Friday, February 15, 2013

FEASTS AHOY!

Abundance from the Sea...a succulent Sea Cucumber overflowing with delicious stuffing
Never mind if you don't have sea legs...Restoran Extra Super Tanker will ensure us landlubbers remain on course for a slap-up meal the minute we set foot on deck.

The CNY period is especially hectic for this Chinese restaurant with the resident chef who's fondly known as Ah Wah Kor storming the galley with a flood of hearty, unpretentious but irresistible and auspicious specialities that is guaranteed to make waves.

For a prosperous start to the Lunar New Year, reap Abundance from the Sea (Moon Joi Yue Qwai) - Sea Cucumber Stuffed with Diced Scallops, Mushroom, Water Chestnut, Celery, Carrot & Garlic (RM200). Thick, slightly gelatinous yet bouncy smooth, every mouthful of the 'jee poh sum', delicately accented stuffing and delightful amalgamation of textures left us at sea on how to describe its deep-seated, earthy deliciousness.

Turbot in Two Styles goes swimmingly well with a glass of crisp white wine
Enjoy Smooth Sailing All The Way (Yat Farn Fung Su'un) with the chef's sublime creation of 2 Styles Icelandic Turbot (RM12.80/100g; each fish usually weighs about 1-1.3kg). It was the show-stealer at our preview...fried to crisp, golden perfection we literally fought over the crunchy bones even as we were reeled in by sweet, tender pieces of Shao Xing wine-suffused fish and crunchy, wavy whorls of wood ear's fungus.

Nice change...Yee Sang with Crispy Whitebait
Another bait that should lure hordes of festive revellers is the evergreen Yee Sang (RM68 - half portion, RM88 - full portion) despite its less flamboyant colour palette. Not only is Ah Wah Kor adamant that only freshly shredded vegetables and fruits: cucumber, radish, mango, pomelo sacs, Chinese parsley, ginger, jelly fish, carrot, lotus root and kaffir lime leaves are used, he decided to go against the flow by adding deep-fried crispy Japanese white bait just before serving in place of the usual raw fish slices. The result? A refreshingly light fruity ensemble that boasts an edgy textural dimension that was sorely missing from other versions in the market.

Fit for a mandarin...Superior Bird's Nest & Fresh Crab Meat Soup
Instead of wading into controversial waters with servings of shark fin's soup, the chef charted a different course by offering Superior Bird's Nest Soup with Bird's Nest & Fresh Crab Meat Soup (RM48 per individual bowl) in its place. Unctuous and generously laden with thick strands of bird's nest, chunks of hand-extracted crab meat and roe, the bowl of Kou Kun Hei Yin or A Mandarin's Ascending Flight to Success tasted so exceptional that I daresay the thickened, flavourful broth took all the wind out of our sails!

Airy-light mashed yam basket that's overflowing with edible goodies
A well-loved staple of many Chinese restaurants, the ubiquitous yam basket (popularly known as fatt putt in Cantonese) is reinterpreted slightly. Filled with abundant goodies: scallops, snow peas, carrot slices, cashews, waterchestnuts, straw and black mushrooms, the aptly named Treasure Trove Yam Basket (RM48-medium, RM58-large) is fashioned out of thinner but no less scrumptious, melt-in-the-mouth mashed yam to prevent it from being overly cloying. With a poetic Chinese name, Phoon Moon Phutt Moon which means overflowing basin of abundance to boot, what's not to love?

Spiced prawns...such piquant pleasures
Fancy laughing all the way to the bank? Then you can't go wrong with a serving or two of Tiger Prawns with Chef's Special Sauce (RM10/100g minimum of 300g per order) - a dish that not only will evoke cheery smiles all around but also Hee Har Dai Siu or happy, rapturous laughter thanks to the splendid pairing of crustaceans and Ah Wah Kor's trademark sauce blend that has superior soya sauce, 'tau parn cheong' (spicy bean sauce), garlic and ginger in it.

A hearty delight that bowled us over
Adding further merriment to the extravagant CNY line-up is Hei Heng Yong Yong or Auspicious Happiness, a superbly rustic speciality of Braised Lamb Pot (RM80 for 12 pcs). You either give the gamey and rather gristly chunks a wide berth or push the boat out by picking the bones clean. Spiked with Chinese wine and ginger, us gluttons had no qualms wiping out the whole pot within minutes. I find the rib-sticking, voluptuous flavour good enough on its own though the side dip of 'fu yue' or fermented bean curd gives the meat a deeper, brinier and more pronounced dimension that tends to sear itself into the gustatory memory bank.

Waxed meat rice to woo the palate
If there's one dish that gets everyone into the same boat, it has to be Lap Mei Farn or Waxed Meat Rice (RM70 per pot for 4-6 persons, RM95 for 8-12 persons). Pork and liver sausages, belly pork and duck come together to bestow their big, bold and unabashed overtones onto claypot-cooked rice; its simple yet unpretentious goodness remain an irresistible allure come every Lunar New Year. At Extra Super Tanker, you'd find the unexpected but welcomed addition of 'nga ku' (arrowheads) to this treat.

Pear with me...

To soothe and sweeten the palate after the array of savoury specials, it's best to sit back and sip languidly on a whole Double-boiled Snow Pear with Hasma (RM16 per person). Don't cringe or balk at the thought of downing the snow frogs' opaque, subtly gelatinous glands as they're beneficial for replenishing one's vital essence in the lungs, kidneys, and improving skin complexion.

Stick with me pumpkin

Seal your feast with some deep-fried sliced Nin Koh with Pumpkin (RM4 per pc, minimum of 4 pcs) - a rewarding solace for fervent hopes that upwardly progress and success shall be yours once the golden pieces of batter-coated sweet glutinous rice cakes and sliced pumpkin are down the hatch.

In order not to miss the boat on these titanic temptations, it pays to call at least a day ahead and inform the restaurant that you'd like to sample all or some of the culinary masterpieces featured here. Bear in mind that with CNY still in full swing, it's best to put your oars in asap!

Extra Super Tanker Restaurant, 48, SS20/10, Damansara Kim, Petaling Jaya.
Tel: 03-77267768 / 03-77267769

2 comments:

Pureglutton said...

Haha, nice one, Alice! Love the oceanic theme of your post :-D

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