By Michael Karlo Lim
MY PREDISPOSITIONS had me growing up too familiar with Chinese cuisine, and more recent excursions into Chinese territories have done much to reinforce a current predilection for it. I’d readily get my fix from dai pai dongs and fast food outlets, but there’s no denying that elevated concepts are an altogether different high. The dim sum dishes by Chef Ringo Wong at Cuisine Cuisine at The Mira are both extremely pleasing to the peepers and the palate that it’s no wonder why it is a Michelin-recommended restaurant for years.
My all-time favorite Har Gao are packed tight in their skins with plump, sweet shrimp. While adding nothing to its already superior seafood flavor, gold leaf adds a premium appeal. Truffles are dangerously delicious by default. Steamed wild mushroom figure with these in dumplings for bites both delicate and almost meaty. Scallops and shrimp go down too easy with steamed vegetable in yet another dumpling variation.
The flavor medley of honey, five-spice, soy, and hoisin in classic Chinese barbecue play up against the richness of the ultra-tender beef in the Pan-fried Wagyu Buns. A pork version is stuffed into steamed rice flour rolls in a different take. Salty duck egg yolk custard buns get grounded with an earthy, well, root crop taste from the purple potato paste in the steamed bread.
Traditionally reserved for special occasions, abalone, braised whole in oyster sauce, sit on cubed chicken in a blissfully buttery bite against the soft crunch of puff pastry. Turnip cakes pan-fried to a slightly crisp exterior contrasting with the soft, creamy centers serve as a blank slate for the toppings of Parma ham and prawns in X.O. chili sauce.
The four-hands collab of the dim sum kitchen and Executive Pastry Chef Jean-Marc Gaucher presents the Molten Chocolate XLB Dumpling Trio in 3 flavors: an intensely vegetal Uji matcha & sweet, creamy Vietnamese white chocolate; luxuriously bitter dark chocolate from the Ivory Coast; and Gaucher’s favorite childhood memory of Hazelnut & Chocolate with Banana. Your choice of any one of three is also available as a set with a warm but strangely refreshing Chinese Sweet Potato & Ginger Soup.
Cuisine Cuisine surely puts the yum in yum cha. Note the vehement emphasis in the repetition – so good they had to name it twice.