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Man Fu Yuan 8-Hands Showcase 2024 Returns: Echoes of Canton

Following the roaring success of last year’s inaugural 8-Hands showcase, InterContinental Singapore’s award-winning Chinese Fine Dining restaurant Man Fu Yuan returns to host its second edition: ‘Echoes of Canton 粤做粤精菜: Honouring Culinary Heritage’ from 1 to 30 April 2024. The four curated set menus, each with six dishes, will be presented by lauded Chefs Fok Wing Tin, and Peter Tsang, Pung Lu Tin, alongside Man Fu Yuan’s resident Executive Chinese Chef Aaron Tan.

Each menu features six courses, all of which underscore premium quality ingredients and demonstrate the combined culinary prowess of the four Masterchefs and their unique expertise. During the showcase, you and your loved ones will also have the opportunity to interact with the masterchefs, who will make special appearances at Michelin-recommended Man Fu Yuan on rotation, to share their knowledge and delve deeper into imperial Cantonese cuisine and time-honoured culinary techniques.

Man Fu Yuan’s Executive Chinese Chef Aaron Tan expounds: “Last year’s success emphasises the deep appreciation our guests have for refined Cantonese cuisine. As we embark on the second edition of this successful collaboration, I look forward to showcasing the traditions and heritage that have shaped Cantonese cuisine for centuries, weaving in tales that echo the opulence of imperial Chinese cuisine. Each bite will harken to the culinary legacies of the past and evoke a sense of nostalgia.”

Masterchef Fok Wing Tin seeks to transport you to a bygone era of imperial feasts. The handmade Squid Ball Stuffed with Birds Nest and Prawns (百花球) features the highest quality of bird’s nest to complement the savoury notes of the squid and prawn. The latter is considered an everyday ingredient in Cantonese cuisine, but is elevated by the use of bird’s nest and Xinhui 15-year aged sun-dried tangerine peel, symbolising wealth.

Having led some of Asia’s best Chinese kitchens across Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai, Masterchef Peter Tsang is no stranger to Cantonese culinary arts. In this collaboration, he presents Crispy Fish Bag stuffed with Fish Roe (脆香魚子魚袋), featuring high-quality cod fish and tobiko on with a base of tangy and sweet creamy pumpkin sauce. Chef Tsang’s first creation of this dish took place over two decades ago, on the request of Taiwan’s famed media personality, Zeng Guo Chen, who wanted a refreshing spin on Cantonese fare that was both delicious and nutritious. The end result is a crispy yet succulent dish.

Chef Tsang’s culinary expertise shines further in the Braised Spiky Sea Cucumber with Leek, Fragrant Oil, and Five Grain Rice (葱油刺参伴五谷米) dish — rendering it another standout in the menu. Spiky sea cucumbers are considered a coveted delicacy in Cantonese cuisine due to their versatility and unique mouthfeel; believed to be medicinal, they were used to alleviate pain in traditional Chinese medicine. Sourced from the pristine waters of Japan, Chef Tsang prepares the prized ingredient with fragrant leek-infused oil before serving it on a bed of colourful-grained rice.

Boasting an impressive 45 years of culinary expertise, Masterchef Pung Lu Tin, formerly of the now-defunct Tasty Loong Restaurant, stands as a heavyweight in the industry and brings a wealth of knowledge to the collaboration. His dish, the Braised 18-19 Head Dried Abalone with Giant Grouper Skin (典昆仑鲍 (南非吉品18-19鲍鱼) is filled with an abundance of collagen and health benefits — and certainly not one to be missed. The roots of the dish can be traced back to the Manchu-Han imperial feasts developed in the Qing dynasty of China, employing traditional techniques that are challenging to attain. Chef Pung demonstrates his expert skills in ensuring the perfect texture of the giant grouper skin by steaming, frying then braising the highly delicate ingredient in premium abalone sauce. The ultra-luxurious skin is then complemented by premium abalone that’s been cooked to perfection.

Bringing ancient culinary tradition to the fore, Masterchef Pung Lu Tin’s Braised Pomelo Skin with Giant Dried Shrimp and Abalone Sauce (柚皮) seeks to present the traditional Chinese delicacy of the Tang and Song dynasties back to today for you to savour. Preparing it is an arduous process, in which the outermost skin of the pomelo is peeled to reveal the translucent white flesh of the fruit, which is then braised for 1 hour and 45 minutes in a rich master sauce containing seafood, meat bones and cured meats sauce. The dish has long been forgotten due to the labour-intensive and complex steps taken in its preparation – making it almost impossible to find even in the most authentic restaurants serving Cantonese fare.

Lastly, Man Fu Yuan’s resident Executive Chinese Chef Aaron Tan boldly elevates classic Cantonese fare by reintroducing tender venison. Wok-fried Venison Cube with Ginger, Lemongrass and Black Pepper Sauce, served in a Claypot (香茅子姜葱仔黑椒鹿肉) features a robust infusion of umami heightened by the combination of aromatics, and succulent cubes of venison fried to perfection. The dish is served in a claypot, as it would have been in the past, which also enhances the fragrance.

Tan lends a contemporary flair to traditional Cantonese cuisine in these two exquisite dishes: the Braised Rice Noodles with Crab Meat, Crab Roe and Lobster Bisque (龙虾汤蟹皇) and Deep Fried Crab Shell Stuffed with Creamy Crab Meat, Onion, and Scallion (甜洋葱蟹肉蟹盖). The former showcases a symphony of flavours, balancing the delicate sweetness of crab meat and roe with the richness of the lobster bisque; while the latter offers a decadent combination of creamy crab meat with aromatic scallion and onion, served in a deep-fried shell.

Each menu rounds off with a superb selection of desserts to tantalise the palate. From elevated classics such as the Double-Boiled Papaya with Chinese Almond and Hashima (木瓜南北杏炖雪蛤) and Chilled Pandan and Lemongrass Jelly with Golden Bird’s Nest (蜂巢糖斑香茅冻汇) by Masterchef Pung, to the innovative Warm Roasted Peanut, Rice Cream with Superior Red Bird’s Nest (果仁露伴印尼深山) by Executive Chinese Chef Aaron and comforting Baked Sago Pudding with Lotus Paste and Lotus Seeds (懷舊蓮子蓮蓉西米布甸)by Masterchef Tsang — there is a perfect finale to everyone’s gastronomical journey at Man Fu Yuan.

‘Echoes of Canton 粤做粤精菜: Honouring Culinary Heritage’ will be available for both lunch and dinner from 1 to 30 April 2024. Menu prices range between $98++ for a lunch-only sharing menu and $158++ to $398++ per person for individual-served portions. Options for wine pairing are also available at $88++.

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