A couple of weeks ago Six&Seven was invited down to Ellenborough @ Swissotel Merchant Court for a Chinese New Year Lo Hei lunch. Chinese New Year may have come and gone, but many of us are still stuck in the festive period brooding over the dwindling red packets every year.
The lunch started with a traditional Lo Hei, as all lunches during this period do. This would have been my 10th Lo Hei, and I do honestly wonder if there is a threshold to how much luck I can usher in through this vegetable tossing exercise.
The dish was largely traditional, with the chef pretty much playing it safe with the ingredients. One thing that really stood out was the cracker; they looked rather avant garde, steering away from the cookie-cut Chinese-gold-shaped treasures. While I presumed they were made in-house, the light and crunchy textures were definitely one of the best I have had.
The Roast chicken with walnut was another dish that impressed me. Do not be fooled by the simplicity of the dish as the garlic and walnut fry made a great topping for the chicken. The chicken meat was tender and soft, and went perfectly well with the topping that gave the dish a slight crunch.
One of the highlights for me was the Steamed cold water turbot. The fish was specially flown in from France for this occasion. To get the most out of the fish, the chef prepared it in 2 styles – the top layer was stir-fried, while the underside was steamed.
The stir-fried was honestly so much better. With each bite of the meat, a myriad of fish fats and sweet meat explodes in your mouth. With all the newspaper reports encouraging individuals to indulge in omega-3 oil from fish, I happily ate this dish guilt free while chanting this mantra.
The steamed option on the other hand, had all that coveted oil evaporated from the cooking. While the fish was nevertheless still good, it paled in comparison to the stir-fried version. It is like once you have had a taste of Kettle Chips, you will never touch Jack n Jill potato chips again.
The final dish to serve was the Lotus rice. The dish came with chestnuts, which gave it a nice crunch, alongside with mushrooms, Chinese sausage and shrimps. While the dish is largely simple and hard to impress, I felt the rice was a tad try and not well mixed.
Six&Seven enjoyed themselves over lunch, reuniting with old friends and making new ones. We would like to thank the staff of Swissotel Merchant Court for their gracious hospitality in hosting this event, and we look forward to catching up with you guys again. Huat Ah!
Swissotel Merchant Court
20 Merchant Road
Tel: 6239 1848 | Website