New Chinese Cuisine
A book review by Franz Scheurer
New Chinese Cuisine? This is a book, featuring recipes by the chefs and cooks of the Tung Lok chain of restaurants based in Singapore, where western approach to restaurant service and décor meets eastern approach to food, pulling it screaming and kicking into the ‘modern age’. Don’t misunderstand me, this is not so much about fusion or ‘confusion’, this is simply a VERY broad approach to ‘Chinese Cuisine’, with decidedly broad South East Asian flavours, a combination of traditional and French cooking techniques and a lot of corn starch.
After an introduction the book is divided into ‘Modern Chinese’, ‘Cantonese’, ‘Hunan & Sichuan’, ‘Beijing’, ‘Vegetarian’ and ‘Seafood’. The first part of the book is dedicated to glossy photographs with a short description of each dish and the second part shows a miniature photograph of the dishes with the recipes.
Whatever you might think of ‘formula food’ the recipes are clear, easy to follow and they work. Most dishes are quick to prepare and the book is aimed squarely at the home cook, hankering for the Asian experience. Due to the simplicity of the recipes and the excellent way they are presented, with step-by-step instructions where needed, the success rate will be very high, making you feel good in the process.
The book is a worthwhile addition to your home library. Editor Melisa Teo is obviously passionate about food and Jorg Sundermann’s photography is superb. A good glossary explains ingredients that you might not be familiar with, a section on base recipes is appropriate to the book and all measurements and temperatures are given in metric, imperial and American.
Try the ‘Chilli Lobster’, the ‘Eight Treasures in Lotus Leaf’, the very interesting take on ‘Spring Onion Pancakes’ or any of the sharks fin recipes and once you are confident that you can do this, surprise your dinner guests with a ‘Beggar’s Chicken’.
New Chinese Cuisine
Published by Tung Lok Restaurants
ISBN 981 4068 26 8
AUD $ 78.60 (From Books for Cooks)