位於永利澳門的京花軒,是品嚐中國名菜譚家菜的最佳選擇。

幾近失傳的清代宮廷美饌在永利澳門的京花軒重獲新生,當今世上只有極少數廚師能夠掌握這個菜系。A nearly-lost cui­sine of China’s Qing era is kept alive at Wynn Ma­cau’s Golden Flower by one of the few men in the world qual­i­fied to serve it.

Wynn Magazine - - CONTENTS - by Mark Ell­wood

Golden Flower at Wynn Ma­cau is a Five-star des­ti­na­tion for China’s Tan cui­sine.

京花軒位於璀璨瑰麗的永利澳門,以朱紅色牆體配合由意大利For­tun­y品牌打造的琺瑯製馬賽克地板,裝潢設計如同一個華美的珠寶盒。然而京花軒的設計還不算是它最奢侈之處,這裡的主廚劉國柱大師才是。沉穩又謙遜的劉師傅,在京花軒明亮潔淨的廚房裡專注地烹飪他的拿手菜式。準備的過程極為繁複嚴謹,要把一隻農場放養走地雞與金華火腿、老鴨一同慢燉8小時,做出極鮮美的高湯。只有通過長時間的燉煮,才能讓湯的味道在鮮甜和鹹味之間取得微妙的平衡。然後再把魚肚和蟹鉗加入這個鮮美無比的湯底裡,菜式才算大功告成。這種 GOLDEN FLOWER RESTAU­RANT SITS IN A JEWEL-BOX-LIKE ROOM IN­SIDE THE SUMPTUOUSLY DEC­O­RATED WYNN MA­CAU, with its rich red walls and cloi­sonné mo­saic floor softly lit by For­tuny fix­tures. The most lux­u­ri­ous de­tail, though, isn’t the dé­cor; Golden Flower’s true trea­sure is its chef, Liu Guo Zhu. Quiet and unas­sum­ing, he works dili­gently in the gleam­ing kitchens on one of his sig­na­ture dishes. It’s a painstak­ing process, in­volv­ing eight hours of slow-cook­ing a free-range hen, Jin­hua ham, and aged duck to­gether to cre­ate the ul­ti­mate broth, a soup that needs this kind of time to de­velop its nu­anced bal­ance of sweet and salt. This then forms the per­fect base for fish maw and crab claw. Such a metic­u­lous process is a hall­mark of the cook­ing for which chef Liu has earned world­wide ac­co­lades—not to men­tion two Miche­lin stars: Tan cui­sine. “It is very bal­anced and pro­tects the fla­vors of its in­gre­di­ents,” he ex­plains. “But it is also very ex­clu­sive and hard to truly un­der­stand be­cause of the la­bor-in­ten­sive cook­ing meth­ods in­volved.” Given the ori­gins of Tan cui­sine, its rar­efied rep­u­ta­tion to­day is un­sur­pris­ing. Its name­sake, Guang­dong-born Tan Zongjun, moved to Beijing in the late 19th cen­tury as a high-rank­ing of­fi­cial in the Qing dy­nasty. Tan quickly earned plau­dits for more than just his pro­fes­sional stand­ing. “He brought his fami-

細緻到近乎苛刻的烹飪過程,是「譚家菜」的標誌性特色,劉師傅正是憑著一身譚家菜的烹飪功夫蜚聲國際,更摘下米芝蓮二星殊榮。「譚家菜非常講究味道的平衡和對食材原味的保留,」劉師傅說,「但由於譚家菜需要花費大量功夫製作,是一門非常講究傳承、不容易掌握的菜系。」譚家菜在當今享有珍稀聲譽的原因,要從它的起源講起。19世紀晚期的清代,譚家菜的創始人,廣東一位名為譚宗浚的朝廷高官赴往北京上任,在短短時間內就成為城中紅人熱話。「他帶著家族烹飪技藝赴京上任,又是個愛吃的美食家,非常喜歡大排筵席招待賓客。」曾經憑《天堂之下:中國35道菜式》一書獲得餐飲業大獎James Beard提名的作者Carolyn Phillip­s解釋說,這位官員美食家帶領他的家廚一起琢磨出近300個菜譜,在中菜烹飪史的基石上永遠刻下了他的名字。譚家菜裡常用的經典食材包括魚翅、鮑魚、海參和燕窩,經過細緻清洗後加入高湯,用文火長時間慢煨,令食材的味道和質感完美地融和在一起。這種嚴苛的堅持在早年的一道熊掌料理菜譜裡可見一斑(菜譜近年已不再使用) :只准使用熊的左前掌做原料,因為熊只用那隻掌吃蜂蜜。Phillip­s將譚家菜這門中菜烹飪教科書與最高級的法國美食料理作比較,發現了某些共同點:「兩者都同樣強調慢煮、燉、蒸、灼這些需要花功夫處理的過程。」Phillips說,「通過烹煮,食材的天然味道慢慢地盛放,在甜與咸、海與陸、雞肉 ly’s food with him, and he was very much an epi­cure—he ab­so­lutely loved to host par­ties,” ex­plains Carolyn Phillips, au­thor of the James Beard-nom­i­nated cook­book All Un­der Heaven: Recipes from the 35 Cuisines of China. To­gether with his house cook, Phillips says, this government gour­mand de­vel­oped the 300 or so recipes that now form the ba­sis of the school of cook­ing for­ever con­nected to his name. Typ­i­cal in­gre­di­ents of Tan cui­sine in­clude shark’s fin, abalone, and sea cu­cum­ber—as well as swal­low’s nest, painstak­ingly cleaned then gen­tly cooked in broth to cre­ate the per­fect fu­sion of tex­ture and taste. The reper­toire even stretches to a recipe (never used th­ese days) on pre­par­ing bear’s paw; the in­struc­tions in­sist that only the left front paw is ac­cept­able, since that alone is used to lick honey. Phillips draws par­al­lels be­tween this culi­nary school in China and the finest French haute cui­sine. “There’s an em­pha­sis on slow cook­ing, brais­ing, steam­ing, poach­ing—any­thing that takes a long time,” she says. “It’s cooked so the nat­u­ral fla­vors blos­som, a per­fect bal­ance among sweet and sa­vory, land and sea, chicken and seafood, dried and fresh, the north and the south. It’s the yin and yang of Chi­nese cook­ing.” Even­tu­ally, in the un­sta­ble fi­nal era of the Qing dy­nasty, Tan’s re­source­ful son Zhuangqing be­gan op­er­at­ing an in­vi­ta­tion-only restau­rant for other élite Bei­jingers from the fam­ily home, serv­ing the recipes his fa­ther had de­vel­oped.

