Chef Jereme Leung’s oriental flavors get bolder

OOH LA LAI - Lai S. Reyes - The Philippine Star
Chef Jereme Leungâs oriental flavors get bolder
Celebrity chef Jereme Leung graces Conrad Manila’s “Legendary Chef” Series.

He had me at his marinated cherry tomatoes with sweet vinegar and sour plums that taste exactly like champoy.

And then there’s the poached seafood in cherry tomato-kamias consommé, which I had in one of his master classes that I’ve attended. Loaded with scallops and generous amounts of fish lips, the aroma of the consommé wafted in the air as the broth was poured into the bowl.

From then on, I always looked forward to dining at Conrad Manila’s China Blue by master chef Jereme Leung.

On my recent visit to China Blue for the second installment of Conrad Manila’s “Legendary Chef” series, the amiable chef tickled my taste buds once again with “Flavors of the Orient,” a four-course set menu.

Black sesame fried rice with dried scallop, seafood and spring onion egg white pearl

Legendary food, indeed!

Recognized as one of the “World’s Best Chefs” by the American Academy of Hospitality Science, chef Leung gave diners a taste of summer in China with delectable dishes that not only filled the tummy, but also soothed the soul.

The meal started with something light, refreshing, and luxurious — Marinated Lobster with Coriander Lime Jelly and Crispy Bean Curd Sheet.

“Filipinos love food items with a little bit of crunch,” said chef Leung while serving the first course. “The crispy sheet on the plate is three layers of steamed bean curd flavored with coriander that’s deep-fried to perfection.”

Also on the plate was deep-fried seafood kataifi with otak-otak, a Malaysian fish cake that was barbecued in a charcoal grill.

“So we took that recipe for this lemongrass skewer. But instead of fish cake, we used squid, cuttlefish and shrimps, wrapped them in kataifir (a Greek pastry resembling threads), and deep-fried the mixture,” explained chef Leung.

This was followed by an invigorating soup with black chicken dumpling, which is believed to increase one’s metabolism and potency.

Marinated lobster with coriander lime jelly dressing and crispy bean curd sheet

“This soup is special because there’s a secret ingredient that some of you may have not seen before or heard of. It’s called Merry Fruit, it’s a dry nut from Guangdong. It’s a medicinal herb that the locals believe will improve one’s sexual performance,” the amiable chef said with an impish grin. “So yes, it’s a good soup.”

Equally delectable was the Steamed Garoupa with sun-dried ginger, pickled red chili, black bean paste, and superior chicken stock.

“The lapu-lapu is dry aged. When you dry-age the fish, it makes the flesh a bit firmer and more flavorful,” noted the chef.

I just couldn’t take my fork off the slow-cooked beef short ribs, coated in luscious green pepper barbecue sauce. It went well with China Blue executive Chinese chef Eng Yew Khor’s Black Sesame Fried Rice with dried scallops.

To cap this extraordinary epicurean feast, chef Leung served hawthorn berry ice cream drizzled with Chinese sweet vinegar caramel, with an onion pancake on the side.

“Master chef Jereme Leung’s limited engagement at Conrad Manila brings a lot of excitement as he once again delights guests with his magical culinary touch on extraordinary dishes for the second installment of our ‘Legendary Chefs’ series,” enthused general manager Fabio Berto. “We are certain that his exclusive gastronomic repertoire will further heighten the culinary reputation of the already well-loved China Blue.”

Indulge in chef Leung’s culinary masterpieces at Conrad Manila’s China Blue, where “everything is thoroughly modern and thoroughly Chinese.”

* * *

China Blue by Jereme Leung is located in the Conrad Manila, Seaside Boulevard, Coral Way, Pasay City.

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