Newly recruited Chef Chua Kau Eng of Sofitel is no stranger to Chinese cuisine. Chef Eddie, as he is fondly called by his peers, specializes in Szechuan and Cantonese cuisine. These are showcased with his new post as the head of the Chinese atelier of the renowned Spiral buffet. His influence on the buffet’s Chinese offerings has even converted Sofitel General Manager, Puneet Dhawan. He hailed it as his current favorite section of the grand buffet.
Aside from heading the Chinese atelier, Chef Eddie also curates Sofitel’s new Chinese Lauriat. A menu specifically made for lavish banquets, weddings, and Ting Huns – events which Sofitel is notable for hosting. With over 30 years of culinary experience and a career that spans many countries across Asia and Europe, Chef’s lauriat is a vibrant and diverse feast that brings a mix of traditional and modern Chinese flavors.
A Medley of Color and Flavor
To start off the lauriat, we get a generous appetizer platter aptly named the Five Happiness Combination Platter. Colorful and bright, this collection of dishes sets the tone for the rest of the meal. Each of the five dishes is a custom creation of Chef Eddie and is a mix of many Asian flavors. To highlight a few: a Japanese-inspired creamy shrimp dish with a wasabi-mayo dressing topped with salmon roe and nori shreds. Another must-try is the fried eggplants with pork floss.
What is a Chinese feast without a double-boiled soup and a whole steamed fish? This Double Boiled Chicken Soup with Sea Treasures lives up to its name. Its light and flavorful broth is filled with many bite-sized treasures such as chicken breast and abalone.
The Steamed Lapu-Lapu in Hong Kong Style is a perfectly cooked, melt-in-your-mouth kind of dish. You’ll be picking this to the bone with its rich flavor and mellow sauce. After the mellowness of the fish, you get a kick of spice with the Wok Fried Tiger Prawn with Honey Pepper Sauce. The plump and juicy meat of the prawns carry the thick sweet and spicy sauce which is a blend of Southern Asian flavors. It’s topped with some crushed peanuts for crunch and some side vegetables to really maximize that sauce.
If you’re looking for red meat, we have the Wok Fried Mini Chinese Beef Steak served with onions and asparagus. The pink meat goes well with its deep rich sauce along with some sesame seeds for a hint of nuttiness. Next we go from mini steaks of the earth to the sea. The spicy and creamy sauce of the Pan-Grilled Fresh Scallops in Szechuan Peppercorn Sauce gives a strong flavor that doesn’t overwhelm the palate. The scallops are a delicate tender and is served with some mushrooms and bok choy stalks.
For a more mellow dish, we were served the Braised Assorted Mushroom with Squid Paste and Broccoli. This dish tones down on the strong flavors with its subtle savory sauce that coats an array of umami rich mushrooms as well as fried squid paste and broccoli for a mix in texture.
For the last savory dish comes the heaviest one as well with the Lotus Leaf Wrapped Fried Rice with Taro Pumpkin, Pine Nuts, and Chicken. As is a a custom with some Asian feasts, rice is usually served last to ensure that guests don’t get full too early in the meal. With Chef Eddie’s version, he presents this luscious mound of fried rice opened from its lotus leaf wrapping. The lotus leaf adds a touch of freshness with crunchy pine nuts adding a contrast in texture.
With all the varying sharp and deep flavors Chef Eddie has made in the lauriat, it’s only fitting to end the feast with some fresh fruits to clean the palate and cap off the colorful feast with a colorful platter. Depending on which fruits are in season, the platter can include Dragon Fruit, Papaya, Grapes, Kiwi, Watermelon, Honeydew, and Melon.
Sofitel’s new Chinese Lauriat is a festival of its own with the diversity in its flavors. Chef Eddie’s culinary prowess is evident in the dishes especially with his mastery with sauces and dressings. The pungency and spiciness in his sauces are balanced out. This leads to a satisfying mouth-feel that is a testament to his skill in Asian flavors.
For inquiries and reservations, contact (+632) 573-5555. Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila is located in the CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, 1300 Pasay City.
Read our full story on Sofitel’s new Food & Beverage Director, Anne-Sophie Hurtaud, in Lifestyle Asia’s July 2019 Edition, titled “Be Her Guest.” Download your digital copy on Magzter and Flip 100, or purchase your print copy on Lazada, Shopee or your nearest bookstore. For orders, email [email protected]
Photos from Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila