Wednesday, May 15, 2019

SUMPTUOUS SURPRISES JUST FROM YU


Mothers are always the finickiest of eaters. Especially if they love food. I was relieved when we had lunch at YU this Mother’s Day; my Mum had a gala time savouring the dim sum specialities. Despite the restaurant being full, the attentive service met and exceeded her expectations.
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Next time, I shall bring Mum back to sample YU’s Dim Sum Hi Tea (RM98++ for 2 persons). Available on weekdays (excluding Public Holidays) from 2pm-4pm, the leisurely yum cha session includes two drinks: a choice of soft drink, juice, coffee or tea. For those with deep pockets, luxe it up with a chilled bottle of Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut Champagne (RM350++).
Taking a leaf from the English afternoon tea concept, YU proffers a carefully curated range of dim sum comprising a basket of dainty steamed morsels, followed by a two-tier stand laden with baked, pan-fried and deep-fried savoury and sweet temptations.

 
The overall ensemble forms a marvellously satisfying and substantial meal; nice to look at and even more delicious on the palate. Painstakingly handcrafted, we find each of the delicate creations on-point; generously stuffed with chunky prawns and chicken to form Siew Mai with Abalone, Sakura Prawn Dumpling, Truffle Seafood Dumpling, Unagi Dumpling, a goldfish-like Prawn Dumpling and Beancurd Promegranate.
If possible, refrain from dunking the scrumptious dim sum in the sweet bean and chilli dips provided. Savour each morsel on its own first, to appreciate the pure, unadulterated flavours at first bite. Then subsequent mouthfuls may be enliven with YU’s housemade dips: yellow pepper, chilli oil, Chinese ginger sauce (a blend of basil, coriander and ginger), Mongolian sauce (chilli & garlic) and Thai chilli sauce.
Interestingly, the deep-fried/baked retinue piques our interest with inventive specialities such as Sweet Chilli Crab in Toasted Bao, Golden Foie Gras Puff and Crispy Taro Spring Roll. The culinary team deserves plaudits for their ingenuity in intepreting familiar fare like chilli crab and foie gras into new gastronomic delights.
Pickled radish rosette...one of the pretty amuse bouche creations from YU
More sensuous offerings to tickle the tastebuds include feather-light and delectable Wagyu Puff, whimsical and flaky puffs of Crispy Swans with smoked duck filling, crispy Kataifi Mango Prawn Roll, Fried Prawn Dumpling and BBQ Chicken Bun.
Even simple yet clever touches can be game-chaging. YU’s signature White Lotus Salted Egg Yolk Hedgehog Bun is a fine example — the cute little ‘hedgehog’ shaped bun has become a ‘must have’ item and you won’t be surprised. Cuteness factor aside, the bun itself is a bona fide sumptuous treat; texturally and taste-wise. Ditton for the slightly chewy Playboy Lava Carrot with its yummy, molten peanut filling.
Personally, I’m partial to the bewitchingly dark Gula Melaka Honeycomb Cake and cottony-soft HK Thousand Layer Cake. Charcoal Custard Flowy Bun, Portuguese Egg Tart and Bird’s Nest Lemongrass Infusion with Basil Seeds & Mixed Fruits complete the Dim Sum Hi-Tea Set. We reckon the Dim Sum Hi-Tea Set is a fabulous introduction to YU’s extensive a la carte Dim Sum selection (priced from RM8 upwards per serving).
Delving into the restaurant’s main menu, Corporate Executive Chef James Ho from Ruyi (sister restaurant of YU) proves he has several culinary aces in store at this mdoern, pork-free Chinese resto.
Top of the eats list at YU is Steamin’ Crabilicious (RM108++ per portion). The impressive dish of steamed whole crab with roe perched on salted fish and chicken paté, and glutinous rice tastes as good as it looks. Take your time to sample this house speciality...let the faint, pleasing aroma of Chinese wine stimulate your senses before you dig in.
Every mouthful is divinely pleasurable, from the fresh, clear sweetness of crabmeat to the slick, fine texture of the chicken paté (it’s akin to a chicken patty subtly imbued with the savoury brininess of salted fish) and richly flavoured glutinous rice.
 
Another show-stopper here is Crackling Wagyu Hor Fun — deep-fried crispy noodles topped with sautéed wagyu beef, ginger and spring onion (RM68/portion). What sets this noodles dish apart is the full-bodied, lustrous and golden yellow sauce that complements it.
Blended from chicken stock, carrot and pumpkin juice, sesame oil & fried shallot oil, the chef reveals some Shao Xing wine is added last to give the sauce appetising aroma and deeper nuance.
Crispy conpoy and puffed rice crispies bestow the Imperial Lobak (RM28), pan fried radish cake, with layers of varying textures. Scrambled duck egg enriched the offering further, giving the smoky dish, an enticingly scrumptious finish.

For a luxuriously regal treat, you won’t go remiss with The Prince & The Pauper (RM48++, minimum order 2 pcs) — Seared Foie Gras with Caramelised Watermelon. A fabulous go-to house special when you’re out to impress or indulge.
Chef Ho is also bold enough to reintepret bak-kut-teh by deconstructing the traditional dish into Chick-U-Tei (RM38++ per person). The results are surprisingly agreeable even to a purist like moi; the resultant taste profile boasts subtler dimensions with multiple textural interplay. 
His imaginative albeit more upmarket presentation is highly laudable: the herbal broth with a whole chicken thigh and drumstick is served in a bowl while an elogated platter showcases a whole abalone with crispy mushroom, a pair of petite rice rolls with shiitake, a quail egg and garlic, and pieces of deep-fried cruller and beancurd puffs.
 
To fulfill your green quota, we’d recommend Empress Tien Chi (RM48 per portion). Known as tien chi in Mandarin or teen chut in Cantonese, the waxy, mildly bitter green leaves of panax notoginseng are poached with barley, fish maw, conpoy and wolfberries. A nice, comforting way of relishing this nutritious greens. In TCM, the leaves are prized for their efficacy in lowering blood sugar level, replenishing blood vessels and expediting wound-healing.
For reservations, call YU, tel: 03-2202 2602. Address: G-243, Riverview Entrance, Ground Floor, The Gardens Mall, Mid Valley City, KL. Business hours: Daily 11am – 4pm for lunch and dim sum, 6pm - 1030pm dinner.

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