Monday, May 20, 2013

The Golden Era of Cantonese Cuisine - The Jumping Table by Gastronaut




Last evening, I travelled through time to the golden era of Cantonese Cuisine and tasted some forgotten Cantonese dishes of yesteryear from the 50s and 60s specially created by Masterchefs Sin Leong and Hooi Kok Wai.

This journey back in time was part of The Jumping Table series of event organized by Gastronaut.

For those who missed my previous post, The Jumping Table is a hedonic club that focuses on specially planned and truly unique dining experience. The Jumping Table celebrates the legacy of the old masters, and honour it by recreating forgotten dishes for today’s generations. This philosophy is well summarized by the 2 chinese verses penned by the organizer Gastronaut himself:

席肴谨记先人禄
延技谦积后人福


To many local Cantonese food enthusiasts, Masterchefs Sin Leong and Hooi Kok Wai need no further introduction. Together with Masterchefs Tham Yui Kai and Lau Yoke Pui, they were famed as the "Four Heavenly Kings" of Cantonese cuisine in Singapore of the 1980s who created some of Singapore's most iconic dishes such as the CNY Yu Sheng, Yam Basket, Crystal Prawn and USA Duck etc.

I will leave it to David, the Gastronaut, to explain the history and story behind each and every dish on his blog. :D For now, I am going to entice your senses with the menu and photos (courtesy of Mark Ong) of this epicurean dinner.

Soup

Braised Superior Shark's Fin 凤凰炖大鲍翅

Appetiser

Duck Web Stuffed with Prawn Paste 掌上明珠

Crystal Pork Trotter 白雪猪手

Roast Pork/Liver Satay 金钱烤鸡

Stir-fried Pig's Innards 同气连枝

Mains

Braised Pork Belly/Yam with Buns 三水香芋扣肉荷叶包

Braised Turtle/Chestnut in Caul Oil 栗子纲油红烧山瑞

Steamed Grouper with Chinese Ham 麒麟蒸大石班鱼

Deep-fried Noodle in Dual Sauce 鸿图窝面

Dessert

Sweet Dumpling Soup 万寿果甜汤



Duck Web Stuffed with Prawn Paste 掌上明珠

Roast Pork/Liver Satay 金钱烤鸡

Stir-fried Pig's Innards 同气连枝

Crystal Pork Trotter 白雪猪手


Braised Superior Shark's Fin 凤凰炖大鲍翅


Braised Turtle/Chestnut in Caul Oil 栗子纲油红烧山瑞


Steamed Grouper with Chinese Ham 麒麟蒸大石班鱼

Braised Pork Belly/Yam with Buns 三水香芋扣肉荷叶包

Deep-fried Noodle in Dual Sauce 鸿图窝面

Sweet Dumpling Soup 万寿果甜汤



I enjoyed the food and the dining experience but most importantly I fully understand and support the philosophy behind The Jumping Table to preserve our food culture and heritage. Traditional cooking skills are dying out, we need to preserve such recipes and culinary skills and pass them down from generation to generation.

49 comments:

  1. Wow these dishes are really unique, dont think we see these often nowadays. Alvin, I think if anyone can recreate these, it would be you. Hehe!

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  2. Whoa! What a special feast! And the shark fin is so big... wow. I'd love to try that soup!

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    Replies
    1. Oh yes Nami! By the time I finished the claypot of shark fin, I was almost full!

      Delete
  3. Hi Alvin.....wow................AWESOME!! Everything look so luscious and all the dishes look so unique. The shark fin and deep fry noodles I like very much.

    So you already taste the food, no problem for you to recreate it. :))
    Call us when ready, we come and help you eat. But after eat I help you wash plates, no problem.LOL

    Have a great week ahead.

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  4. Gosh!!! Everything looks so exquisite...and expensive, of course. This is like fine dining, Chinese style. Oops!!! That not-to-be-mentioned dish... I'd love the pork belly with yam - one place here very nice. I shared a photo on Facebook - and friends came and told me that it's very popular/common in Kota Kinabula/Sabah. They can even buy at the market on special days (festivals, I guess). Liver satay? Interesting! I love liver! And bet the gravy for the noodles must be soooooo sweet aith all those clams and stuff. Yum! Yum!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Arthur! You are absolutely right!

      Thanks for the info, will definitely check with you the details if I ever visit Sabah!

      By the time we had the noodle, we were all so full and my wife passed hers to me! And guess what? I finished both bowls! Haha!

