Jade Temple – Sydney
Review by Lucy Collins
The Chinese New Year Banquet at Jade Temple expertly brings together a range of dishes that represent ideas of abundance, prosperity and family celebration.
If you believe that every person has one divine gift that enriches the lives of others, then knowledge and respect for food must be the gift that *Neil Perry AM used in crafting the banquet menu with Head Chef Peter Robertson, which included flavours that ranged from subtle to rich and complex, and textures from silky, to chewy and crunchy – and that left all at the table feeling satisfied and happy.
The banquet menu provided ten dishes, each of which was a celebration in its own right. Some personal highlights included:
Jade Dragon Dumpling with Scallop and King Prawn – arrived resplendently adorned with gold leaf and caviar, very much representing the idea of ‘prosperity’. The honest flavours of fresh prawn and scallop were a terrific starting point.
“Duck Egg” Barbecue Duck Dumpling – the salty duck filling was a perfect follower to the prawn and scallop. There was just the right amount of crunch as I bit into the dumpling, and the gelatinous shell was satisfyingly chewy. While my dining companions added a condiment, I felt this dish was superb without.
The Blue Swimmer Crab and Sweet Corn Soup – my personal favourite. The fresh sweet corn kernels popped in the mouth and the depth and complexity of flavours in the broth unfolded with each satisfying spoonful. Its inclusion on the menu was intended to restore, refresh and rejuvenate, however I was just blissed out by this one.
Coral Trout with Ginger and Shallot – a generous piece of perfectly cooked trout with the traditional flavours of ginger and shallot was a treat. The trout was handled with respect; the ginger and shallot elements were restrained which allowed the delicate flavour from the fat, tender fillet to really shine. The Chinese cabbage and clear broth left me with a clean palate and ready for the next delight.
Longevity Noodle Xo & Charcoal Roast Spencer Gulf Prawn – I could smell this chargrilled dish as it approached the table. The noodles represented ‘infinity’ and they were truly so long it seemed that they had no end! They were sublimely coated in a luxurious bisque-like sauce – not too much and not too little. The prawns and snow peas both carried the flavour from the charcoal. Simply splendid.
Raspberry Fried ice Cream with Peach in Osmanthus & Golden Caramel – a pleasing dish to end a festive lunch. The giant globe encasing the deepest purple raspberry ice-cream was dressed with caramel sauce once it arrived at the table. The ice-cream had a fruity zing and the sauce wasn’t overly sweet. Scooped up together with some warm peach cheek, it was a sensation of flavours and textures.
The first dish arrived at 12.30pm, and the tenth dish – dessert – arrived a whisker after 1.30pm. Amazingly, all at the table were able to appreciate the fine tastes, aromas, aesthetics and textures of each banquet offering without feeling at all hurried.
I can’t imagine a more enjoyable way to celebrate the Year of the Dog. Gong xi fa cai!
*Neil Perry leads the Rockpool Dining Group Culinary Team
Chinese New Year Banquet also available at Spice Temple – Sydney: spicetemple.com.au
**Lucy was a guest of Jade Temple/Rockpool Dining Group – Rachel Lebihan
*This is an independent account of Lucy’s dining experience
**Images Courtesy of Jade Temple – Rockpool Dining Group
**Additional Images – Lucy Collins
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