What is it
Part of The Opposite House’s Made in China campaign in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the country's National Day, Jing Yaa Tang is rolling out a special menu from September 5 - Oct 13 giving a nod to old school Chinese culinary glamour. Bringing a taste of cuisine served at state banquets, the menu features a tempting array of dishes largely inspired from Huaiyang cuisine, which is one of the main fares served at Chinese national banquets and often considered peerless in its simplicity and fineness in cooking.
What's on the menu
A menu full of local delicacies subtly showcases various Chinese political heads’ quirks in food. For example, the Chairman Mao’ braised pork with bamboo shoots is a take on the classic red braised pork. Living up to its name as Chairman Mao's favourite food, it's a variation of the dish without soy sauce. Cooked by stewing and braising pork belly in a mix of Chinese spices and sugar until caramelised, the result is a layer of textures: chewy pork belly skin on top, and surprisingly fork-tender meat underneath which almost melts in your mouth.
Fun fact: The recipe of the dish was in fact born out of Chairman Mao’s personal distaste for soy sauce. It’s said that he had once witnessed a graphic scene of how soy sauce was made (hint: fermented soybeans and worms), and was left so traumatised that he had to ask for a soy-sauce-free recipe specifically created for him. Well, now we see why he was still so hooked on the pork dish.
For those perhaps craving something more adventurous, go for the crispy Mandarin fish topped with sweet and sour sauce. The dish, nicknamed ‘squirrel fish’, enjoys a legendary status in the Huaiyang cuisine for putting a chef’s knife skills to the test. The fish needs to be deboned 72 times so it can create an intricate blossom look when being deep-fried. Served in a sweet, tangy sauce, it’s crispy on the outside and moist inside – an often instant favourite among foreign dignitaries at a state banquet.
For those who with lighter palates, try the mixed mushroom egg dumpling with Chinese caviar. Upping the dumpling game is a translucent wrapper made of egg-white, which deviously holds together a succulent filling of minced mushroom and bamboo shoot. Steamed to perfection and topped with Chinese caviar, it’s a light, nourishing treat with an umami flavour for everyone to enjoy, especially for carb-conscious diners.
For staples, slurp on a bowl of traditional northern China spicy noodle soup, a simple, homemade bowl of mian served in a light broth garnished with dried shrimp and vegetables — a cosy, hearty dish to indulge in ahead of the cooler temps of autumn.
And lastly to make the transition easy from savoury to sweet, a highlight, and our favourite in the dessert department is the sticky rice dumpling in red bean paste soup. A bowl of wee glutinous rice balls served in a thick syrup that’s made entirely of mashed red bean. It’s sweet, but no overly so thanks to the unique earthy flavour and soft texture of red bean.
If you ever wonder what it's like to dine like the head of state, here's your chance to do so at Jing Yaa Tang with their special banquet menu. A celebration of some of the finest Chinese cuisines that have made an impression on presidents and queens, come and enjoy a formal introduction to traditional Chinese gastronomy and the Huaiyang cuisine, one of the most prestigious Chinese regional cuisines.