Shanghai surprise

EAT’S EASY - Ernest Reynoso Gala () - October 6, 2011 - 12:00am

We must eat to live and live to eat. — Henry Fielding, British author

Happy and successful cooking doesn’t rely only on know-how; it comes from the heart, makes great demands on the palate and needs enthusiasm and a deep love of food to bring it to life. — Georges Blanc, Ma Cuisine des Saisons

Considered as one of the elite Cantonese restaurants in the country, Jasmine at New World Hotel has a simple formula for success: “Our priority is the pleasure of your consumption.”

So it is no surprise that renowned chef Wong Kam Chung of the famous Yue 1525 in Shanghai was invited to showcase his talents, dazzling his guests with numerous delectable Cantonese masterpieces. His work is superb, illustrating his uncanny knack for adapting, absorbing, and evolving skills attributed to his 23 years of experience in the kitchen. His talent has taken him all over the world, including a two-year stint at the prestigious St. Moritz ski resort in Switzerland. His professionalism and passion have earned people’s admiration and respect, as his technique and dedication have produced world-class dishes.

Chef Choi with guest chefs Wong Kam Chung and Cheng Ng

The uncompromising quality of his cuisine is evident in his dimsum, specifically the Wagyu beef with mango roll. With every bite, the beef, I must say, was tender and succulent, perfectly combined with the sweetness of the mango. The crisp texture of the wrapper was the perfect contrast to the luscious filling, a true culinary innovation. His steamed Shanghainese pork dumpling with goose liver is to die for, and drew a tremendous response from those who enjoyed its unique marriage of ingredients and balanced flavor. The doubled whelk (spiral-shaped mollusk) with Chinese herbs is a testament to the chef’s culinary prowess, as his control of heat and patience produced a light, clear soup with a clean mouth feel, a dish that can be savored minus the guilt that normally accompanies good taste. As an added bonus, it is said to help improve one’s complexion and circulation while dispelling toxins.

For the curious who enjoy far-flung exotic food, steamed mantis with egg white is for you. The chef’s proficiency with this sort of ingredient is elegantly poised, refined, and smooth; it had a custard-like texture that was surprisingly good. The Shanghainese chicken curry in a clay pot looks deceptively plain, but don’t be fooled because it’s the star on the menu. The meat is moist and tender, and with a dousing of its spice-laden sauce, it’s addictive and altogether yummy. To tempt those with a sweet tooth, the oolong tea crème brulee and coconut pudding taste as good as they look, a perfect ending to a beautiful meal.

Chef Wong’s grounded and humble demeanor is a direct contrast to his cooking — full of glitz and extracting the best, always pushing his culinary limits further. Guaranteed to be an eye-opening experience, a sumptuous treat awaits you at Jasmine.

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For more information and reservations, call the New World Hotel, Makati City, at 811-6888 local 3338.

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For recipes and a schedule of classes, visit www.sylviareynosogala.com or www.facebook.com/Sylvia Reynoso Gala Culinary or call 671-4489 or 98.

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