Exclusively Home Cooked
The China Club serves up exquisite cuisine from the heart
Issue: Oct 2009
Bask in opulence and dine in glamour at The China Club
It's a restaurant with a story to tell.
Many stories in fact, considering the number of celebrities and dignitaries who have stepped through the doors of The China Club Singapore, a members-only club.
Set on the 52nd floor of Capital Tower, the eight-year-old club offers its members an unrivalled view of Singapore's modern landscape. The club's pre- and post- Cultural Revolution China aesthetics juxtaposed against the modern panoramic scene is a study in contrasts between the past and the present.
Steeped in authentic and ornate Chinese details, the Singapore branch - there are two other clubs in Beijing and Hong Kong - sees oriental motifs, wallpaper and dark wood being liberally used to project the decadence and glamour of an era gone by. Antique furniture painstakingly sourced from China stand accompanied by artworks like calligraphy scrolls by Chinese political leaders Sun Yat Sen, Mao Zedong and Chiang Kai-Shek.
The opulent aesthetics are complemented by equally exquisite cuisine; a team of 18 chefs is responsible for the traditional Cantonese dishes served by The China Club. Leading the team is Executive Chef Yim Yiu Wing who has more than 25 years of culinary experience working in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Japan.
"We created the menu to offer our members a selection of fine Cantonese cuisine, comfort Cantonese foods and Chinese-style haute cuisine to choose from," said the club's General Manager Helen Wong, adding that chef specials are added on a quarterly basis.
The China Club's rich decor is matched by its excellent cuisine
Catering to both business executives and families, the club offers different menus for special occasions like Secretaries' Week and Mothers' Day. The food is catered for a lighter palate so it's less oily and does not contain MSG. Special requests by members are always accommodated, Wong said, naming the Warm Tea Smoked Salmon with Lobster Foam and the Teochew Style Cold Crab among some of the special dishes the club has previously produced.
Wong said, "Some of our members come as often as thrice a week, and they entertain their friends here so they want to give them something special." Although traditional in taste, the dishes that The China Club serves contain ingredients sourced from places such as Scotland and the Philippines. Chef Yim shares with INSIDE how three of the club's signature dishes were created.
Oxtail with red wine sauce
Oxtail with Red Wine Sauce, said Wong, is one of The China Club's most popular dishes on the menu. Grapes, red wine, Thai ginger and lemon grass are blended into a rich sauce to braise the Australian-imported oxtail meat for five hours.
"This is left to simmer till the next day," Chef Yim said, "And it becomes very tender and juicy and blends well with the sauce as the flavors meld together." As a wine drinker himself, Chef Yim said that he was inspired to experiment while enjoying a glass of wine with beef.
Australian lobster noodles with ginger and spring onion
Another dish, the Australian Lobster Noodles with Ginger and Spring Onion, was requested by The China Club's boss who first tasted the dish on his travels.
"We tried to cook it first but failed and had to experiment again," said Chef Yim, revealing that he had initially used lobster meat on its own, a move that failed to bring out the right flavours.
Successful on his next try, Chef Yim found that the cooking process is one that is much more laborious: egg noodles are oven-baked in the lobster shell and the shell is re-used to reduce soup into a rich gravy. In order to achieve texture perfection, the egg noodles are doused in hot water and then cold water. He added: "We didn't want to waste the vitamin-rich shell or head."
Miso-baked cod fish with bell pepper sauce
Depending on the season, fresh cod is sourced from Canada or Australia for the restaurant's Miso-Baked Cod-Fish with Bell Pepper Sauce.
A toast to Chinese, Japanese and Western cooking styles, this dish blends all three together: the cod is first marinated Chinese-style, with ginger before being coated with a Japanese teriyaki sauce to be baked. Chef Yim explained that the dish, which is served with a bell pepper sauce, was influenced by the cooking styles he learnt in Japan.
Besides the cuisine, the club has a Long March Bar that offers a selection of wines, single malt whiskies, international cocktails as well as the club's signature champagne cocktail The Long March and the classic Singapore Sling. In addition, there is The China Club's premium and handcrafted tea selection.
It all comes together here: good food and exceptional service, steeped in nostalgia. For the members, The China Club is more than a restaurant - it's a social space, an entertainment area, and a home too.
The China Club
168 Robinson Road
#52-01 Capital Tower