與海鮮、乾貨海味與海鮮、南與北之間取得完美的平衡。這正是中菜烹飪裡的陰陽哲學之道。」清代末期局勢動盪,譚宗浚的兒子譚莊清心生一計,在家開了一家僅限邀請的私房菜,繼續發揚由父親發明的各種菜譜,座上客都是北京城中的名門望族。私房菜的生意一直火爆,即使到1911年辛亥革命推翻清朝政府,時勢不穩的情況下仍是客似雲來。直到20世紀30年代,這裡都是名人聚集的熱門地,名流們挖空心思爭取機會參加宴席,一嚐這種把南方味道與北京食材精妙地融於一體的烹飪藝術。後來譚氏家族關閉了私房菜館,北京飯店的廚房成為了譚家菜的烹飪訓練基地。劉師傅當年就在那裡開始學徒生涯,並在近60年後,無可爭議地登上譚家菜大師的地位。「烹飪譚家菜的關鍵,是掌握平衡的藝術,比如平衡食材和湯之間的比例,還有控制火候的功夫等等,」劉師傅說,「有機會學習這種中式烹飪藝術並把它傳承下去,是我的榮幸。」20世紀70年代中國開始向西方世界打開大門,劉師傅的名聲逐漸遠播海外。2009年他擔任永利澳門中菜部行政總廚,聲譽更勝往時。如今他主要掌管京花軒,繼續不懈地努力傳承和推廣中菜烹飪的珍貴精華。Phillip­s在書中提到,京花軒典雅奢華的裝潢與譚家菜的氣質一脈相承:「譚家菜的精髓不僅僅在於食物,還在於整個用餐體驗—這種源自朝廷命官家中的菜式,用餐的環境也應該是非常傳統經典和精緻的。就像開在加州的French Laun­dry高級法式餐廳,以精美的純銀餐具、無暇的餐盤和對細節品質的狂熱堅持,為顧客帶來視覺上的獨特享受。如果你點了一道魚料理,那條魚絕對在方方面面的質素都是最好的。這也正是譚家菜大師們的目標。」這個原則,無論對於譚師傅還是劉師傅來說,都是最值得堅持的。 It con­tin­ued to thrive even af­ter the Qing dy­nasty was re­placed by a Repub­li­can government in 1911; in­deed, by the 1930s, it was a celebrity mag­net, as stars scram­bled to be seen there, sam­pling cook­ing that so art­fully com­bined the south­ern fla­vors of Tan’s home province with local in­gre­di­ents from in and around Beijing. Even­tu­ally, the fam­ily shut­tered its restau­rant and the Beijing Ho­tel’s kitchens be­came the base of train­ing in Tan cook­ing. It was there that chef Liu ap­pren­ticed; al­most six decades later, he is Tan cui­sine’s undis­puted mas­ter. “The ‘art of bal­ance’ is key to Tan cui­sine—we need to bal­ance the in­gre­di­ents and soup, for ex­am­ple, as well as the skills of con­trol­ling heat and time,” he says. “It’s an honor for me to have had the chance to learn and keep pass­ing on this Chi­nese art.” Liu’s rep­u­ta­tion spread be­yond China when the coun­try opened up to the West in the 1970s; it was fur­ther en­hanced when Wynn brought him to Ma­cau in 2009 as the head of all Chi­nese culi­nary op­er­a­tions. He now works there at Golden Flower, a new out­post to pre­serve and pro­mote this pre­cious part of China’s culi­nary his­tory. Its el­e­gant set­ting is an in­te­gral coun­ter­part to the cook­ing, notes cook­book au­thor Phillips. “It’s not just the food, it’s the whole ex­pe­ri­ence—this came out of an of­fi­cial’s home, so you should be eat­ing some­where that looks very tra­di­tional. It’s just like the French Laun­dry in Cal­i­for­nia, where they’re giv­ing you some­thing for the eyes, too: the per­fect sil­ver­ware, an im­mac­u­late plate…and there’s a fa­nat­i­cal at­ten­tion to de­tail. If you’re hav­ing fish, it will be the ab­so­lute best fish to the nth de­gree. That’s what they’re aim­ing for.” It’s a credo both chef Liu and Tan would en­dorse.

clock­wise: Thin broiled beef slices are served with crispy sesame puffs; Mas­ter Chef Liu Guo Zhu; sub­tle, flo­ral fresh clam and jas­mine in chicken broth. 順時針:京城清真烤牛肉配燒餅劉國柱大師味道細膩清新的茉莉海蚌清雞湯。

京花軒大廳外面是清幽迷人的花園景緻。 Golden Flower’s main din­ing room looks out at an en­chant­ing gar­den.

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