Wednesday, May 30, 2018

TIMELESS CLASSICS RULE AT 'NEW' SHANGHAI


Marble-smooth, cool and faintly boozy from the Chinese wine-imbued chicken on the palate, the Chilled Drunken Chicken in Chinese Rice Wine (RM38) leaves us feeling a tad heady at first bite. It is indeed a stellar opening volley for our lunch at the new, refreshed Shanghai Restaurant.
Gone is the heavily art deco slanted ambience of old. Befitting the change of times and trends, the refreshed interior of Shanghai now boasts modern, understated elegance awash in muted, nude tones and linear lines.
A spacious lounge tucked away opposite the restaurant entrance is outfitted with a sleek long marble-top bar. Comfy couches and plush armchairs evoke an exclusive albeit inviting clubby feel -- a serene haven to lounge briefly over pre-dinner aperifits.
The sophisticated ambience sets a dramatic stage for Executive Chinese Chef Wong Wing Yuek to showcase his refined Shanghainese fare. Our appetiser trio exemplifies the chef's artistry perfectly; as rendered in the handpainted bird and foliage on our plates. In addition to the chicken, our tastebuds thoroughly relished the savoury Deep-fried Beancurd filled with Shredded Black Mushrooms (RM30). Clean and refreshing, the Japanese Cucumber with Minced Garlic and Soy Sauce (RM30) lends some crunch and punch to the overall equation. 
 
At the helm of this hallowed outpost is Executive Chinese Chef Wong Wing Yuek, a Shanghainese and once aspiring violinist. After government regulations in Hong Kong halted his musical dreams, the pragmatic chap channelled his then 29-year old verve to helping his uncle in the resto biz and has never looked back since.

Music world's loss is culinary world's gain as far as Chef Wong is concerned. Having chalked up a reputable track record since 1999 at Shanghai, the soft-spoken veteran chef always has a hidden ace or two up his torque. Our Fish Fillet Soup with Wild West Lake Vegetable (RM48 per person) serves as good proof.
 
Clear and delicately sweet from the slices of soon hock (marbled goby) fish fillet in it, the broth piques our interest with the inclusion of some slippery, gelatinous wild West Lake green known as shu’un choi. The stems and curled greens are sheathed in a layer of translucent gel-like substance, giving them a smooth, subtly gummy crunch.
 
That paves the way for Shanghai's signature Braised Spanish “Dong Po” Pork with Mini Buns (RM48 per piece). According to Chef Wong, the distinct fatty layered pork dish features Spanish Iberico pork "as the meat texture is smoother and richer. Also the pigs forage and feed on acorns, mushrooms and fruits resulting its meaty sweetness once cooked.

Douse generously with truffle oil, one can already detect the impending arrival of the Stir-fried Seafood Noodle with Assorted Mushrooms and Truffle Oil (RM48) before its appearance. While the varying textures and clear, intermingling nuances of the fungus, bamboo pith and seafood are palate-pleasing enough, the musky truffle oil is somewhat redundant and can be offered as an option IMHO.

No visit to this bastion of Shanghainese dining is complete without savouring xiao loong bao -- Steamed Shanghainese Meat Dumpling (RM25). Nibble the tip of the soup-filled dumpling and carefully suck up the piping hot, sweet broth before you devour the meaty morsel. A sumptuously delicious treat, I can assure you one is enough to satisfy when complemented by the resto's fabulous specialities.
Dessert treats range from the spongy, salty-sweet Steamed Shanghainese Layer Cake with Custard & Salted Egg Yolk (RM20 for 4 pcs) and Black Sesame Dumplings in Ginger Syrup (RM18). If you are partial to fragrant flavours, do try the tong yuen (glutinous rice dumplings) in floral osmanthus syrup instead to conclude your visit on a high note.
 

For reservations, call SHANGHAI RESTAURANT, tel: 03 2719 8288/8537 or 03 2715 9000. Address: 1st Floor, JW Marriott Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

FJORD TROUT TREATS FOR RAMADAN


Eat more protein-rich food such as Norwegian Fjord Trout during the fasting month. This sound advice came from Alexandra Prahabaran, a certified nutritionist who prepared three simple recipes at the Norwegian Seafood Council’s cooking demo recently. 
Citing Norwegian Fjord Trout as good protein source to boost overall health during the fasting month, Alexandra said: “It is important to eat food with essential vitamins and nutrients to keep your energy levels up, your mental focus clear and your body running optimally throughout the day.” 
The nutritionist also shared these tips for Ramadan:

Load Up on Protein 
Eating protein-rich foods such as Fjord Trout can sustain you longer by staving off hunger and keeping your mind focused until it’s time to break fast. Protein helps to build and repair tissues, produce enzymes and hormones, and acts as the essential building block of bones, muscle, cartilage and blood.  A high protein diet will ensure you feel full and satisfied, while your body repairs itself during Ramadhan.

