Friday, January 17, 2020

YUMMY OLD AND NEW EATS FOR CHINESE NEW YEAR AT DORSETT GRAND SUBANG


Oishi is the word that comes to our lips as we savour the multi-colour Japanese Style Prosperity Yee Sang with Crispy Fish Skin & Salmon (RM98++ half portion, RM138++ full portion) at The Emperor restaurant.
Available with a choice of traditional plum sauce or Japanese wasabi sauce, this celebratory salad platter is the tip of the CNY culinary parade rustled up by Executive Chinese Chef Bryan Teh and his team.
Pix courtesy of Chasingfooddreams.com
Having won three Gold Medals: from Shanghai International Top Chefs Invitational Competition, the 2019 Malaysia World Elite Chefs Championship and the 2019 Asian Culinary Exchange competition in Japan, in addition to a Silver Medal from the 2019 World Master Chefs Competition for Cantonese Cuisine held in Macao, the jovial chef and his team are ready to cook up a storm of old and new dishes for Chinese New Year.
Right off the bat, the Yee Sang gets a resounding thumbs up. Other variants to tickle your tastebuds include Jelly Fish & Fresh Fruits (RM68++ half portion RM108++ full portion), Salmon & Korean Pear (RM68++ half portion RM138++ full portion), Baby Abalone & Korean Pear ((RM138++ half portion RM168++ full portion) and Soft Shell Crab (RM88++ half portion RM168++ full portion).
Pix courtesy of Chasingfooddreams.com
CNY celebrants can also feast to their hearts’ content with three set menus available: Prosperity Set Menu (RM1,188 nett), Wealthy Set Menu (RM1,388 nett) and Happiness Set Menu (RM1,688 nett), each catering to a table of 8-10 persons.
The festive specialities in the Wealthy Set Menu are proof why The Emperor still rules as a favoured haunt for dining like kings among the corporate crowd and Subang residents. Especially after they slurp up a salubrious bowl of Double Boiled Matsutake Mushroom with Bamboo Pith and Farm Village Chicken.
Every spoonful of the nutritious, wholesome broth is more enjoyable and beneficial than popping supplements. Palate-pleasing textures emerge when you nibble on the earthy matsutake mushroom; a subtle contrast to the soft, spongy bamboo pith and chunks of fall-off-the-bone chicken.
A believer of the ‘old is gold’ adage, Chef Bryan Teh decides a timeless serving of Roast Crispy Chicken updated with Sweet Corn & Butter won’t go remiss for familial CNY feasting. He’s right.
 
Crispy skin- checked. Juicy meat – checked. The pile of buttery sweet corn niblets bursting with delicate sweetness, transforms the dish into something to crow about.
It’s wise of the chef to go with the usual flow when it comes to the perennial fish dish on such a significant occasion. Thanks to his own saucy concoction using superior soya sauce from Lee Kum Kee, the noteworthy Hong Kong Style Steamed Mandarin Fish with Superior Soya Sauce makes quite a splash with us. We appreciate the fish’s natural sweetness remains discernible, complemented by the aromatic soya sauce.
 
More soya sauce wizardry is apparent from the scrumptious Wok-Fried Tiger Prawns with Superior Soya Sauce. Slicked like shellac, the dark savoury glaze enveloping each crustacean entices us into much finger-licking and shell-sucking before the prawns are duly devoured.
Good things not only come to those who wait but also to diners who savour the auspicious-sounding dish of Braised Black Mushroom with Dried Oysters & Sea Moss. Plump and succulent, the black mushrooms paired with smoky dried oysters and fine hair-like seamoss are always eaten with gusto throughout the festivities – as hou si, fatt choi denotes the ushering in of good things and prosperity.
 
Instead of waxed meat rice, modernity and growing health-consciousness prompted the creation of new, almost guilt-free Steamed Organic Brown Rice with Glutinous Rice & Smoked Duck. A most mouth-watering speciality with a healthy spin yet suitably tasty for festive feasting. 
A sweet conclusion to the celebratory meal is Double Boiled Red Dates with Sweet Peach Resin & Snow Fungus. Refreshing and light, the cooling broth ensures diners will succumb to the dessert duo of Deep Fried Chinese New Year Cake & Pandan Coconut Milk Jelly.
Receive a Lee Kum Kee goody bag (while stocks last) when you reserve a table on the eve of and first day of Chinese New Year at The Emperor. Should you decide to partake the Wealthy Set Menu, you stand to win a special Gift Box courtesy of Lee Kum Kee (limited to 2 sets daily).
Pix courtesy of Dorsett Grand Subang
Advance reservations is compulsory from the eve of Chinese New Year until 8 February 2020. Call The Emperor, tel: 03-5031 6060 or email: bookfnb.subang@dorsetthotels.com or visit www.dorsetthotels.com/malaysia/subang


Tuesday, January 14, 2020

DECADENT CHINESE NEW YEAR DINING AT YUN HOUSE


Get the Lunar New Year celebration off to a decadent, impactful start with super-fresh Salmon Belly Yee Sang at Yun House this coming Year of the Rat.
Chef Jimmy Wong keeps his salad creation simple and fresh. The platter features 18 ingredients such as fresh magnolia petals, pomelo sacs, finely shredded carrot and radish. For colour, flavour and textural interest, dried yam strips, pickled radish, pickled onion, pickled ginger, walnuts, fried flour crisps and fried Norwegian salmon skin are included.
Topping the platter off with a distinctive flourish is a portion of crunchy deep-fried sang meen (wheat noodles). We like the novelty of breaking the crunchy noodles into smaller chunks during the lou hei (tossing) ritual as the gesture represents auspicious breakthrough for brand-new beginnings. To tantalise the palate further, Chef Jimmy proffers a tangy-sweet dressing concocted from plum sauce, white vinegar, apple jam and salt for the yee sang.
 
