. Looking at this soup, I remember a story told to me by a friend, P, about how mortified she was when her mother told the chef that she can make this soup at home too. I thought it was hilarious though. :)True, Watercress Soup is a simple dish but home-style versions tend to have a thinner broth. This was a very flavoursome broth that had hints of Yunnan Ham in it. This is definitely not an ingredient that most households would use as it is expensive and not readily available.

Pan-Fried Chilean Sea Bass with Wolfberries, Honshimeji Mushrooms & Shark Cartilage Sauce Pan-Fried Chilean Sea Bass with Wolfberries, Honshimeji Mushrooms & Shark Cartilage Sauce

The flesh of the fish was moist and freshly sweet with a slightly smoky flavour imparted by the light browning of the surfaces. This was complemented with the slightly sweet flavour of Chinese Wolfberries (Chinese Name: 枸杞 pronounced "Gao Gei Zi" in Cantonese or "Gei Zi" for short, this fruit is known to be beneficial to the eyes), the delicately nutty flavour of the Honshimeji Mushrooms and the delectably savoury flavour of the collagen-rich Shark Cartilage Soup. Ooh, the richness of the Shark Cartilage Soup that served as a sauce for this dish was like liquid velvet on the tongue. Coupled with the elegant flavour of the Omega 3-rich Chilean Sea Bass, this was like a match made in Heaven. This is definitely a Must-Try!

Baby Abalone Mee Sua

Baby Abalone Mee Sua Stewed with Mini Abalone & Greens in a Crab Roe Sauce, topped with Pan-Seared Scallops

Hot on the heels of the awesome fish dish was an euphoria-inducing mandatory carb dish. Ok, I'm a carb freak, so I'm a little biased towards carbs but hear me out. The soft strands of Mee Sua (wheat vermicelli aka Longevity Noodles) had absorbed the rich flavours of the fresh crab roe sauce but yet retained some texture without being overly mushy. This was my first time eating such tiny abalones (brown bits next to the scallops) and I wondered how they would taste. The miniature abalones were very tasty and were like less chewy morsels of regular abalone. Very interesting. The caramelized sugars that formed the browned surfaces of the seared scallops added a smoky touch to the natural sweetness of the succulent scallops. Even though we were already feeling pretty full, we wished there was more Mee Sua!

If you have to eat only one dish here, this has to be it! If you have room for 2 savoury dishes, then eat this and the Chilean Sea Bass. The Baby Abalone Mee Sua is absolutely a MUST-TRY!

Crystal Champagne - Jello with Champagne Sorbet, Raspberry Coulis & Gold Dust

Crystal Champagne Jello with Champagne Sorbet, Raspberry Coulis & Gold Dust

I was really thrilled when this dessert was served. Even though I generally do not have a sweet tooth, I had never eaten this dessert at New Majestic. I asked if this was newly created for Jing? Apparently it is only served at Jing at the moment (I don't know if they'll ever serve it at New Majestic). I love Champagne and Raspberries (I sometimes add Raspberry Syrup to my Starbucks Latte). This was a light combination that had the right balance of sweetness and tartness. The edible gold dust that was dusted over the dessert looked really pretty against the lush redness of the raspberry coulis. This dessert was as visually appealing as it was palate-pleasing. If you're a teetotaller and worried about the use of Champagne here, fret not for there was only barely a hint of Champagne, besides the alcohol would already have been boiled away during the preparation of the sorbet. This is also a Must-Try!

Creamy Flowy Custard Bun Creamy & Flowy Custard Bun

We ended the meal with Creamy & Flowy Custard Buns. C had never tried them before and so he found room in his tummy despite the heavy lunch. I love this bun because it is filled with a warm custard that had been made with Salted Duck Egg Yolks. The sweetness of the custard and rich saltiness of the Salted Duck Egg Yolk wrapped in a fluffy steamed bun made it a delicious combination. Be careful when biting into one as the filling is hot and fluid which flows out onto your fingers. Think of it as a Chinese version of Molten Chocolate Cake and you would know what I mean about the fluid filling. This is also a Must-Try!

The set lunch cost us about S$55 each. They serve a la carte and other set menus starting from S$35 per person as well.

Please refer to this link for more information: http://www.jing.sg/menu.html

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)

New Majestic Restaurant 31-37 Bukit Pasoh Road New Majestic Hotel Singapore 089845 Telephone: +65 6511-4718

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

PS: Jing & New Majestic are running Weekend Buffet Brunch promotions. (Click here for Jing's Weekend Brunch flyer)