Focus on Omega 3   
Partake food rich in omega-3 to keep fatigue at bay and improve your concentration. Fjord Trout is high in these fatty acids that will help you stay clear-headed throughout the day and overall mental focus in addition to improving your mood.

Healthy Fats to Burn Fat
The change in meal times during the fasting period can often put the body under stress, making our body more susceptible to weight gain around our belly. A diet rich in healthy fats such as oily Fjord Trout helps to burn excess belly fat. Instead of burning the glucose stored in our body for energy, the body will burn fat instead resulting in a slimmer and healthier overall physique.

Get the Glow
Changes to sleep and meal times during Ramadan may see our skin take a beating. Skin can appear dull and sallow but by adding more Fjord Trout into your diet, the fish oil will aid cell rejuvenation and nourish your hair, skin and nails for an overall healthy glow.
“The Norwegian Fjord Trout has become a popular fish of choice among Malaysians,” said Jon Erik Steenslid, the Norwegian Seafood Council director for South-East Asia.  “From our recent Seafood Consumer Index, an annual survey conducted by the Norwegian Seafood Council, 3 out of 4 Malaysians think it’s important to know the origin of their seafood whilst 1 out of 2 Malaysians prefer to buy Fjord Trout from Norway.”
Now widely available in markets, supermarkets and seafood stores in Malaysia, the Norwegian Fjord Trout is similar to salmon but its deep red-orange flesh with white marbling gives the fish fillets a luxuriant feel. Norwegian Fjord Trout also has a remarkably rich flavour, with a pure aftertaste. It has a lustrous and silvery skin and can grow up to 2.5 kilos; slightly smaller than salmon.
Norway has the perfect living conditions for Fjord Trout thanks to ice-cold waters with fjords stretching deep into the country’s coastline. Farmed in the ocean, the Trout is raised in pure, cold Norwegian fjords where seawater meets fresh meltwater from the glaciers and snow; a process meeting the highest environmental and sustainability standards.
A world-renowned pioneer of modern trout and salmon farming, Norway boasts generations of experience harvesting from the sea. This gives Norwegians unique knowledge in the art of managing these resources and delivering the highest quality fish.

Norwegian Fjord Trout Recipes for Ramadan
Kaffir Chilli Norwegian Fjord Trout with Quinoa Bubur

1 Trout fillet
1 kaffir lime leaf, thinly sliced
1 lime, sliced
1 red cili padi, sliced
1 handful cilantro (daun ketumbar)
1 cup quinoa, cooked
1 cup fish stock
1 spring onion, sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Simmer cooked quinoa and fish stock in a pot till it thickens into porridge consistency. While that is cooking, place trout with kaffir lime leaf, lime, cili padi, and cilantro on a piece of aluminum foil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, wrap it up tight and bake at 200C for 15 mins. Put porridge in a bowl. Once the trout is cooked, remove from the oven and place on top of the porridge. Sprinkle with spring onion to serve.

Seared Norwegian Fjord Trout and Asian Potato Salad

1 Trout fillet
2 waxy potatoes, cooked
1 Tbs light soy sauce
1 Tbs sesame oil
1 spring onion, sliced
1 tsp fried shallots
1 inch ginger, grated
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil

Method
Drizzle the trout with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake at 200C for 10 mins. Cut potatoes in cubes and set aside. Whisk soy sauce, sesame oil and grated ginger together and toss with potatoes. Top potatoes with spring onion and fried shallots to serve with the cooked trout.

Norwegian Fjord Trout Bakar in Banana Leaf

1 Trout fillet
1 Tbs fish curry powder
1 Tbs chilli powder
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp belacan, grated
Kaffir lime leaves, chopped
Olive oil
Salt, to taste
Banana leaf

Method
Mix curry powder, chilli powder, belacan, sugar and salt together. Make slits on the skin side of the trout. Rub the spice mix on it thoroughly. Push the kaffir lime leaves into the slits of the fish. Drizzle some oil on the fish and wrap with banana leaf. Roast in the oven at 220C for 15 mins. Serve with sambal on the side.