We had the privilege to meet the humble skillful China’s “Queen of Dim Sum” Master Chef Ge Xian’E, 葛賢萼 just a few hours before she flew back for her meeting.
75 years old Master Chef Ge Xian’E has gained fame in China for over three decades. Born in Zhejiang province, Chef Ge entered the culinary world at a young age of 16 when she was a trainee at a famed restaurant in Shanghai, where she mastered the skills of making delicate dim sums. Since then, she worked as the protégé of many classical dim sum masters in both Shanghai and Guangzhou, and gradually, she developed her own dim sum style using both northern and southern cooking techniques
In 1964, Chef Ge was invited to Beijing and became the National People’s Congress’ dedicated dim sum chef. In 1983, she gained fame in China when she was named the ‘Best Dim Sum Chef’ in the first China National Cooking Presentation in Beijing. Since then, Chef Ge has become a key spokesperson for Chinese dim sum and was invited to attend professional culinary conferences and performed cooking demonstrations worldwide, including the International Exhibition of Culinary Art (regarded as the Culinary Olympics) in Frankfurt during 1988.
Apart from working as a Master Chef, Chef Ge is also passionate about passing on her culinary skills and knowledge to the next generation and has been teaching in Shanghai’s Culinary School for over 20 years. She has also published several cookbooks.
Avenue Joffre by the Epicurean Group now offers you to try all the dim sums from now till end of July so that they can hand pick some of the key favourites which locals like us prefer to have out of all the selections created by Chef Ge where they will input into their overall menu. All the dim sum are finely made and taught to the team of dim sum chefs by Chef Ge to ensure quality throughout.
Let us take a look at some of the key dim sum dishes:
Pan-fried Pork Bun filled with Soup (灌汤上海生煎包)
Steamed Shanghai Pork Dumpling (上海小笼包)
The most juicy dim sums of all, filled with so much superior meaty soup that it actually burst out upon a bite of both dim sum! The soup are so sweet and fragrant yet not greasy at all with any foul porky after taste. #Shiok
Baked Jin Hua Ham with Spring Onion Shortcake (金华火腿葱油酥饼)
Spreaded evenly with fragrant oil with spring onions that is made up using 7 secret ingredients. The other ‘secret’ actually lies in terms of the technique used, as you can see the pastry is made layer by layer which gives you a totally different palate texture experience.
Deep-fried Bun with Assorted Seafood in Cream Sauce (白汁海鲜雪梨球)
Cute little fried ‘pear’ sprinkled with gold flakes entitles you to cut it open and explore what exactly is hidden inside. The creamy white sauce is so smooth just like the cream of seafood inside a croquette except without the potato.
Steamed Crystal Prawn Dumpling (冬笋鲜虾饺)
Classic Har Chow is another fine cantonese dim sum to go for with another choice of their Steamed Minced Pork & Abalone Siew Mai with Teriyaki Sauce (烧汁鲍鱼烧卖).
Steamed Preserved Turnip & Sesame Rice Roll (香麻菜脯肠粉)
Yet another simple classic homely dish with our favourite preserved turnip!! This is another item which you must go for as the sauce is soooo good!! #Secret
Baked Parsnip Pastry (萝卜丝酥饼)
Doesn’t this baggage of goodie make you to bring it home! Some of you might find the pastry a little dry if you eat solely by itself, but the texture is crisp on the outside and refine on the inside. Have it together with the Parsnip which is lightly seasoned with ‘broth’ cooked in thickening sauce style where you will enjoy it more.
Stir-fried Fresh Prawns with Wild Garlic (野山蒜爆鲜虾)
Give us a bucket of beer!! The prawns are so fresh and well deep fried till especially crispy for the smaller prawns that you can eat it whole without peeling any of the shells off. Chef Ge shared that the wild garlic leaves cannot be found easily in Singapore while perhaps only available in some parts of Hong Kong and mainly in China. The garlic leaves are deep fried till fragrant with a their special black sauce, and you will love to bite on the tiny bits of the garlic as it gives you additional distinct flavour! #酒菜
Last but not least will be these range of desserts for you to select. Presented here is the Chilled Mango with Green Tea Roll (香芒绿茶卷), Chilled Avocado Cream with Sago (西米牛油果), Steamed Piggy Bun with Chocolate (猪仔流心包) and Steamed Pandan Layer Cake (金兰夹层糕).
The green tea roll is fried till crisp on the surface layer, spread with fragrant peanut butter sauce where right at the centre is the mango. Classic avocado cream’s sweetness is just right but the chocolate of the cute piggy bun can come out a little stronger, perhaps it suit little kids more. Chef Ge shared that Singapore has one of the best pandan leaves compared to what she used in China as the fragrant level is so different, therefore perhaps back in hometown they uses Chinese liquor Mao Tai in their pandan layer cake whereas not in Singapore. We thought that it will be very interesting to try the version using Mao Tai in Singapore too.
What we can say that Chef Ge puts in a lot of effort in training the upcoming chefs especially in maintaining the Chinese standard in making of Fine Dim Sums. 细心 is definitely one of the word to use as well in terms of being careful and alert in the detail aspect of making Dim Sums.
26 Sentosa Gateway, #02-137/138/139 Singapore 098138
Tel: +65 6570 3213
Lunch: Mon – Sun 12:00 – 16:00 (Last Order 15:30)
Dinner: Sun – Thu 18:00 – 22:00 (Last Order 21:30)/Fri, Sat & PH: 18:00 – 22:30 (Last Order 22:00)
Entry by FestiveWalk and Crockfords Tower or follow the straight pathway where Joel Robuchon is located on the left. If you drive, you may want to park at Festive Hotel’s car park.