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#654

WHISKY LONG BAOS, ANYONE?

26 Nov 2020 By

For A Limited Time, Experience The Magical Pairing Of The Balvenie & Michelin-Recommended Madame Fan

Who knew Scottish whisky went so beautifully with Chinese cuisine? This November, The Balvenie, world’s most handcrafted single malt whisky, has hooked up with the Michelin Guide for a series of whisky-inspired dishes. Titled “Handcrafted By”, the exciting partnership sees the talented chefs from Madame Fan and Garibaldi whip up whisky-infused cuisine that pair perfectly with a dram of The Balvenie. For those that haven’t had the chance to sample Chinese food with fine whisky, you’re in for a treat.

 

 

The collaboration celebrates craftsmanship in both worlds of whisky-making and fine-dining. Madame Fan’s Executive Chinese Chef Mike Tan Wen Sian elevated his modern Chinese cuisine further with the Whisky Xiao Long Bao, which he infused with The Balvenie 14 Year Old Caribbean Cask. Used to marinade the pork within the soup dumpling, the whisky added a sweet herbaceousness and a sublime punch to the rich long bao. Chef Tan was thoughtfully conscious of the different palates of his diners – there’s just enough of the whisky for flavour, but I’d fully encourage you to add a splash or two from your own dram to really kick it up a notch.

 

 

I was even more pysched for his next dish – “Bridges“, a traditional boiled chicken soup where Chef Tan added further depth and complexity with the inclusion of The Balvenie 21 Year Old PortWood (the crowning glory and favourite of Malt Master David Stewart). The silky smooth whisky gave the rich Cantonese-style soup a lovely lightness, and a soft fruity sweetness that paired exquisitely with the Alaskan King Crab and ginger slivers. Of course, as much as I savoured the 21 on its own, I couldn’t resist spiking the soup with few extra drops.

 

 

“After being a chef for 30 years, the most important thing for me is to have strict control over the ingredients you select (because) ingredients are the soul of the dish,” said the amiable Chef Tan. “I enjoy working with The Balvenie because we share similarities in our respect for craftsmanship. The Balvenie has a strong emphasis on Five Rare Crafts, which I relate to handmade dim sum, in that only handcrafted dim sum can achieve the delicate quality through the rigorous selection of the cut and freshness of meat, seafood and vegetables.”

 

 

And it’s not just the special The Balvenie dishes that impressed us thast evening, Madame Fan’s regular menu had highlights such as the steamed soon hock (above). Delicately tender with a sweet freshness, it was enhanced by the fragrant soy sauce from iconic Hong Kong sauce maker Pat Chun. I found it paired best with The Balvenie 17 Doublewood, even though that’s not technically part of the collab. The award-winning expression had a light sweetness, not as pronounced as the 14, and a slightly grassy note that really worked, for me, with the fish. Don’t take my word for it though, have a go and maybe you’ll find a pairing you prefer more.

All in all, this was one of the best whisky pairing dinners we’ve had this year. Definitely looking forward to even more Michelin Guide restaurant partnerships to come.

The Whisky Xiao Long Bao and Bridges are available from now until 30 Nov 2020 at Madame Fan, 32 Beach Road, the NCO Club. Dishes have to be pre-ordered three days in advance. Reserve via email (dining.reservations@thencoclub.com), telephone (6818 1921) or online.

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