One Night in Beijing…

Cuisine Master Hot Pot (食神锅奉行) at 68 Boat Quay, Singapore 049856

Kudos to the folks at Hungrygowhere for inviting me to this session, I suppose the night was meant to be as the torrent came down several hours before the appointment, and halted just in time, while we made our way to the venue.

IMG_00001681 (Small)On arrival, I was a little unsure since the ground level looked more a spot for high octane beverages, but the service staff were quick to attend and point me upstairs.

IMG_00001807 (Small)Unlike most hot pot joints, this is one classic signature stamped with a rich class of Beijing, exuding anything/ everything inspired from ancient Chinese royal dining etiquette.

A mechanized automated self hearing ‘jing’ (井trans: well) seats within the table, while a dedicated concierge is stationed at the table to cook for you. Unless, otherwise excused from the table, the concierge shall see to the entire course of lunch/dinner.

transformer-1The meal is started with a plate of fresh fruits, for it is believed in ancient times that the fruits trigger enzymes activity, and readies the palettes for the meal that follows. A young Shaoxin wine is poured for us in a ‘Jue’ (爵 trans: nobleman’s wine cup) to warm things up a little, while waiting for the jin (金trans: gold) & jun (菌trans: fungus) soup to come to a boil in a 鸳鸯yuan-yang pot.

IMG_00001746 (Small)The jun soup is a stock prepared using fungus assortment, has a bit of the woody fragrance. And the jin soup is a rich broth harnessed from bones & cartilage assortments.

Started things off each served with a bowl of the jun soup with evenly portioned fungus assortment, followed with a bowl of miniature fotiaoqiang 佛跳墙 , comprising of dried scallops, abalone,  sea cucumber & sharks fin substituted using fish maw. This arrangement calibrates the palettes, before the meal builds up to a crescendo.
IMG_00001713 (Small)fotiaoqiang-1Served next, prawn with turbot combination, and shrimp & meat ball on carrot. The meats are battered to pulp & neatly cut to shape for purpose of consistency of doneness, texture & taste. The soup base was good enough to lightly influence the taste, and I found very little need to use the sauce dips.
shrimp-&-meatball-1turbot-&-sweet-corn Then there was Kurobuta & Veal Tripe, lightly boiled to tender perfection. A light dab of chili oil adds a tingle to the taste. A sip of the shaoxin wine sweetens the experience too. The sliced snow fish & giant prawns were also cooked in good timing. The fish doesn’t flake, and the prawn shell was easily removed, without compromising the meat. A dab at the seafood sauce or a drip of shaoxin is also good.
meat-meatseafood-platterThe matsutake & golden mushroom combo was another delightful experience. I have to say mushrooms are after all, meatarian’s vegetables.
mushroomThe garden greens comprising of lettuces & spinach, with in house handmade noodles, flavored & naturally colored (cabbage, carrots, spinach & eggs). The noodles are served together with the enriched soup, bringing a closure to the meal.
vege-noodlesA light white fungus with longan & red dates dessert seals the meal in sweet bliss.
IMG_00001795 (Small) transformer-sPossibly the only fine dining hot pot concept available in town, and it’s not everyday that one gets to experience a meal in the life of a blue blood brat.

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