Hangzhou Michelin announced today that Wang Yong, the chef at Hangzhou Four Seasons Jinsha Restaurant has been awarded one Michelin star. Hangzhou Michelin has a total of 6-star restaurants, with all have been awarded one star. Looking back to my visit to Hangzhou in early April, I had the opportunity to visit Jin Sha, where one can savour the expertise of Chef Wang Yong in Shanghainese and Zhejiang cuisine. In addition to seasonal menus that change every year, there is also a bespoke Chef’s Private Menu that’s designed to reflect culinary insights and inspirations Chef Wang has gained from travelling in search of exotic cuisines and global flavours.
Chef Wang says the Private Menu is a conclusion for the inspirations accumulated during the past year of travel and reading, and a way to share fun, delicious dishes with good friends. Even though the inherently experimental menu may not be very rational, it is widely celebrated for its boundless innovation among regular customers and Chef’s friends. Each year, the much-anticipated Private Menu is always full of surprises and exciting highlights.
Early April is when Hangzhou enters its most beautiful season. This time, the menu features fresh seasonal ingredients crafted into a total of 11 dishes alongside 7 pairing wines, set in a lively ambience with stunningly vibrant decorations. Keller’s versatile Rieslings are selected. With their fresh and vibrant aromas, crisp acidity, and pronounced fruit flavours, the Rieslings are perfect for a variety of dishes no matter they are fried, richly sauced, or spice-laden.
Chef Wang Yong has a special fondness for Guangzhou, a city that’s famous for serving some of the best chicken dishes in South China. To honour one of his favourite dishes – salt-baked chicken, Chef Wang presents salt-baked geoduck that captivates a variety of complex flavours of the spices while retaining the chewy texture and seafood aroma of the geoduck.
Spring Blossoms, Broad Bean, Cédrat Jelly/Salt-Baked Geoduck Clam
Dublin Bay Prawn, Pine Nut & Peppermint/Chicken Consommé, Sliced Australian Abalone Typha Latifolia Basil
The soft-tender Qianjiang eel is grilled in honey glaze and coupled with fried sea urchin and a shrimp tomalley & pickled bamboo shoot sauce blended with ginger juice. An extremely rich and layered combination which made me want to ask for a bowl of rice.Would a white pepper soup perhaps be a good choice to cleanse the palate?
The next dish comes impressively rich as well. Creamy pufferfish roe is blanched in oil, baked in a pot of milky Cheddar cheese and topped with a luscious layer of golden fried garlic.
Jack Mackerel,Plum Sauce Jelly/Grilled Globefish Roe, Fried Garlic, Cheddar Cheese
Braised Spring Saury, Fish Maw, Ginger
Based on garden peas and pork sauce, the dish also features tender mini shrimps and steamed rice. The shrimps are sourced from Qingdao, a coastal city in Shandong province. The locals there refer to these shrimps as “nano shrimps” because of their tiny size. Interestingly, Chef Wang felt that the “nano shrimps” didn’t quite highlight the cuteness of these delicate creatures and decided to call them “mini shrimps”.
Cherry Wagyu Beef, Spring Bamboo, Chinese Broccoli/Braised Rice, Shrimp & Pork Sauce
The first dessert is a refreshing and delightful Bird’s Nest with Loquat Dew. Chef Wang has a special affection for the cherry blossom season and enjoys delicacies such as Sakura-flavoured mochi and salted Sakura. Inspired by this, he made a Sakura sorbet, which carries a hint of tartness of salted plums, serving as a palate cleanser after the preceding powerful courses.
Loquat Dew, Bird’s Nest/Sea Salt Sakura Sherbet
– Review on Jin Sha –
Photo: Jin Sha/Katherine