Jade Phoenix, SSC: Chef from SICC

For our annual Christmas dinner, my university gang decided to forgo Turkey and ham in favour of a Chinese banquet feast at Jade Phoenix. My friend chose the Chinese restaurant at Singapore Swimming Club but he didn’t know that Jade Phoenix just saw the arrival of a new executive chef: Chef Choi Mun Jiunn. This same chef, who until recently, headed Silk, Singapore Island Country Club’s Chinese restaurant! From one country club to another. You bet my parents, members of SICC, mourned Silk’s loss. When Chef Choi was at Silk, I heard great things about the ala carte menu but never had dinner there. Whenever my family had dim sum at Silk on Sunday afternoons, we will usually one or two dishes from the ala carte menu. They were always good! Great wok hei and well-seasoned Cantonese dishes. Needless to say, I was eagerly looking forward to our Christmas Eve Eve dinner at Jade Phoenix.

Upon arrival at the packed restaurant (on a Wednesday night?!) I was handed a menu and saw to my joy many familiar dishes from Silk. By the time my friends arrived, I knew exactly what to order. 

We were first served this unusual cold appetizer: marinated Tau Kwa salad with spring onions and chilli. No broiled peanuts in sight but we sure didn’t miss it.

All of us at the table love salted egg yolk dishes immensely and this Salted Egg Prawns did not disappoint. Plump juicy prawns encased in a crunchy rich salted egg yolk batter. Very good. Our craving was satiated. In fact, we could not get enough and ordered another plate of Salted Egg Yolk Cereal Prawns.  

Duo meat combination: Roast pork belly and roast duck. The roast duck was the best surprise of the evening as it was so damn juicy and devoid of any gaminess. We enjoyed this plate with the crisp roast pork skin and tender duck.
  

Crispy Noodles with Seafood was not on the menu but I remembered enjoying it in Silk and the kitchen gladly prepared a plate upon my request. Very nice.

One cannot visit Jade Phoenix and ignore the heavenly smell of claypot braised dishes. Almost every table ordered a claypot dish and we were recommended this: Claypot Braised Spinach Beancurd with Crabmat and Spinach. This was soooooooo good!!! Generous crabmeat with silky tofu in a savoury thick sauce. Utterly delightful. Now I understand why every table had a claypot dish.   

Salted Egg Yolk Cereal Prawns. Looks like a whole lot of cereal but strong salted egg yolk taste. Very nice. 

For dessert: a bowl of Mango Pudding and this delicious Crispy Red Bean Pancake. This was better than the one I had at Silk. Ultra crispy pastry, which reminded us of Ham Chim Peng, the classic Chinese fried doughnut, and filled with a thick sweet red bean paste. My weight-watcher pal was so taken by it that in less than 10 minutes, he had four pieces. I particularly loved the corners with the extra pastry.   

Dishes that evening tasted exactly like those in Silk and I felt right at home in Jade Phoenix. I do think some of the same dishes were better in Jade Phoenix than Silk (roast duck and crispy red bean pancake.) Singapore Swimming Club members have lucked out with Chef Choi’s takeover. Now a visit to Silk is in order.

Jade Phoenix’s website.

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