These Unforgettable Foie Gras Xiao Long Bao and Lobster Noodles Are Available for a Limited Time
There are many reasons to get excited about Chef Justin Quek’s temporary menu for Red Lantern. His curated menu has things like foie gras, xiao long bao, ceviche, scallop, and lobster—sometimes combined together. The fact that it’s only available until September 8 makes it all the more seductive to serious foodies. Then, there’s the chef himself, perhaps the most compelling excuse to brave a trip to Solaire’s premier Chinese restaurant for a one-of-a-kind meal.
Quek is a sailor turned chef who once traded a reasonable SG$1,000 seaman salary for long, hot days in the kitchen where the pay was negligible. But the decision proved to be a winning gamble: As a pioneer of Franco-Chinese cuisine, he is one of the most influential chefs not just in Singapore but in all of Asia.
It’s his first time in the Philippines, however. He and his team have shipped over liters of lobster stock and pounds of ginger flower—among many other unique ingredients—to present their brand of culinary crossover to Filipinos.
Lobster Hokkien Mee
Quek, who runs JustIN Flavours of Asia and Chinoiserie in Marina Bay Sands, succeeds in merging Asian and European influences by complementing their flavors. Foie gras doesn’t overwhelm his xiao long bao and the chef doesn’t just toss in a few chunks of expensive shellfish in his noodles to be relevant. He’s all about developing flavor: adding new depth to his dim sum, making lobster stock with 200 lobster heads for a week in order to create a profoundly delicious slippery sauce for his noodles. His lobster noodles give you pure unadulterated lobster flavor without the actual crustacean. Its complementary homemade sambal gives it a deliciously fiery kick. For the Philippines, he even tosses in a touch of calamansi, another extra layer of goodness.
He uses front legs for his pork trotter dish (an intricate
Scallop Har Gow
Instead of soup, he has
Chocolate Sensation and Chocolate Gula Java Ice Cream
Apart from special appearances all week in Red Lantern’s a la carte menu, Quek’s signature dishes will be appearing first in an intimate wine dinner on September 4 as well as a grand dim sum buffet on September 7 and 8. Lucky Noodles, Solaire’s grab-and-go casual Chinese joint, will also be offering some of his specialties.