Author: Alex Chua
Have a luxurious start to the year with Chef Chen Kentaro at Shisen Hanten – the highest Michelin-rated Chinese restaurant in Singapore for three 3 years in a row. Located on the 35th floor at Mandarin Orchard Hotel, this elegant restaurant, with its opulent chandeliers and dramatic flowers arrangement, is set to impress diners and guests alike. For the year of the pig the acclaimed Szechuan restaurant features seven auspiciously-themed set menus – from the eight-course Prosperity menu at $538++ for four persons, to the Splendour menu that features Braised Four-head Australian Abalone among its courses, at $2,588++ for 10 persons.
If you’re mesmerized by the 90’s original hit Jap TV show Iron Chef since young like me, be delighted to know that this swanky restaurant is started by the ‘Father of SzeChuan Cuision’ Iron Chef Chinese Chen Kenmin. You wouldn’t want to give this place a miss now would you?
The signature Foie Gras Chawanmushi with Crab Roe Soup is simply seductive and excellent. What is noteworthy about this is the subtle foie gras aftertaste which paired so well with the hot fresh crab roe chawanmushi soup. It is also a refreshing change from the double boiled shark’s fin soup that we see on so many menus nowadays. The Deep Fried Prawn Balls with Yuzu Sauce is executed superbly, crispy with a burst of mellow citrusy. You could definitely tell how fresh the prawn is from the first bite.
The ultimate gastronomic experience I have is the sizzling Sichuan delicacy Wok-fried East-spotted Grouper with Shishito Pepper. The succulent flavors are accented by accents of Shishito Pepper and while mildly spicy it wasn’t overwhelming so. Bathed in golden broth that numbs the tongue and satiate the senses, this fiery signature is not to be missed.
Have the best of both worlds with a duo of Braised Baby Abalone and Black Moss with Beancurd. A CNY must-have, the tender baby abalone is perfectly braised and the beancurd soaked up that rich umami broth. When eaten together with the black moss there’s a nice contrast of textures from the tender abalone, the slightly drenched moss and soft beancurd. Flavors well-balanced, this dish is purely a match-make in food heaven.
What I am anticipating most is perhaps the Stir-Fried Iberico Pork with Spicy Sweet and Sour Sauce. The prized iberico pork slices are layered on one end of the plate, the sauce and accompany veg placed on another end. While the presentation of this dish has a touch of western interpretation, the taste of the savory pork is very much Szechuan.
Ending the sumptuous 8-course dinner is the visually pleasing Double-Boiled Hashima with Yam Paste served in Young Coconut: a delight to look at, a delight to spoon it up and enjoy. I expect something light but the taste is much stronger. Nevertheless, to me anything coconut and creamy is addictive.
Shisen Hanten by Chen Kentaro
333 Orchard Road, Level 35, Orchard Wing, Mandarin Orchard Singapore, Singapore 238867
Author: Alex Chua