Saturday, December 25, 2010
Merry Christmas y'all! I hope the festive feasting has been rewardingly good. This year, we ordered a bone-in Premium Honey Glazed Gammon Ham and a Rosemary Roasted Sakura Chicken from the Mandarin Orchard Hotel. It was a first for us, but given last-minute decision making, it wasn't like there was a lot of choice since most butchers had stopped taking orders from around December 15.
Fingers crossed, we picked it up on Christmas Eve afternoon, and wow! It was a feat to lug the ham to the car, at about 7kg, not including condiments, nor the chicken. But it was all worth it.
The ham was roasted to retain its juices, which were still spilling when we carved it out about 4 hours later. Marinated to a sweet finish from the honey, and a hint of spice from the clove picks randomly scattered over the leg, it was not like most commercial salted-to-death hams. The accompanying gravy was just short of treacle consistency, and with a hint of Christmas spices. Definitely festive and worth the effort of carving it.
So good that I enjoyed leftovers with crusty sourdough bread for Christmas brunch today. I can't wait to make a hearty winter melon soup with the left over bone I kept. It's not quite Yunnan ham, but I think it will be a good take on the classic anyhow.
The Sakura chicken was also very well roasted, although the rosemary wasn't obvious. The finish was more oriental and very succulent, very much like a cross between a Hainanese steamed chicken (a la Mandarin's world-famous Chatterbox chicken rice?) but with a browned skin. The unfortunate thing was that the skin did not retain any crispness at the end of the journey home, but it was still enjoyable.
Overall, a satisfying merry Christmas and another add to my Christmas list of places to order from. For those who still want to do a party before the year is up, the goodies are available until Jan 1. Enjoy the rest of year, and may you all have more success in feasting 2011!
Mandarin Orchard Singapore
333 Orchard Road
Tel: +65-6737 2200