Michelin Guide Dining Series: Chef Chen Kentaro of Shisen Hanten, Singapore

The new Michelin Guide Dining Series, Hong Kong and Macau is making it much easier for you to experience some of the cuisine found at various Michelin-starred restaurants around the world. Launched earlier this year, the dining series will showcase a different Michelin-starred chef each month for a 2 – 4 day pop-up dining experience in Hong Kong or Macau. I was lucky enough to partake in Chef Chen Kentaro of Shisen Hanten’s (two Michelin-starred Sichuan restaurant in Singapore) six-course modern Sichuan dinner with wine pairing.

Michelin Guide Dining Series: Chen Kentaro

I was originally expecting more of a local Sichuan dinner, but Chef Chen Kentaro’s style is much more modern and curated for a wider audience. His grandfather actually introduced Sichuan cuisine to Japan (Yokohama) in 1958, and he has since taken over and expanded the family business. Chef Kentaro is also widely known from his appearance on “Iron Chef” in Japan. In 2014 he brought Shisen Hanten to Singapore, which was given a 2 Michelin Star rating in 2016.

Course 1 – 3

Appetizer of the Day paired with Champagne Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, RP90

Stir-fried Lobster paired with Bouchard Finlayson Missionvale 20113, RP91

Foie-gras flanc topped with Alaskan crab and crab roe
We began our extravagant six-course meal with the Appetizer of the Day paired with Champagne Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, RP90. The trio of bite-size Chinese treats were comprised of cold shredded chicken, wagyu beef, and bitter melon. The first two appetizers were delicious, but I found the third to be too bitter for my liking. I loved the Stir-fried Lobster paired with Bouchard Finlayson Missionvale 2013, RP91. This dish was full of flavor and the lobster was incredibly juicy, but it was the lightly fried fish that stole the show. I promise that the Foie-gras flanc topped with Alaskan crab and crab roe tasted much better than it looks. While this dish may appear simple, the complexity of flavor was impressive. Underneath the crab layer on top, the foie-gras flanc was irresistibly creamy and had a more subtle flavor than what I had expected.

Course 4 – 5

Steamed Japan Kue Fish and Hamaguri Clam paired with Le Petit Havt Lafite 2014

Chen’s Mapodoufu paired with Chateau Corbin Grand Cru Classé 2010, RP92
The Steamed Japan Kue Fish and Hamaguri Clam was unwrapped at our table and was paired with Le Petit Havt Lafite 2014. The longtooth grouper was delicious and the Sichuan pickled chili added an interesting sweet/sour element to the fish. One of the star dishes of the evening was Chen’s Mapodoufu paired with Chateau Corbin Grand Cru Classé 2010, RP92. This signature dish made of tofu and minced pork in a Sichuan sauce was bursting with flavor, and had the perfect level of spice. Served with Japanese rice and pickled veg, this dish was certainly a standout.

Dessert

Mandarin Orange with Almond pudding – as presented

Mandarin Orange with Almond pudding – opened
We concluded our meal with a beautifully presented Mandarin Orange with Almond pudding. Both subtly sweet and deliciously smooth, this pudding was the perfect ending to an incredible meal.

Verdict

I really love the concept behind the Michelin Guide Dining Series. It’s a great way to showcase internationally recognized chefs and their restaurants that many people in Hong Kong wouldn’t get the chance to dine at. Though the price of these dinners is far from cheap (this dining experience was priced at US$285), if you have a strong appreciation for quality ingredients and really like ‘once in a blue moon’ dining experiences, these Michelin Guide Dining Series dinners are right up your alley.

What’s coming up next?

Local Chef Showcase: Umberto Bombana of three MICHELIN starred 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana, Hong Kong, March 27- 28

International Chef Showcase: Yoshinori Ishii of two Michelin starred Umu, London, March 29  – April 1

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