First-time visitors to Mandarin Oriental, Jakarta’s Li Feng will be enamoured by the restaurant’s stunning traditional Chinese interior as well as its menu.
The hotel’s Executive Chinese Chef Chang See Loy collaborated with celebrity Chef Fei of Jiang restaurant in Mandarin Oriental Guangzhou to introduce new menu items to Li Feng. One new addition is the classic Beggar’s Chicken. A dish steeped in history, it is said that the dish was created by pure chance when a beggar buried a chicken in mud and lit a fire before baking the mud-soaked chicken.
While the chicken was baking, the emperor happened to pass by and was drawn by the tantalising aroma of the chicken. It was then that the dish was added to the imperial menu and became famous.
Chef Loy’s rendition of the classic dish involves stuffing the chicken with onions, spring onions and seasonings before wrapping it in lotus leaves. The wrapped chicken is then encased in a crust made of egg white and salt and baked for three hours. When the chicken is cooked, the crust is cracked open, the lotus leaves are discarded and the resulting juicy chicken is rich and flavoursome.