Monday, 12 February 2018

MAD About SUCRE CNY Pop Shop 2018


Yesterday, we tasted MAD about SUCRE's Chinese New Year pop shop dishes. MAD about SUCRE is a quaint little restaurant in Singapore's Chinatown which I recommend to friends for their quirky interpretations of French fare and fine pastries. For this Chinese New Year, from 6 Feb till 5 Mar, MAD returns briefly to their Chinese roots with their CNY pop shop.


Eric is the talented, passionate self taught chef in charge of the savoury, hot dishes at MAD about SUCRE. The MAD part - in the unique delicious dishes with Eric's personal stamp.

Sister Lena, a Le Cordon Bleu alumni, famed for her fine pastry creations leads the SUCRE side of MAD about SUCRE.


Needless to say, any Chinese New Year makan gathering in Singapore and Malaysia must start with a lou hei yee sang. At MAD about SUCRE, the traditional dish is slightly pretentiously dubbed Salade Prospéré 😜


I love the camaraderie and bonding that tossing the salad and shouting out good wishes in unison creates. It's the highlight of Chinese New Year gatherings. 

But, truth be told, I usually just take a polite bit of the salad as nowadays due to overwhelming demand during CNY, the lou hei yee sang salad is often mass produced and loaded with synthetic flavourings.


But, at MAD about SUCRE we scraped the silver platter clean to eat everything on it. We enjoyed every leaf of greens, slivers of julienned root vegetable, every seed, and house made lard fried crisps in the salad held together by real apricot sauce. The Salade Prospéré has 8 natural ingredients and 4 Nos - no preservatives, no artificial colours, no synthetic flavours, no MSG. No, no, no, no, YES!


When Eric brought out the next course, my mind went "oh oh... old food in new plating".

Eric calls this dish Diver's Bountiful Catches. There's braised Spanish abalone, dried Japanese scallop and oyster, black sea moss, dried fish maw and Chinese mushroom set on soft stewed cabbage and crunchy turnip dressed with brown seafood sauce.

I was blown away with the first bite. It's old food but new delightful experiences for me.


Eric imported fresh abalone from Spain inside their shells, and braised them to create this abalone dish that tastes nothing like those from cans, preserved in brine (or worse, in MSG stock).

The meaty tender springy shellfish was gently savoury sweet layered with underlying ocean brininess. You can take an abalone out of the ocean, but you cannot take the sea out of an abalone (unless you canned it 😂 ).


I love Fatt Choy 髮菜 because though the soft black hairy vegetable is flavourless on its own, it is good at sponging up all the flavours around it. Fatt Choy is delicious with a different taste profile every time - so, it's quite an exciting dish to me.

But, MAD about SUCRE's rendition takes the traditional auspicious CNY dish to the next level. As Eric uses black sea moss to make Fatt Choy, the absorbed flavours from the sauces were undergirded by the taste of the sea from the black hairy seaweed.


This dish dubbed Alaskan Cukes is linguine done soft al dente served with braised Alaskan sea cucumber, caviar, wild salmon roe, dressed with asparagus, julienned capsicum, chopped cilantro and bathed with light seafood broth.

If you have been reading my blog for some time, you will know that I like gentle tasting dishes that let the natural flavours of the fresh ingredients shine through.


The taste and texture of braised fresh Alaskan sea cucumber is unlike any sea cucumber that I have tasted so far. The texture is almost jelly like with a light spring. The mild savoury sweetness of the seafood broth which clung to the cuke's rough looking outside complemented the taste of the sea in the sea cucumber.


Stew of Vegetables and Roots. Eight types of hand cut fresh vegetables and roots stewed in stock with nam yue 南乳. Nam yue is tofu fermented in rice wine, salt, spices, chili and red rice yeast. The distinctive aroma and taste of nam yue is often found in Cantonese homes as it is used in many Cantonese recipes.


This dish reminded me of Buddha's Delight 羅漢菜, a vegetable dish traditionally eaten on the first day of Chinese New Year.

The stewed lotus root, snow pea, cabbage, black mushroom, black fungus, glass noodles, bean curd skin etc were set on a palm size Portabello mushroom. The savoury and sweet flavours of the stewed vegetables, roots and mushroom were held together by the nam yue. The quite robust savoury earthy taste of the Portabello mushroom lifted the old familiar dish for me.


The white rice eaten with the stewed vegetables was sweet, clean tasting and had a nice firm-soft nuttiness to the bite.

The rice was cooked the Cambodian way. The rice was boiled, drained to discard the starch, boiled and drained again - the process was repeated 3 times before it is fully cooked.


Grilled Wild Caught Prawn with Candlenut and Chili Pepper Paste served with white rice.


Large meaty wild prawns shelled and grilled. They tasted savoury sweet with briny sea and toasty grilled meat flavour. The prawns had a springy crunch and was moist inside.


I like it that the prawns were set on a thin slice of grilled eggplant. I like grilled eggplants as they sponge up sauces very well, which combines with the vegetable's sweet juices to make a soft delicious bite.

The thick sauce of candlenut and chili pepper had a grainy creamy feel and tasted robustly savoury balanced with mild spiciness. It makes a hearty dish when eaten with sweet white rice.


Wild caught seafood and pasta with light shrimp sauce.


Cake of Brittany made with brown butter, pineapple and rum dressed with toasted coconut pulp shavings.


Presenting 金鲤报喜. 岁岁平安 👏👏👏

We closed our feast with an auspicious dessert - it was no ordinary closing nor dessert. Indeed, I think I might be seeing the birth of a new Chinese New Year tradition in the same order as the creation of Lou Hei Yee Sang.

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As we happily broke the chocolate golden carp into 碎碎 pieces with our spoons, we loudly wished everyone 岁岁平安.

From now on, Chinese New Year feasts will not be properly closed without breaking a Trio of Prosperity Carp 😄


The golden Trio of Prosperity Carp is individually hand crafted by Lena - each taking 6 hours of painstaking hand sculpting. The carp shell is made of dark chocolate with cherry blossom flavour. The lucky fish is filled with dark chocolate hazelnut truffles. The golden carp is set on a tile of dark chocolate with mandarin orange and Turkish lemon. Gleaming gold foil complete the auspicious dessert with a touch of luxury.


Thank you Eric, Lena and the MAD about SUCRE team for your hospitality. May I wish MAD about SUCRE always 旺旺, 年年有金鱼, 岁岁平安.

My first post on MAS 👈 click
My second post on MAS 👈 click


Restaurant name: Mad About Sucre 


Address: 27 Teo Hong Rd, Singapore 088334 
Nearest MRT: 50 paces from Outram Park MRT station  
GPS: 1.279977, 103.840693 / 1°16'47.9"N 103°50'26.5"E  
Waze: Mad About Sucre
Hours: 12:30am to 10:00pm | Closed at 5:00pm on Sunday (Closed whole day on Monday)     
Tel: 6221 3969    

Non Halal    

Date visited: 23 Jun 2016, 20 Aug 2017, 11 Feb 2018

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