Food Picks: Basilico's cheese room returns; veteran chefs revive Cantonese classics; Jypsy relocates

(Clocwise from left) Torched wagyu crispy nigiri from Jypsy, crispy-fried milk custard and pan-fried scallops stuffed with minced shrimps from Min Jiang and a selection of cheeses from Basilico. PHOTOS: THE PSGOURMET GROUP, GOODWOOD PARK HOTEL, REGENT SINGAPORE

Min Jiang

Rediscover Cantonese classics

Four veteran Chinese chefs have come together to showcase Hong Kong-style Cantonese classics at Goodwood Park Hotel's Min Jiang restaurant.

For a week-long promotion, they have whipped up three menus (from $88 a person for a five-course lunch menu for four) featuring rarely seen dishes that date back at least three decades.

Min Jiang chef Chan Hwan Kee is teaming up with retired chefs Chan Kwok (formerly from Orchard Hotel's Hua Ting Restaurant), Chin Hon Yin (Sheraton Towers' Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant) and Chung Ho Shi (Conrad Centennial Singapore's Golden Peony restaurant).

Celebrity gourmand Moses Lim worked with the chefs to curate the menus.

They dish out hit after hit. Chef Chin's soups, which come after the appetisers, truly hit the spot.

One of them is double-boiled bird's nest in minced chicken broth with Yunnan ham, diced chicken and crab meat (from the nine-course menu for 10, $168 a person). Minced chicken is blended into the soup to achieve a creamy, almost porridge-like texture.

The other is an unassuming double-boiled winter melon soup (from the seven-course menu for six, $138 a person), which is boiled for five hours in a winter melon and packed with chopped ingredients such as mushrooms, crab meat and prawns.

I try a variety of dishes from the different menus, such as chef Chung's pan-fried prawn on toast and pan-seared Japanese bell peppers stuffed with dace and minced Jinhua ham - throwbacks to labour-intensive Chinese banquet dishes of the past.

Classic pan-fried prawn on toast and pan-seared Japanese bell peppers stuffed with dace fish. PHOTO: GOODWOOD PARK HOTEL

It is pure nostalgia for older diners and a chance for younger ones to relish a taste of tradition.

Much work goes into chef Chan Kwok's dishes too. They include milk custard, Australian scallop stuffed with minced shrimp, and boneless chicken wings stuffed with hon shimeji mushrooms - all fried to crisp perfection.

All the menus feature chef Chan Hwan Kee's baked peony red bean pastry and D24 durian glutinous rice ball, a Min Jiang signature.

Seats are filling up, so make your bookings fast.

Where: Min Jiang, Goodwood Park Hotel, 22 Scotts Road
MRT: Orchard
When: May 18 (dinner only) to 25; 11.30am to 2.30pm (weekdays), 11am to 12.30pm (first weekend seating), 1 to 2.30pm (second weekend seating), 6.30 to 10.30pm daily
Tel: 6730-1704
Info: E-mail


Say cheese at weekend brunch

Italian restaurants Basilico's cheese room makes a comeback after being shut for two years because of the pandemic. PHOTO: REGENT SINGAPORE

I have never missed a buffet as much as the weekend brunch (from $112++ an adult, with free-flow Nordaq water, soft drinks and juices) at Regent Singapore's Italian restaurant Basilico.

The star is its cheese room (also available during dinner) - which makes a comeback after being shut for two years because of the pandemic. It features more than 40 Italian cheeses and condiments such as dried fruit, mixed nuts and the restaurant's housemade truffle honey.

Start with the truffle burrata and make your way down the line. Try a bit of everything - from the soft, creamy brie to the semi-hard pecorino aged in walnut leaves.

In the main dining hall, pick from an array of fresh seafood and cold cuts as well as hot mains such as crispy pork belly and juicy Angus ribeye.

The buffet spread also celebrates truffles - do not miss the truffle foccacia, risotto and burnt cheesecake.

The decadent burnt truffle ricotta cake was launched last year as a limited-edition item for delivery, so it is quite a treat to have it as part of the dine-in dessert offerings now.

Where: Basilico, Level 2 Regent Singapore, 1 Cuscaden Road
MRT: Orchard
When: Noon to 3.30pm (weekends)
Tel: 6725-3232
Info: E-mail


New space at One Fullerton

Torched wagyu crispy nigiri and bluefin & chitose crudo from Jypsy. PHOTO: THE PSGOURMET GROUP

After four years in Martin Road, contemporary Japanese restaurant Jypsy has relocated to One Fullerton. The bigger space seats 143 diners, with a breezy outdoor section perfect for chilling with drinks by Marina Bay.

The refurbished menu offers a good range of fresh light bites to pair with cocktails, as well as heartier mains.

It will take me many more visits to cover the extensive menu, so I go for the new dishes, such as the Bluefin & Chitose Crudo ($25) with semi-dried Chitose tomatoes topped with hot basil ponzu; torched wagyu crispy nigiri ($29); and Melty Smokey Nasu ($12), grilled tender eggplant topped with a miso caramel glaze.

New mains include robata lamb ribs ($28) and snapper ceviche al limone spaghettini ($24) with a lemon dashi sauce.

Signatures such as Jypsy salmon tacos ($16), Nest of Fries ($14) and wagyu beef dripping fried rice ($26) remain on the menu.

Complete your meal with a pavlova sundae ($11), which includes passionfruit, bananas, mango and strawberries on crisp meringue.

Where: 01-02/03 One Fullerton, 1 Fullerton Road
MRT: Raffles Place
Open: 11.30am to 4pm (Fridays to Sundays), 5pm to midnight (Tuesdays to Sundays), closed on Mondays
Tel: 6708-9288
Info: Jypsy's website

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