Grand Mandarina: Top notch dining in the Orients

Call me despicable, call me a desperado, but when one puts a plate of that ridiculously succulent honey glazed roast pork in front of my nose; gastronomical success is almost guaranteed.

Of course, it helps that Grand Mandarina's new inventive ala carte menu is successful on so many levels. Giving the conventional Cantonese cuisine a real booster in the fine dining direction with the use of seasonal ingredients employed in cutting-edge techniques. Take for example the Duo of combination of foie gras with slice peking duck and scallop with salted egg yolk
($26 per person); in usual circumstances, one would expect to find a slab of pan seared goose liver; but here, the precious mother-load is rolled into a tight roulade and braised in 乳水  for that slight Asian infusion and served alongside crispy fingers of cucumber and silvers of uber crunchy duck skin, Send a slice of toast over and I would happily smear the heavenly pate all over it. Then there's the scallop, a parcel of perfect succulence underneath a sheath of golden brown, smothered in salted egg yolk sauce; the crunch of edamame beans below helping to bring harmony to the tumultuous world of dangerous flavors on the plate.

If this doesn't satiate, I know the Double Boiled Shark's Cartilage with Fish Maw, conpoy and mushrom ($28) will. Point to note, I know a ethical battle is at hand here, and I'm guilty as charged but at the very least, the poor animal died with guns ablazing. The gelatinous broth chock full of voluptuous essence. Rainy day woes be thrown out of the window with immediate effect.

Moving on, Huai Shan (wild yam) more known for brewing herbal soups gets a face lift in the next dish where it attains stardom instead of the usual mushy versions you acquire in the final processes of brewing that tonic broth meant to cure the liver. The Stir Fried Chinese Yam with Wild Mushrooms ($20) will steal your breathe away ; the amicable Chinese yam imbued with a light smokiness from the wok ; it's slight crunchy reminiscent of water chestnuts working in magical tandem with the wild mushrooms. A humble dish that will have you rethinking of use of perennial Chinese ingredients in drastically varied techniques for that plausible eureka! moment.

The stomach isn't rewarded with a break, especially when the Deep Fried Cod Fish with black truffle sauce ($26) makes a touchdown on the lazy susan. Impeccably styled, the lotus leafs envelops a predictably lustrous hunk of cod fish, It's crispy sides, the hinterland of your fantasies as it borders on being almost wafer crunchy without being the least oily. Dripped with a delicious black truffle sauce, you'll be bent on unearthing all of that glory from the leaf at the end of the sordid affair.

Last but not least, the Chinese feast ends with the mandatory carb station; which for the record, got the appetite rev ed up again with its piquant flavoring and clever use of acidity. The Chilled Vermicelli with abalone in Hot and Sour sauce ($22) is one course that you must, must, must indulge in whilst at Grand Mandarina, Feeling slightly intimidated at the end of several course, this dish would refresh your palate, the invigorating punch of heat and tanginess amidst chilled noodles will have you nattering about it for ages. 

Conclude the night with a cooling Chilled Hasma with Chinese Pear ($18); try to avoid thinking about its very graphic origins as you dive into the dessert with loads of health benefits. Bits and bobs of sweet Chinese pear and aloe vera easing you into the sweet dessert.

If you guys haven't booked a place for Chinese New Year dinner yet, do check out Grand Mandarina's several auspiciously named sets!

Grand Mandarina
325 New Bridge Road
t: 6222 3355

Operating Hours:
Daily: 11 30am - 2 30pm; 6 30pm - 10pm

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