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.
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.
The 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.
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.
Served 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.
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.
The matsutake & golden mushroom combo was another delightful experience. I have to say mushrooms are after all, meatarian’s vegetables.
The 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.
A light white fungus with longan & red dates dessert seals the meal in sweet bliss.
Possibly 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.
Must tries: 金汤 golden soup, 菌汤 fungus soup, 佛跳墙 buddha jumps over the wall, kurobota pork, veal strip, prawn with turbot combination, fish & giant prawn, matsutake & golden mushroom combo, garden greens, Colouful noodle
- I also recommend this place for:
- After Work, Anniversary, Boys Night Out, Business Dining, Chillout, Corporate Events, Dinner, Fine Dining, Girls Night Out, Healthy Eating, Lunch, Nice Deco, Night Out, Private Dining, Quiet, Relaxed, View/Scenery, Waterfront, Wine Lists
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