The amuse bouche proffered really grabbed us at first bite...
Crispy Deep-fried Soft Shell Crabs sheathed in the airiest batter imaginable!
Somehow I have this soft spot for Ee Cuisine - Eastin Hotel Petaling Jaya's Chinese restaurant that despite its low-key presence has never ceased to surprise me and my family with its culinary gems over the years.
Well, it has been quite a while since I was last ate at Ee Cuisine but on my recent visit there, I'm happy to see it has undergone a nice facelift; looking quite spiffy in all its modern Oriental glory with a great parade of delicacies on the menu to boot.
Thanks to my dear old pal Tengku Anna Muzani who is now Eastin's Marcom Manager, our lunch was left in the good hands of Chinese chef de cuisine Yong Kam Wah. Rarely have I been impressed from the get-go but the chef's amuse bouche of Crispy Deep-fried Soft Shell Crabs really blew us away. Coated in a light, crisp yet briny batter of mashed salted egg yolks accentuated by threads of curry leaves, the chunky crustacean pieces were superbly sublime!
Appetite amply whetted, we dug into the actual curtain-raiser of Chawanmushi with Shark's Fin and BBQ Roll with Prawn and Fresh Scallop. Since I had encountered a similar creation before (though in a Japanese restaurant), the silky smooth egg custard topped with strands of shark's fin is still very agreeable on the palate.
I love the creamy peppery sauce that drenched the skewer of grilled whole prawn and scallop alternating with black mushroom, sliced carrot and capsicum. Rich and piquant, the chilli and milk magical 'saucery' did a fabulous job of enhancing the succulent freshness and delicate sweetness of both seafood.
Hats off to Chef Yong for devoting so much time and effort into making the stuffed chicken for his Double-boiled Stuffed Chicken Wing Soup with Dried Scallop and Cabbage. Few young Chinese chefs today would bother with such a labourious speciality and I'm glad he's one of those rare industrious souls who go to such great lengths for food.
Words cannot amply describe how sumptuous it is to sink one's teeth into a smooth, boneless chicken wing that has been plumped up with a stuffing of firm yet spongy fa kau (fish maw). Coupled with a deeply flavourful clear broth incorporating a whole sizeable dried scallop and mini cabbage, this is one wholesome brew that should perk you up no end.
Just when we were wondering if the bar can be raised any further, this splendid dish of Baked Pork Rib with Tong Gui Sauce left us in no doubt that our palate is about to transcend beyond the extraordinary. According to Yong, the trick lies in using the correct amount of tong gui (Chinese angelica root) powder and leaving the meat to marinate for about two hours. Any longer and you'd risk turning the pork rib tough and dry. Needless to say, we have no bones to pick with our serving except to lick it clean!
The Homemade Beancurd with Money Bag & Asparagus should please budding and existing money men and women who adore prosperous-sounding and auspicious-looking dishes. This seemingly humble offering actually comprises a square 'ingot' of supple, egg-based beancurd topped with blended jade-green spinach. Sitting aloft it is a 'money bag' made from egg white filled with bouncy fish paste and diced prawn, finished with gold flakes. A tender Australian asparagus spear and translucent sauce lend this creation its final flourish.
This man's got the X factor...the innate talent to draw culinary inspirations
from both the East & West. Bravo to Chef Yong for his top notch signature specialities!
Now you know why Ee's worth it.
Ee Chinese Cuisine, Lobby level, Eastin Hotel, Petaling Jaya Selangor. For reservations, please call 76287338 or 7665 1111 extensions 137/138.