Called “Buddha Jumps Over the Wall”, the shark’s fin soup — which must be ordered five days in advance — is made with whole abalone, Japanese flower mushroom, sea cucumber, dried scallops, chicken, Hunan ham, pork and ginseng.
Despite the eye-popping price, Chinese restaurant Kai, in London’s chic Mayfair district, sells on average two bowls each month, the restaurant’s proprietor Bernard Yeoh said on Monday.
“I would say it is worth the money because if you were trying to prepare this dish with ingredients you bought yourself, it would cost pretty much the same,” he said. “It is not a dish with a high mark-up.”
The soup — “fit for an emperor”, the menu promises — is said to have earned its unusual name from its mouth-watering aroma which prompted the vegetarian Buddha to leap over a wall to find it.
During its painstaking preparation, the soup’s different elements are boiled or steamed in four separate dishes for between four and seven hours each. The end result is a highly-flavoured meaty stock. “The idea is that the slower you cook the stock the clearer it is and the purer its taste,” Yeoh said…