taste-of-edesia-chef-kenWith a warm, mischievous smile, multi-award winning Chef Ken Xu at The Venetian Macao’s North walks over to our table, checking on the plate of wok-fried US prime rib eye and goose liver just served to us.
“Ladies, the best time to eat this is before the meat gets cold. That means you have ten minutes. After that, things will taste different, so please start,” he says to us.
North features traditional cuisines from both Sichuan province and Northeast China, featuring live preparation and cooking of noodles, dumplings and steamed items, considered as comfort food for many Chinese. However, innovative elements are added to give these items a modern, creative twist. Usually, my girlfriends and I visit the joint after a concert at the Cotai Arena, and we can’t help but be thrilled by the quality of the dishes that are available at this great establishment every time we are there.
“Wok frying with dried chilies and mushrooms is a very common method used in the kitchens of Northern China, but what’s interesting here is that we use beef from the US and foie gras,” Chef Ken explains.
The chunky pieces of beef radiate heat as the aroma of chilies surrounds the air. Creamy and silky, the foie gras melts in the mouth. The duo is enough to satisfy die-hard carnivores and make vegetarians think twice about their restricted diet.
The delightful tastes of the dishes come not as a surprise, as they are produced by a team of culinary experts led by a young and ultra-talented chef. Born in Beijing, Chef Ken Xu specialises in northern Chinese cuisine and has garnered multiple accolades in China. Aside from being a Senior Dietician of the Chinese Nutrition Society, he was a guest lecturer for a food and beverage programme on CCTV; earned the gold award in the Chinese Hot Dish category at the Beijing Olympics Vocational Skills Competition in April 2008; and won gold at the first edition of the Chinese National Creative Chinese Cuisine Competition in May 2011.
“I think this is very different from the Cantonese cuisine, as the Northern dishes do not always rely so much on the broth for flavors. More spices are added instead,” I indicate.
“You are right. For example, for our sweet and sour soup, we just use water as the base. We want homemade flavors, not sophistication. Feedback from our customers has been very positive,” Chef Ken replies.
For individuals who love sweets, pan-fried sweetened green tea pancake with pistachio and almond is a must-have dessert at North. Similar to a traditional Shanghaiese dessert, a pancake made with red bean paste, North’s version also has the crispy pancake on the outside, but it is filled green tea paste, oozing out as we bite into it. A kick of sweetness and nutty taste tantalizes the palate as the pistachio and almond touch the tip of the tongue.
“This is a piece of heaven, Ken. I will come back for more, and you will see me very often for sure. Don’t get sick of me,” I smile at Chef Ken.
“Come on, don’t say that,” he chuckles.

Categories Taste of Edesia