Newly bloomed at the Marina Bay Sands hotel lobby, Blossom (喜悦) adds a contemporary touch to a range of Chinese cuisine, from fiery Szechuan dishes to classic Cantonese dim sum treats. Taking over the now defunct Jin Shan Lou, Blossom retrofitted the space into a chic oriental dining area with lush greenery as its backdrop. The restaurant also offers three private rooms accommodating up to 10 guests each (without minimum spending). Helmed by a pair of experienced and award-winning chefs from Hong Kong, the duo skilfully fuse traditional flavours with contemporary techniques.
The starter, a trio of Cantonese dim sum, exemplifies the chefs’ craft of balancing traditional flavours and innovation. Golden pear stuffed with minced pork ($5.80, 3 pcs) may look deceivingly similar to the fruit but it is actually more similar to a “crystal bun” (水晶包). It is lightly fried to a light brown colour; the skin is soft albeit a little thick but, as a whole, the “pear” bursts with gravy. The signature steamed prawn dumpling “har gao” ($7.80, 4 pcs) is solidly stuffed with a whole prawn with a light lingering gingery taste. Likewise, the steamed “siew mai” with quail egg ($7.80, 4 pcs) is packed with ingredients. The delicately fried quail egg erupts in the mouth adding complexity to the texture and taste.
Poached Scotland bamboo clam with Tianjin cabbage and cloud ear mushroom in fish broth ($20) is robust in flavour yet light on the palate. The milky double boiled fish broth is loaded with collagen and the goodness of vegetables. It is a hearty dish with a warmth that reaches to the pit of the stomach.
The star of the night, smoked duck with 15-year Yunnan pu-er tea leaves and Zhejiang chrysanthemum ($40 halved, $80 whole), is marinated overnight with the chefs’ secret ingredient. It is smoked with a precise, controlled fire; and served with a homemade and appetising hawthorn berry sauce. The aroma of pu-er permeates throughout the duck. Although I personally prefer a fat breed of duck, like the Irish duck, the crispiness of this duck skin offsetting the tender-yet-firm meat makes this dish rather memorable.
The pan-fried lobster with caviar ($32) has given us much grief when it comes to deciding our favourite dish of the night. Delicately pan-fried, the Canadian lobster remains succulent and juicy with the texture of sashimi. It is paired with a piquant caviar which brings out the freshness and natural sweetness of the lobster. Magical.
After savouring some of the outstanding dishes, the chilled avocado puree topped with tiramisu ice-cream ($11) is rather unremarkable. It is a tad too sweet. However, the double-boiled peach resin with red dates and ginseng ($13) is robust with layering flavours of ingredients. It is so nourishing that we feel younger and we glow with radiance after having it.
On the whole, Blossom serves wonderful Chinese cuisine but it comes with a hefty price tag. Despite that, we think it is value-for-money given the high quality of food, the fine flavours, and the expert modern cooking techniques. Based on the smoked duck alone, it is already a compelling reason for a revisit.
Marina Bay Sands Hotel Tower 2, #01-05/05A, 2 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018972
tel: +65 6688 7799
M – F 11.30am – 11pm; Sat, Sun, PH 11am – 11pm
You may be interested in…
–Mak Hong Kee, Keong Saik: Hong Kong Michelin-Starred Chef Opens a Cantonese Restaurant
–Chengdu Restaurant, Amoy St: Drama Plating for Authentic Sichuan Food
–Lucky House Cantonese Private Kitchen 陶然居私房菜, East Coast: A Three-month Waiting List for this Private Home Kitchen
–Circa 1912 岭南, Shaw Lido: Recipes from Early 20th-century Lingnan Cuisine
Written by William Leong. He was raised with the notion that food wastage is abominable. Please don’t be alarmed if you see him gorging until plates are sparkling clean; it is just his reflex action.