WONG AH YOKE RECOMMENDS

Food Picks: Dimsum from Shang Palace and handmade noodles from Crystal Jade

Stewed top grade beef short rib from Crystal Jade. -- PHOTO: CRYSTAL JADE
Stewed top grade beef short rib from Crystal Jade. -- PHOTO: CRYSTAL JADE

TASTY NEW AND OLD DISHES

Crystal Jade Korean Ginseng Chicken & BBQ recently moved from the fourth floor of Takashimaya Shopping Centre to bigger premises in basement two facing the atrium.

It has also launched some new dishes with the move, including a range of noodle dishes such as Korean Handmade Noodle With Chicken In Superior Broth ($18) and Korean Handmade Noodle With Pork in Spicy Kimchi Soup ($18).

The star is the smooth and slightly springy noodles, freshly made every day with high-grade flour from South Korea.

The noodles also taste good in another new dish, Korean Imperial Hotpot With Assorted Vegetables ($39), which comes with a choice of beef, pork or chicken.

Each serving is enough for two to four persons.

Some of the old dishes are worth ordering too.

My favourite is the Stewed Top Grade Beef Short Rib ($29). The ribs are marinated with pureed apple and pear, and then stewed with soya sauce and garlic with carrots and turnip.

The sweet and savoury sauce is perfect for the tender beef.

Where: Crystal Jade Korean Ginseng Chicken & BBQ, Takashimaya Shopping Centre B2-36A, 391 Orchard Road MRT: Orchard When: 11am - 10pm daily Tel: 6733-3229


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DELICATE DUMPLINGS

Shang Palace's new dimsum chef Kerene Cheng is a rarity. Not only is she a Singaporean in a position usually held by Hong Kongers, but she is also one of very few women in a traditionally male profession. She worked her way up in various Chinese restaurants and hotels here, and was appointed to head the dimsum section at the Shangri-La's Cantonese restaurant recently.

I love her traditional Cantonese dumplings such as siew mai with fish roe, prawn and mushroom ($7 for three pieces) and har gau with golden sago ($7 for three pieces), but most impressive is her Teochew dumpling ($6.50 for three pieces).

It has the delicate crystal skin of Teochew dumpling but with a filling of baby abalone, dried shrimp, pork and chives borrowed from Cantonese dimsum. The result is the best of both worlds.

Where: Shang Palace, Shangri-La Hotel, 22 Orange Grove Road MRT: Orchard When: Noon - 2.30pm (weekday), 10.30am - 3pm (weekend), 6 - 10.30pm daily Tel: 6213-4473


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CELEBRATE WITH BIGGER PENANG BUFFET

As National Day approaches each year, Princess Terrace at Copthorne King's Hotel also gears up to celebrate its own anniversary. This month is its 44th anniversary and it celebrates by adding extra dishes to its daily Penang buffet.

From Tuesday to Aug 18, a total of 15 new items will be rotated as part of the spread. They include Penang Peranakan dishes such as Inche Kabin fried chicken, kerabu beehoon, kerabu chicken and salted vegetable duck soup. Its regular dishes will be available too, such as its popular char kway teow.

Where: Princess Terrace, Copthorne King's Hotel, 403 Havelock Road MRT: Outram When: Tue -

Aug 18, noon - 2.30pm, 6.30 - 10pm Price: $46.80 (lunch), $51.80 (dinner), children pay $25.80 for lunch & dinner Tel: 6318-3168


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FESTIVE RAMEN

Among the many ramen shops that have opened here recently, Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King - Matsuri in Parkway Parade stands out with its bright decor, which includes a huge, colourful paper lantern featuring Japanese cultural characters in the dining area.

Matsuri refers to events in Japan that celebrate seasonal or cultural highlights with festivals or processions.

The festive mood is reflected in four new ramen creations by Keisuke Takeda, chef and founder of Ramen Keisuke. These are tonkotsu, or pork- broth ramen, with added elements inspired by matsuri in different parts of Japan.

For example, Sapporo, which hosts Yuki Matsuri, is known for its snowscapes and miso ramen. So the chef came up with a ramen named after it ($13.90) that is topped with powdered cheese and miso.

And Tonkotsu Ramen Nebuta ($13.90), named after the matsuri in Aomori, comes with a stock made with sardines that the area is known for.

The Tonkotsu Ramen Sanjya ($13.90) comes with a trio of spicy sauces to represent three prominent figures celebrated in the Sanjya Matsuri in Asakusa.

But if you want just a plain Tonkotsu Ramen, that is available too at $11.90.

Where: Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King - Matsuri, 80 Marine Parade Road, B1-18A Parkway Parade MRT: Dakota When: 11.30am - 10pm daily Tel: 6440-5548 (no reservations)