I will always be thankful that Cantonese restaurant Wing Lei Palace is the first stop of the three-day Wynn Culinary Arts Journey organised by Wynn Palace Cotai and Wynn Macau.
After a four-hour plane ride and an hour on the ferry from Hong Kong International Airport to Taipa Ferry Terminal in Macau, a homey meal without bells and whistles is the order of the day. And that’s exactly what Wing Lei Palace’s Executive Chef Tam Kwok Fung delivers with his straightforward menu (read: no superfluous dry-ice effects or fanciful plating) prepared with the freshest ingredients at their seasonal best.
Our summery double-boiled winter melon soup with sweet king crab meat, for instance, comes with sprinkles of tonkin jasmine for an extra dose of subtle sweetness. “Tonkin jasmine flowers are rarely used in Chinese cooking,” chef Tam shares. “I discovered them when I was working in Thailand and found that they worked well in soups.”
The jovial chef, who has more than 30 years of culinary experience at top hotels and had helmed Macau’s two-Michelin-starred Jade Dragon for six years before joining Wing Lei Palace last July, clearly loves delighting his guests. While his focus is on coaxing the best out of fresh premium ingredients, he throws the occasional creative curveball to keep things interesting.
Take his signature lychee-wood-roasted goose with seasonal black truffles and vegetable fried rice, for instance. For the first time, he has added crispy rice, enhancing the textures in the dish that’s already a star for the goose’s crispy skin and juicy tender meat. Then there is the wokâ€‘fried fillet from wildâ€‘caught grouper – chef Tam never uses farmed fish as he finds that nothing surpasses the taste and texture of fish grown in the wild – served with sweet angled luffa and a spurâ€‘ofâ€‘theâ€‘moment addition of Chinese white anchovies. This is paired with a superb Spanish red: the 2014 Telmo Rodriguez Tabuerniga – the penultimate one in the restaurant’s 60-bottle stash of this rare, single-vineyard vintage of which there are only 1,971 bottles.
The well-paced meal ends with desserts of egg tarts, juicy mangoes from Taiwan and a sweetened lotus seed cream with Japanese red bean. Or so we think. No sooner have we spooned the last mouthful than a trolley piled high with huge jars and bowls of colourful house-made sweets rolls in. With reluctance (not!), we pick our way through the likes of raspberry jellies, passion fruitâ€‘flavoured marshmallows, green tea chocolate balls and pistachio cookies.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
STATE OF THE ART
Following its staging last year in the digital space, Asia’s biggest marketplace of modern and contemporary art makes its welcome return to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre this month with a format that combines the physical and the virtual.
Boucheron’s illustrious heritage during the Art Deco era sparked the imagination of its creative director Claire Choisne, who distilled the design movement’s audacious spirit into a contemporary and socially responsible high jewellery collection.
Along the border of Umbria and Tuscany, a slow road of gourmet delights winds languidly back and forth. Debbie Oakes travels this fertile landscape to meet the makers, growers and kitchen maestros who best represent the culinary bounty of this region.
In anticipation of a freer and more hopeful year, haute couture for Spring/Summer 2021 is bringing us lashings of sartorial fantasy and ageless craft, as well as whimsy and escapism, writes Jing Zhang.
AN ICON IMMORTALISED
Only a perfume as rich, unrivalled and mysterious as the century-old Chanel No 5 can inspire such a monumental high jewellery collection, writes Allyson Klass.
Motion, Music And Magic
Van Cleef & Arpels is, and always has been, unapologetically romantic – an approach that seeps even into the oft-bravado world of high watchmaking. Charlene Co rediscovers the house’s enduring dance with complications and poetry through its new Lady Arpels Ballerines Musicales timepieces.
At Your Service
The Rolex World Service ensures the exceptional durability and reliability of Rolex watches for generations to come, reports Allyson Klass.
Hear Her Roar!
Call her a tiger mum or helicopter mum, but Shabnam Arashan stands tall in being the mother who tries her very best. From giving up her legal career to learning to let go, she tells Annabel Tan about the joys and struggles of motherhood.
Own A Piece Of History
While highly complicated and limited-edition watches are indeed valuable, what is equally priceless are pieces nearly lost to the past. The recently launched Cartier Vintage collection revives some of the brand’s most treasured creations – in all their original glory. Yanni Tan receives a quick history lesson from a preview at Cartier ION Orchard’s private salon.
Creative director Alessandro Michele pays tribute to four of the heritage fashion house’s cherished bag icons – Dionysus, GG Marmont, Gucci Horsebit 1955 and Jackie 1961 – with the Gucci Beloved collection. Elevated in precious skins, these expressions distinguished with historic links evolve with a modern spirit in every new collection.