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  5. Wow...wow.....wow.......the photos itself already could make you drool over all that delicious food. What a feast.

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  6. Drooling ....... very old school cuisine, interesting mix use of expensive and some cheap (pork innards) ingredients- even turtle? Hope to see your re-creation of these!

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    1. Huh Elaine! Some of them should not be difficult and I might just attempt to recreate at home but not the fish (too time consuming) and shark fin (too sinful!)... Ha!

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  7. wow! what a feast! is that shark fin or 花胶 that you lifted up from that bowl of shark fin soup? such a big piece!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lena! That was one full big piece of FIN!

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  9. Wow Wow, what a yummy feast!! you were lucky to taste all these yummy dishes.

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    1. Oh yes A-Chi! I'm sure you had great food in Italy too!

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  10. I am sure you enjoyed that meal, every single dish looks perfectly cooked! I can see some familiar dishes in there:) That homely looking pork belly with yam is one:)

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    1. Yes, Jeanie! Every jumping table event is interesting!

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  11. Alvin, I must say Wow! Wow! Wow! What a majestic meal! Some very unusual items there like Crystal Pork Trotter, Braised Turtle (actually a turtle ??), Duck Web (Hmmm...) and I noted the shark's fin soup is braised in individual claypots. That dinner must have cost a fortune!

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    1. Hi PH!

      Actually I find the dinner to be reasonably priced. We paid less than $100 per person. That claypot of shark fin alone would have cost you a bomb else where!

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  12. the steamed grouper looked like an overturned turtle. Really nice cantonese dishes and I'm salivating at my screen.

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  13. Enticing indeed and such a fantastic feast ! Would like to try the liver satay ! I've eaten that braised pork belly with yam , no buns though , in China eons ago :D

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    1. Hi Anne! So how was the version you had in China?

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  14. feels so off (though nice) to be back in the blogsphere again! thanks so much for the sweet comment before all the madness at school started.. I'm back! alive!

    lovely lovely lovely food and exceptional philosophy. I think it's so important to preserve our food heritage before our wonderful culinary history disappears. That's one thing I love about cooking, being able to preserve traditions, to be able to share recipes that are handed down. The food at The Jumping Table looks gorgeous, so hungry and so jealous right now. x

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    1. Welcome back Shu Han!

      Great that you feel the same way about food and heritage! I can link you up with this foodie group when you are back from UK. :D

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  15. What an incredibly rich and interesting experience! I would love to taste the pork belly (not enough places serve it here which makes me sad). Not to mention, I doubt I could comb through the town night and day and come up with something remotely as eclectic as this spot!

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    1. Hi Angela! What about cooking the pork belly yourself at home? :D

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  16. indeed, pix speaks a thousand words! i'm a huge fan of delicacies & u're killing me with those thick shark's fin. and that liver satay, i haven't seen them around here anymore; onky when i visit Hong Kong.

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    1. Agree with you, Shirley! You visit HK frequently?

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    2. Every 2 years to shop & eat. Heehee!

      Alvin, I'm hosting a
      Vesak Day Giveaway: Win Food Vouchers by foodpanda!!
      Since u're so creative, perhaps u could come up with a "recipe for panda food"? Hope to see your entry dear!

      Delete
  17. WOW!!! What a drool feast for the eyes!!!

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  18. Wow! Those dishes look sublime! Can compete with David Chang! :p

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  19. A beautiful feast! Everything looks delicious!

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  20. I especially love the Chinese names for the dishes.

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    1. Hi Kelly! Your Chinese must be very good! :D

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  21. Hi Alvin :) Long time no see!

    OMG!!! I've never seen such big shark's fin before!! Everything looks wonderful. I didn't recognise the garoupa for a few seconds though LOL Your posts always give me foodie envy :P Anyway, I totally agree with and understand the sentiment behind understakings like this. Our food traditions largely define us as a nation, community and family. Precious in this madly fast paced and expanding world, and definitely worth preserving for posterity.

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    1. Hi Denise! It's good to hear from you again!

      You are doing your part for the culinary traditions too with your beautiful blog!

      Delete
  22. Alvin you are again so lucky. I bet you don't get to eat yucky food. I remember those old Chinese restaurants where the food was superb and the service is excellent. What an impressive spread that is. I have never seen shark's fin served that way.

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    1. Hi Adora! Sorry to miss your comment!

      Oh yes, it was a fantastic dinner and I can still remember each and every dish vividly now even after 4 months. :D

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  23. nice! thanks for sharing here.

    Thanks
    Lisa

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