Traditional Cantonese recipes revived for restaurant's reopening

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 August, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 17 August, 2009, 12:00am

As part of the JW Marriott Hotel's continued overhaul, its flagship Cantonese restaurant, Man Ho, was officially reopened on Friday. The ceremonial brouhaha included a lion dance (that was incredibly loud), speeches (that were thankfully brief), and lots of sample stations for guests to try out intriguing dishes from executive chef Ye Wen-chian's menu, which revives some traditional Cantonese recipes while trying other unusual entrees. Pan fried frog legs, roasted piglet with kiwi or bitter melon with honey, anyone?

'The hotel decided the menu at Man Ho should be revived with its decoration and the great thing was they allowed me to choose the dishes which I think will go with the new look,' Ye said. 'I wanted to recreate some traditional dishes which I learned as an apprentice over 30 years ago. Of course, I also took into consideration that guests here are from all over the world and different cultures, so I want to offer them my Cantonese speciality dishes with a lot of wok heat.'

Ye and six other cooks in the kitchen were trained by a master chef at respected Cantonese palace, Fook Lam Moon. His most popular delicacy of the night was braised abalone which the executive chef (pictured), spent much of the night serving. Of course, there was a long line for the dish because it's also the most expensive item on the menu - this was a Hong Kong crowd after all. The chef explained the secret to the rich taste was in the sauce's classic but often neglected ingredient: 'It is made with duck feet.'

If you've just been turned off, clearly you're not a true connoisseur of Cantonese cuisine.