Tuesday, December 08, 2015

CHEF LAM'S ENTIXIN’ SHOWCASE


The classic five varieties of roast combination consisting of suckling pig skin surrounded by sliced roast duck, chilled pork knuckle, poached salted chicken and char siew bore testament to the Xin Cuisine’s skilful culinary team and the hours of meticulous work and expert touches put into those meaty servings when you savour this dish.



Newly appointed to helm Xin Cuisine, chef Soo Kok Lam (Chef Lam to peers and colleagues) wasted no time in unveiling his selection of classic and home-style dishes to entice diners recently.
 
Lam - a triple award winner in Chinese culinary competitions in Beijing, China - joined Xin Cuisine in June this year. Hence it is customary for the newly appointed chef to bring his signature Cantonese and Hakka specialities into the fold and both online and print media members were given a taste of his unforgettable handiwork recently.
 
Our interest was piqued from the get-go with Four Hot D’Oeuvres comprising steamed fish paste with waterchestnut; phoenix prawns with special sauce; stir-fried scallops with pumpkin, pine mushroom & sweet peas and fish paste roll with century egg & salted egg yolk.
Presented in two tiers, I enjoyed the slightly bouncy texture of steamed fish paste balls. A drizzle of clear chicken stock ‘sauce’ enhanced the crisp sweetness of the chopped waterchestnut, Chinese celery & carrot speckled in the fish paste. 
 
The minimalist Cantonese approach also worked well for the plump, succulent scallops which harmonises well with the delicately sweet pumpkin while the mushroom and sweet peas lent textural variation.
Ramping up the flavour dimension, Chef Lam added century egg and salted egg yolk into the deep-fried beancurd skin roll with its delicious stuffing of fish paste, minced pork and prawn. A mixture of crunchy and springy textures left us nodding with approval when we bit into the deep-fried phoenix prawns which came coated with fish paste and chopped cashews.
 
After that opening kaleidoscope, the chef souped things up with a comforting double-boiled soup with dried seafood and bamboo chicken. Brimming with kei chi (wolfberries), bamboo pith, juk si gai (black fleshed chicken), sea cucumber, dried scallop, topshell and a pip of smoked garlic, the clear broth is a nutritious, concentrated essence lovingly prepared to warm the soul.
Chef Lam upped the ante further with steamed freshwater prawns in spinach puree & Chinese wine. It was a sight to behold – those halved crustaceans nicely fanned out on a bed of curdy egg white, coloured a brilliant green with spinach puree. The heady perfume of Chinese wine also sent our gustatory juices into overdrive. Kudos to the chef for ensuring the prawns turned out succulently springy to the bite.
 
We were told Chef Lam’s rendition of salt baked chicken with ginger & spring onion dip has garnered its own following, thanks to the speciality’s evergreen appeal. Wrapped and baked in greaseproof after the chook has been marinated with the chef’s own ‘secret’ rub concoction, few diners can resist its smoky briny overtones.

 
Returning to roost in the Cantonese school of thought, the duo of steamed chicken
and minced pork wantans with Chinese baby milk cabbage in broth
should be familiar to most of us who grew up feasting on them. Their perennial goodness practically hark back to the days when the former meant a major festival celebration and the latter, a cherished childhood treat.


More protein beckoned in the signature dish of stewed pork belly with special sauce. The chunky pieces of pork marbled with layers of fat should appeal to local palates; the unctuous sweet-savoury-tangy coating wreaking happy havoc on the tastebuds.

 
Chinese cuisine fans would be hooked by the splendidly steamed ‘loong fu’ garoupa with superior soya sauce & scallion. A spot on devoid of frills dish which proved the precision of an experienced Chinese chef worth his salt.

After the onslaught of meat, the light dessert broth of sweetened yuk chuk (Solomon’s seal), lady bell root (a type of Chinese herb), apple & kei chi was a befitting choice to wrap up dinner. Its delicate sweetness was ideal for cleansing the palate from the earlier deluge of heavy flavours.
Diners can sample Chef Lam’s specialities in various set menus, priced from RM80 (2 persons) to RM460 (10 persons).
For reservations at Xin Cuisine, call tel: 03-2144 8750. Address: Lobby Level, Concorde Hotel KL, Jalan Sultan Ismail, KL.

2 comments:

KY said...

been too long since I last had suckling pig, urghh.

Alice Yong said...

@KY - I'm sure you'd be to taste some since CNY previews are around the corner. :)