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It is indeed a rare occasion when you get a cross-cultural collaboration in the art of fine-dining, especially in the highly sophisticated culinary world, and in fields that can be as worlds apart as Cantonese and Japanese cuisines.

Thanks to both Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant and Maetomo Japanese cuisine Kaiseki & Sushi’s location in Sheraton Towers Singapore, such a feat is made possible. 

This Spring, Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant’s Executive Chinese Chef Chung Yiu Ming will join forces with Chef Akihiro Maetomo of Maetomo Japanese cuisine Kaiseki & Sushi, in a special four-hands collaboration to present an eight-course dinner menu. The experience runs from March 31 to May 1 2022, from Thursdays To Saturdays – perfect for that long-awaited reunion of family and friends, with the easing of dining restrictions. 

Chef Akihiro Maetomo

Those who enjoy traditional Cantonese fine-dining in Singapore is no stranger to Chef Chung Yiu Ming, who is a heavyweight with over 30 years of experience. Meanwhile, Chef Akihiro Maetomo comes with an illustrious Michelin-starred resume and was formerly the head chef for VIPs at the Singapore F1 Grand Prix in 2012. Gourmands who have not yet savoured the talented young chef’s dishes during the three years he has been helming his eponymous restaurant should definitely take this opportunity to see some gastronomic sparks fly. 

Immaculate execution, the freshest seasonal ingredients, beautiful presentation and a refreshingly balanced marriage of flavours…This collaboration, first presented at a media tasting, has it all – and was made even more delightful with the chefs’ presence and introduction of each lovingly crafted dish.  

The dinner menu is priced at $308++ per person, and there is an alcohol pairing option for just $68++ that I highly recommend for the very simple reason that such a unique experience, coupled with the fact that dinner can now be enjoyed with more friends, is cause for celebration.    

The menu kicks off with a duo of appetisers: flounder sashimi with freshly shaved truffles, and a mini bun wrapped with teriyaki kagoshima kurobuta and crispy beancurd skin. Surely the start of a terrific meal calls for bubbles – in this case, in the form of sparkling sake, Chikusen Junmai Daiginjo Usunigori Draft Sparkling. Soup lovers will appreciate the nourishing goodness of the bonito dashi broth with grouper and fish maw slices, which is paired surprisingly well with a classic mojito. Who knew? 

Grilled foie gras and unagi

The next dish takes the intensity of flavours up a notch with an interesting combination of foie gras with unagi. Garnished with a sprinkling of ginger flowers and tangy-sweet orange slices that cut through the richness, this dish is a real winner for me. A small cup of gentle yet crisp Yamadanishiki Yuki No Bijin Junmai Ginjo sake cleans the palate, in preparation for the nuanced flavours of seafood. 

The following course is a Japanese-influenced interpretation of the classic Chinese treasure bag. Diced Alaskan king crab, Hokkaido scallop and okra are encased in a delicate egg white crepe bag that is truly the work of a Chinese master. Fresh Hokkaido salmon roe and uni do more than garnish the dish; they lift it with a palate-teasing brininess. Brilliant. The sake pairing here is the moderately dry Yamadanishiki Sakura-Sakura Junmai Daiginjo, which has a refreshing nose of apples. 

Japanese abalone then makes an elegant entrance, and for someone like me who adores Cantonese cuisine, this dish is a star. The mollusc is cooked the traditional way (simmered for four hours), and served with charcoal beancurd, eggplant and abalone liver sauce. It is as much a showcase of classic Chinese cooking as it is a textural delight. The big and toasty Glenlivet 18, on the rocks, stands up to the satisfying savoury flavours of the dish. 

No “kaiseki” should be missing wagyu, and here comes a mouth-watering piece of grilled A5 Kagoshima wagyu glazed with coffee and served with a side of junsai vinegar. Those who prefer pork could opt for spare rib. The slightly tannic yet super-smooth Yamazaki Distiller’s Reserve is yet another tonic to ease tastebuds on overdrive. 

The Donabe rice

While many moderate eaters will protest more food at this seventh course point, any traditionalist at heart will never deny a good starch. This donabe rice dish is made claypot style, with waxed meat, dried shrimp and mushrooms. It is two mouthfuls of heaven that feels more restraint and less heavy-going than the regular Chinese favourite. Dark miso soup and Japanese pickles will help you finish it, slowly. 

The dessert features a pear topped with bird’s nest and umeshu syrup

I was curious to what a Chinese-Japanese fusion dessert will be, and I’m glad that the item is an unexpected one: poached Pear Williams dressed with bird’s nest and umeshu syrup. It is light, refined, clean-tasting and goes down easy – just like the entire degustation, really. For enquiries and reservations, call 6839 5623 or email   

All images are courtesy of Sheraton Towers Singapore 


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