When it comes to roast duck, the Silver Hill Duck is considered by many to be the finest breed for the job and is sometimes referred to as the wagyu of duck. If it’s good enough for celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal’s restaurants, it’s probably good enough for us. Originally a cross between an Aylesbury and a Pekin, the Silver Hill Duck has notably become the most popular choice in Chinese restaurants in London and is the duck of choice in Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants as well.
But it turns out that the Irish Duck Company, which supplies Silver Hill Duck here in Singapore, also supplies John Stone dry-aged beef, Hampshire Pork and Atlantic Coast Lamb products. They’ve teamed up with Cantonese restaurant Man Fu Yuan for a thoroughly indulgent dining experience.
The collaboration runs from October 1 to November 15 and features three special menus that showcase fine examples of Irish produce. The menus are Executive Chinese Chef Aaron Tan’s take on traditional Chinese dishes, designed to let the quality of the top-draw ingredients do the talking.
The six-course menus are designed for three to five persons: the Treasure Set is priced at SGD138++ per head, the Elegant Set at SGD228++ per head, and the Gracious Set at SGD298++ per head. All set menus also have an optional wine-pairing option at SGD68++ per person.
Thanks to InterContinental Singapore, we were given the opportunity to sample the Elegant set. It kicks off with a collection of bites consisting of a John Stone Irish Smoked salmon flower with wasabi aioli; chilled cherry vine tomatoes with crab meat; chilled John Stone Dry-Aged beef, aged-citrus honey soya sauce, and sesame seed.
It’s hard to choose between the succulent salmon, the almost yuzu-like tartness that cuts through the savoury crab, or the rich, complex sweetness of the buttery dry-aged beef–I’m told the beef is dry-aged up to a maximum of 28 days, and John Stone’s selection process is apparently so stringent that they only select five per cent of the meats that are presented to them. At the moment, the beef is not being stocked for retail, but that will change soon.
Next up is a golden pumpkin soup (alcoholic) with braised golden bird’s nest. It’s savoury and almost creamy, and the cucumber adds a satisfying, crunchy texture.
Then comes the biggest surprise of the night, and my personal favourite: the Wok-fried John Stone Irish lamb loin with Sarawak black pepper sauce and Hong Kong kai lan. Not even a hint of gaminess and the bouncy texture of the meat will surprise you; yet, it seems to melt as you sink your teeth into it. It’s pretty spicy as well, which is perfect for this dish.
Up next comes the braised Irish Hampshire pork belly with South African five head abalone. While the pork belly is undoubtedly the star, the abalone gets a special mention here–meaty and juicy and lifted by the accompanying broccoli and mushroom. Couple that with the perfectly seasoned pork; it’s tender and sweet, and the fat simply melts in your mouth. Indulgent stuff.
However, it’s just a warm-up for the main event, which comes in the form of Chinese la mian with rock lobster, Silver Hill Irish Duck and XO sauce. This is truly the SHID (Silver Hill Irish Duck, I mean); the perfect ratio of crisp caramelised skin and the rich, buttery fat to meat, and sinfully indulgent. Amp that up to 11 with the XO sauce-coated noodles, and you’ll be using the plump lobster as a palate cleanser.
The oven-baked mango pudding dessert feels apologetically austere in comparison, but that’s exactly what the doctor ordered. It’s almost like a bread pudding and has a familiar tau huay texture. The caramelised top injects bursts of flavour and helps dial everything down to a satisfying conclusion.
If indulgence is the name of the game, I doubt you will go wrong with this. The menu will run all the way through to November 15th, and reservations can be made at ManFuYuan.sg.
Treasure Set (SGD138++ per head)
- John Stone Irish Smoked salmon fillet, ginger, lime, scallion salsa; Chilled cherry vine tomatoes marinated with plum sauce; Deep-fried John Stone Irish lamb cube, Sichuan spice, dried chilli, scallion, peanut, sesame seed
- Double-boiled superior soup, Irish Hampshire pork and water chestnut meat ball, baby bok choy (with alcohol)
- Braised Hong Kong choy sum, egg white, crab meat, scallion, tobiko (with alcohol)
- Roasted-smoked Silver Hill Irish Duck with truffle sauce (with alcohol)
- Wok-fried John Stone Dry-Aged beef cube, rice in hot stone bowl, egg yolk, Mongolia sauce
- Chilled coconut ice-cream, black glutinous puree, Thai mango
Elegant Set (SGD228++ per head)
- John Stone Irish Smoked salmon flower, wasabi aioli; Chilled cherry vine tomatoes with crab meat; Chilled John Stone Dry-Aged beef, aged-citrus honey soya sauce, sesame seed
- Braised golden bird’s nest with golden pumpkin superior stock (with alcohol)
- Wok-fried John Stone Irish lamb loin, Sarawak black pepper sauce, Hong Kong kai lan
- Braised Irish Hampshire pork belly with South Africa 5-head abalone
- Chinese la mian with rock lobster, Silver Hill Irish Duck, XO sauce
- Oven-baked mango pudding
Gracious Set (SGD298++ per head)
- John Stone Irish Smoked salmon, caviar; Pan-seared foie gras with rice cracker, mixed berries sauce; Wok-fried minced John Stone Irish lamb, cumin golden cup
- Braised premium fish maw with superior stock (with alcohol)
- Braised South Africa 18 head dried abalone, roasted Silver Hill Irish Duck (with alcohol)
- Smoked-seared John Stone Dry-Aged beef tenderloin, red wine sauce (with alcohol)
- Chinese la mian with rock lobster, mince Irish Hampshire pork, golden pumpkin sauce, caviar
- Chilled honey rock sugar bird’s nest, egg white, water chestnuts