But Yip’s approach towards postpartum cuisine does just not lean on tradition alone. Predominantly anchored on the ethos of purity, the artisanal and the wholesome, his kitchen uses flavour extraction and layering techniques to enhance flavours while eschewing MSG and artificial additives.
In Yip’s kitchen, all stocks and selected seasonings are made from scratch; his house-made oyster sauce alone is painstakingly crafted from dried oysters, fresh oysters, sugarcane and herbs. To minimise kitchen wastes, ginger skin left behind from the pork trotter dish is dehydrated and used to infuse the cooking oil. Bearing in mind that many guests are well-travelled and well-exposed to international cuisines, he also integrates cooking techniques “gleaned from across the world”.
“Since their stay is much longer than in other hotels, we need to sustain their interest in our daily meals without forgoing the nutritional role of the food,” says Yip, who has access to a repertoire of about 500 postpartum recipes, some of which are contributed by renowned chefs in Asia (Tomoo Kimura, Han Li Guang, Vicky Cheng and ThiTid Tassanakajohn, just to name a few).
His gastronomic, artisanal and wholesome approach to confinement fare has not gone unnoticed.
Adinda Bakrie, an Indonesian socialite who recently checked into Kai Suites for two weeks after giving birth to her third child, notes that the kitchen only uses “all natural ingredients, without the addition of butter and preservatives”. Yet, she says, the cuisine tasted “delicious”, “healthy” and suitably “gastronomic”.
“They were also creative with the menu, it felt like I was being served different things every day,” says Bakrie, who adds that she was “never bored” with the food. “I love vegetables and Kai Suites serve the best tasting pumpkins, corn and carrots with colourful presentation.”
The cakes and desserts also won her adoration. “Even the cakes and desserts, ranging from western to Malay and Peranakan, are special - never too sweet, but just enough to ward off sugar cravings.”
Other Confinement Hotels in Asia
Baby Moon Postpartum Care
3-Cup Chicken with Basil Recipe courtesy of Kai Suites
Chicken - 400 g, chopped to bite size
Ginger - 100 g, sliced thickly
Shallots - 2, sliced
Garlic - 6, whole and skinned
Sesame oil - 100 ml
Shaoxing wine - 100 ml
Light soy sauce - 100 ml
White pepper - 1/4 tsp
Fresh basil - 1 cup
Oyster sauce - 1/2 tbsp
Dark soy sauce - 1/2 tsp
Water - 1/2 tbsp
Corn flour - 1/2 tsp
1. Mix chicken with marinade thoroughly. Chill for at least 20 minutes.
2. Sauté ginger, shallots and garlic with sesame oil for 2 minutes.
3. Add chicken and continue to fry until meat is slightly browned.
4. Add shaoxing wine and light soy sauce. Close lid and let it simmer.
5. When the liquid is reduced to thick sauce, add white pepper and fresh basil. Give it a quick toss.
6. This dish can be served hot or at room temperature.