Sunday, June 10, 2012

Spirit of Beijing @ Marriott Cafe, Singapore

A few months ago, KopiKosongGirl and I went to Beijing for a holiday which coincidentally was on Valentine's Day. We spent V Day feasting on Peking Ducks! We had 2 ducks that day, lunch at Quan Ju De and dinner at Da Dong.

So when Marriott Cafe sent an invitation to a hands-on session with Chef George Gong from JW Marriott Hotel Beijing that is visiting Marriott Singapore, I was tempted.

Chef Gong who has been with JW Marriott Beijing since 2008 will be in Singapore to take helm of the restaurant's newly created live cooking station with his menu available at Marriott Cafe till 17 June 2012. Beijing favourites like Beijing Noodles in Black Bean Sauce, Beijing Hot Pot, Fried Chinese Pot Sticker and of course Peking Duck will be available here.

Here's the hands-on session I had with the chefs from Marriott Cafe.

Spirit of Beijing, Marriott Cafe
This is Chef George Gong from JW Marriott Beijing.
In front of him, the duck! Since it's a short session, we don't get to see the duck being roasted.

Spirit of Beijing, Marriott Cafe
Hello Mr Ducky! Before my trip to Beijing I read quite a bit about the ducks because I knew I would be devouring them. They are to be of certain species and according to Chef Gong, he said the ducks are to be slaughtered around 48 days. The ducks are roasted between 45-50 minutes to achieve the crispy skin.

I tried to ask where they sourced the duck from, but was told it's sourced locally from suppliers that has farms that breeds the duck according to the Peking Duck specifications.

Spirit of Beijing, Marriott Cafe
Chef cutting the duck up.

In Beijing which I had the ducks, both restaurants had the option to ask if you want skin only or skin with some meat on.  Chef Gong was cutting it up with some meat on for us.

Spirit of Beijing, Marriott Cafe
I wrapped these myself after being taught by Chef to a group of bloggers and journalists there.
Put the meat this way. Duck meat, spring onions and cucumbers with the skin. The bottom flap upwards and the sides folded in. The top is to be 'open ended'.

It's Peking Duck, don't wrap it like you are eating popiah. Most of the time in Singapore, the service staff wraps it for us. In Beijing, it's mostly DIY.

Spirit of Beijing, Marriott Cafe
Flip it over and that's it.

When I was in Beijing, I noticed we had around 8 - 12 different condiments to go with our duck. I thought it was interesting because when in Singapore we don't see 8 - 12 condiments to wrap the ducks!

I asked Chef and he replied that there are many styles of serving in Beijing. The ones served to us is the more traditional style. The hoisin sauce was their own special recipe, served with thinly julienned cucumbers and spring onions.

Spirit of Beijing, Marriott Cafe
They tasted nice. But now that I have tasted the 8-12 condiments style, I am tempting to visit Beijing again for their ducks!

The other hands on was to make Fried Chinese Pot Stickers (Guo Tie).
Chef said the origin of this dish was that the Imperial kitchen pan fried left over Jiao Zi and the Empress had a whiff of the aroma and after tasting it became one of her favourite.

Spirit of Beijing, Marriott Cafe
Dough made from scratched! Yes, I was more busy taking photos than making it.

Spirit of Beijing, Marriott Cafe
Portioning it out to be rolled. When I was doing it, I had trouble getting nice round flattened dough with the rolling pin.

A chef from Marriott Singapore who was looking at how mine turned out, squirmed and decided to help me. He made it looks so effortless! Literally in seconds, he rolled out nice round dough skins!

Spirit of Beijing, Marriott Cafe
Slap on some meat, for my version I slapped up quite an amount of it.

Spirit of Beijing, Marriott Cafe
Pinch the top part only. Leave the ends exposed.

Spirit of Beijing, Marriott Cafe
This plate was my creation. If you notice a thin slice of cucumber at the last piece, well that's my marking to say that was made by me. It was sent to the kitchen to be cooked.

marriott12Spirit of Beijing, Marriott Cafe
Have a bite!

Spirit of Beijing, Marriott Cafe
Other specialty I tried was the homemade Beijing Noodles in Black Bean Sauce. (Zha Jiang Mian).

Spirit of Beijing, Marriott Cafe
This was spicy minced meat with vermicelli. Something very spicy and appetizing.

Spirit of Beijing, Marriott Cafe
I quite like the Wok-Fried Lamb with Chinese Leek. True to Beijing cooking style, it was a little oily and salty. I liked it though and it did not had a strong gamey smell. The bowl of soup was something I could not appreciate though.  It was thin slices of dough and the few of us thought of it as mee hoon kueh.

If you are planning of what to eat the next few days, you can try out the lunch or dinner Spirit of Beijing buffet. Hurry, it's on till 17 June 2012.

Lunch buffet - 12.00 pm to 2.30 pm
Mondays to Fridays | SGD46++ per adult, SGD25++ per child
Saturdays | SGD50++ per adult, SGD30++ per child
Sundays | SGD55++ per adult, SGD30++ per child

Dinner buffet - 6.30 pm to 10.00 pm
Sundays to Thursdays | SGD62++ per adult, SGD30++ per child
Fridays and Saturdays | SGD70++ per adult, SGD32++ per child

Marriott Cafe
Marriott Hotel Singapore
320 Orchard Road
Singapore 238865

Tel: 6831 4605

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1 comment:

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