Thoughtfully curated, the festive menu integrates light and substantial fare, with a precursor of the Chef’s Special Dim Sum Platter. Delicately handcrafted, we enjoy every bite of the delicious Mushroom & Truffle Oil Dumpling. A dainty piece of Steamed Radish Cake with Dried Scallop whets the appetite before the delectable Spring Roll with Foie Gras & Seafood suffuses our tastebuds with its richer flavours.
 
Lush with hearty umami taste and differing textures, we feel richly rewarded when savouring the Braised Money Bag filled with Abalone. A befitting speciality to relish for the CNY celebration as both the dried oyster and abalone symbolise good things, abundant fortune and prosperity. 
 
The on-point selection continues with Braised Vermicelli with Fresh Crabmeat and Caviar. Pin-drop silence reigns around the table as we focus on slurping up the slippery smooth noodles imbued with the natural sweetness of hand-extracted crabmeat, interspersed with briny bursts of caviar.
 
My penchant for almond milk is fulfilled when the Dessert Duo of Doubled Boiled Superior Bird’s Nest with Almond Cream and Chef’s Special Fried Rice Cake is served. Every spoonful leaves me in gastronomic heaven, the creamy nuttiness melding nicely with generous amount of bird’s nest.
Even the simple nin koh or New Year rice cake comes up trumps, lightly sheathed in a crisp batter concocted from tempura flour, olive oil and water.
Chef Jimmy Wong’s specially curated Chinese New Year Set Menus (RM388-
688 per head) are available now until February 8. The repertoire of choice dishes is the chef’s personal favourites to pamper his loved ones; culled from his treasure trove of family recipes exclusively for this celebration.
Priced from RM148 nett onwards, Yee Sang variants at Yun House include Salmon Belly, Toro and Australian Lobster. Dim Sum is also served for lunch at RM10-45 nett per portion.
For reservations at Yun House, call Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur, tel: 03-2382 8888. Address: Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Ampang, KL. Visit: https://www.fourseasons.com/kualalumpur/dining/restaurants/yun-house/

Thursday, January 09, 2020

ABUNDANT PROSPERITY EATS AT STILL WATERS


Japanese Yee Sang (RM78 half serving, RM138 full serving) complete with housemade Japanese plum sauce is the star of the Chinese New Year show at Still Waters, Hotel Maya Kuala Lumpur this year.
The colourful salad flaunts a rosette of thick, succulent salmon sashimi atop lollo bionda and lollo rossa lettuce, julienne cucumber and radish. Jelly fish, Japanese crabstick, marinated seaweed, chuka idako (marinated baby octopus), Japanese fishcake, tobiko (flying fish roe), salmon fish roe, pickled onion, takuan (pickled daikon radish), sesame seeds, roasted peanuts, and pok chui (fried flour crisps) form the festive melange.
Once tossed and mixed together, the resultant salad is enticingly refreshing; a vibrant platter of moist, crunchy textures with vivid, palate-pleasing accents.
Priced from RM43 upwards (half serving) and from RM78 upwards (full serving), Still Waters will be offering other variants of Yee Sang: Kanpachi (yellowtail), Salmon, Crispy Silver Fish and Jelly Fish from 10 January to 10 February.
The hotel chefs also have created three Chinese New Year set menus to welcome the Year of the Rat. Catering to tables of 10 persons each, the Chinese New Year Set Menus are priced at RM888 nett (set A), RM1,088 nett (set B) and RM1,388 nett (set C).
Our sneak preview gave us a taste of selected dishes from the three special menus, starting with Braised Eight Treasure Soup. After the salad’s appetite-whetting flavours, the broth tastes underwhelming in spite of the myriad albeit scant amount of ‘treasures’: sea cucumber, crab meat, fish lips, dried scallop, fish maw, mushroom and beancurd. Chef Wong Thiam Ming promises the shortcoming will be rectified after our feedback.
Like a phoenix rising to restore the meal’s equilibrium, the Roast Chicken with Chinese Herbs proved on point. An intensive labour of love, the chicken is ‘bathed’ in oil first before it’s baked and then steamed to tender, juicy perfection.
Delectably suffused with sweet, woody nuances of angelica (tong gwai) gojiberries, red dates, codonopsis root (dong sum) and Solomon’s seal (yuk chuk), the chook easily warm hearts and tummies.
Hondashi (bonito powder) is the chef’s trump card in perking up the Steamed Pearl Garoupa with Mirin Sauce and Scallions. Although the sweetish soya sauce eclipses the fish’s inherent sweetness, the classic soya sauce and scallion pairing remains a failsafe complement for this fleshy catch.
 
IMHO the the Wok Fried Prawns with Golden Salted Egg Yolk Cereal is rather ho-hum. However, I daresay the curry leaf-scented, creamy and savoury sauce will hit the mark for most CNY celebrants.
Top marks go to the aromatic Garlic Fried Rice with Dried Duck Meat, Mushroom and Barbeque Chicken. We like the inspired use of dried duck meat dices which added a distinctly rich but not cloying overtone to the rice. A winsome dish to generate a buzz of satisfaction.
Old meets new in the dessert department with Steamed Housemade Nian Gao pair with blobs of Osmanthus Jelly. We love the fresh, coarsely grated coconut coating the soft slices of new year glutinous rice cake. To cleanse the palate, there’s QQ-chewy konnyaku jelly flavoured with fragrant osmanthus.
A la carte menu for smaller dining parties are available too.

For reservations, call Still Waters, tel: 03-2711 8866 or visit www.hotelmaya.com.my