Sun Kitchen’s nine-course feast transports you to the provinces of China to indulge in dishes rarely seen today and recipes long forgotten.
Chef Ye Tao has spent many years in Beijing working in the kitchens of the Great Hall of the People – a state-owned building only open for large important functions and to welcome only the most important of dignitaries – giving him rare insight into China’s greatest regional specialties.
Here are some of the dishes he has put together for this feast:
Jade cloud bisque is a true test of a chef’s skill. This old Sichuan recipe transforms plain chicken breast into a delicate dish that looks just like tofu. Served in a bisque made of fresh spinach, it’s a true test of any chef’s knife (or cleaver) skills: too hard and the mince falls apart, too soft and the texture doesn’t have the desired tofu-like feel.
Then there’s Buddha Jump Over The Wall. It's the most famous dish from Fujian, and contains more than 16 delicacies (abalone, scallop, fish maw, and sea cucumber among them), giving the dish a rare depth of flavour.
One of Chairman Mao’s favourites, meanwhile, was Dongting pork belly. As a result of a long braising process, the meat is cooked until the fat and skin are gelatinous, soft, and melt in the mouth, while the sauce is usually thick, sweet and sticky.
Candied hawthorn is a Beijing street snack made by covering fruits in hard candy. This sweet-and-sour treat has been made since the Song Dynasty and remains popular throughout northern China. The Sun Kitchen version comes with a little twist.
- Lotus root stuffed with glutinous rice (Jiangsu)
- Jade cloud bisque (Sichuan)
- Buddha Jump Over the Wall (Fujian)
- West Lake Zhejiang fish (Zhejiang)
- Chairman Mao’s favourite Dongting braised pork belly (Hunan)
- XO sauce lobster tail with e-fu noodle (Guangdong)
- Emperor Qiang Long’s minced beef flatbread (Anhui)
- Confucian Mansion – stewed pear and gingko nut (Shandong)
- Peach blossom red bean pastry (Beijing)
- Candied hawthorn (Beijing)
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