A spread inspired by Beijing traditions

The ongoing food festival at Szechwan Court, The Oberoi, brings together popular and indigenous flavours from Beijing

Beijing is unravelling in all its myriad hues on the platter at an ongoing food festival at Szechwan Court, The Oberoi in the city.

According to the Chinese zodiac calendar and popular belief, the Pig is a ‘yin’ sign that symbolises wealth and prosperity. The festival is celebrated this theme.
The festival brings together popular and indigenous flavours that are traditionally made around this time.

The menu has been hand-crafted by master chef David Wang. He says that there’s a lot of thought that has gone into putting it together. “The dishes are inspired by tradition and my home city of Beijing. All these dishes are quintessential items to Chinese homes. They are flavourful, simple and special which not only celebrates this occasion but also the the regions’ seasonal produce, as this is a spring festival,” chef David Wang told Metrolife during a recent tasting session. 
He explains that all the dishes on the menu,reflect the age-old Chinese tradition. “They bring back my childhood memories,” he gushes.

The festive menu has an array of dishes but there are a few that particularly stand out for its flavour.

The ‘Chinese Ginger Flower and Goji Berry Soup’ is a perfect way to start the meal. Light yet bursting with underplayed flavours, this dish has the goodness of ginger which increases one’s appetite.

For starters, the ‘Fried Prawn in Lemon Cream’ is a crunchy and wholesome appetiser which also serves as a palate opener. It has a subtle freshness and comes with a generous drizzle of rich lemon cream which is tangy and wholesome. 

If you are someone who enjoys dumplings, then you must-try the ‘Truffle, Edamame and Jicama Bean Dumplings’. “They are traditional and an ideal balance to the fried texture of the prawn. These dumplings have great play of taste and a rustic bite which is paired with some fiery chilli sauce,” says David. 

The soups and starters do well to set the tone for the main course.

The ‘Mongolian Braised Lamb with Sichuan Peppers’ is a must-try. This is slow-cooked and braised with indigenous marinade. It is crispy on the outside and succulent on the inside. Add to it a seasoning of Sichuan pepper powder and chilli powder, you are ready to go. 

The ‘Hong Kong Style Sea bass’ is a cosmopolitan dish which was inspired by traders and seamen of China. The asparagus and forest mushrooms in butter garlic sauce is also a winner — healthy and light flavours with the creaminess of fresh butter. 

The chef adds that all these dishes are the kind that one finds cooked at homes in China.

“I draw inspiration from the many restaurants in China. Chinese restaurants across the world also celebrate these dishes. They are delicate, subtle in flavour pairings and full of spring goodness.”

The selection of desserts serve as a perfect end to a lavish spread.

The ‘Two Way Mantou Buns’, a traditional dish of Northern China is a dish you should try. “They are steamed bao (which are more dense and spongy than traditional baos). The ones without any filling are called mantou. These buns are traditionally served steamed or shallow fried, alongside sweetened and reduced milk which we have flavoured with orange zest. To add the crunchy element, it is served with fried garlic,” chef David explains.

The festival is on till February 10 for lunch and dinner.

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A spread inspired by Beijing traditions

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