Thursday, January 23, 2020

NOBLE CNY OFFERINGS FROM THE ORIENTAL GROUP


Trust Chinese cuisine supremo and Group Executive Chef of The Oriental Group of Restaurants Justin Hor to make a big splash for the arrival of the Rat Year...his Alaskan Spider Crab Vegetables Yee Sang (RM198++ medium, RM298++ large) is an unmatched festive dish to rule them all.
Available at all restaurants under the Oriental Group except Ruyi & Lyn, the fresh melange of shredded green apple, carrot, cucumber, purple cabbage, spring onion, coriander, raisins, crushed peanuts and dried mandarin peel is luxed up with freshly extracted and shredded Alaskan spider crab meat. Lightly dressed with the chef’s specially concocted plum sauce, the yee sang easily ranks as one of the best in town.
Chef Justin agrees the inclusion of Alaskan spider crab is a tad indulgent but he surmises such an extravagant culinary treat befits a major occasion like Chinese New Year when kith and kin gather around a good meal.
Diners welcoming the Rat Year at Oriental Pavilion, Noble Mansion and Noble House can look forward to a familiar favourite and the much sought-after speciality of Whole Pork Trotter with Hokkaido XL Dried Scallops, Japanese Mushrooms and Quail Eggs (RM488++ per portion).
Every ringgit spent is worth your while as Chef Justin and his team have devoted much time and effort into the dish’s painstaking preparation; to ensure the resultant pork trotter is sublimely fall-of-the-bone tender, every bite of the pork, skin and gelatinous bits thoroughly suffused with rich, savoury flavours augmented by black sea moss and XL dried scallops. Both the tau kan (compressed layers of beancurd skin) and plump mushrooms ooze with the unctuous braising sauce, amplifying their deliciousness.
Crazy about crabs? Then you’d love the speciality of Crabs Prepared Two Ways: Deep Fried Crab Claws with Red Vinegar and Crab Meat with Scrambled Egg in Lettuce Wraps (RM238++ per portion for 4 persons, available at The Ming Room and Noble House).
 
It’s a dream dish for diners and crab lovers who prefer not to get their hands dirty. The first comprises a sweet chunk of crab meat encased in deep-fried prawn paste wrapped atop a crab leg similar to a lollipop for easy eating. We find the whole morsel so delectably on-point when it’s dipped into some red vinegar for a subtle shot of acidity.
For smoother and creamier mouth feel, the latter consists of hand-extracted crab meat cooked gently with cream, egg white and a dash of vinegar, scooped into fresh iceberg lettuce; evocative of an old-school banquet dish of scrambled egg with shark’s fin.
 
Frolic in glorious abundance this CNY with Steamed Deep Sea Garoupa with Fresh Abalones and Prawn Medallions in Casserole Basket (RM388++ per portion for 8 persons), a house speciality of the Oriental Star restaurant. The fish is sweet with the right doneness, the prawns springy and succulent, and the abalones boast a nice garlicky punch.
Bottarga or salted dried mullet roe – a pricey delicacy favoured by Taiwanese gourmands – is the ingredient of choice to elevate the Crystal Prawns with Gold Caviar Sauce (RM128++ per portion).
Combined with lemon juice and red chilli oil, the mildly savoury sauce coating the prawns bestow a distinct richness similar to cheese. Break the giant beancurd bowl into shards to complement the prawns for a refined epicurean treat. This speciality is available at all Oriental Group restaurants except for Seafood World, Ruyi and Yu.
Tender French beans help to lighten up the ubiquitous Steamed Rice with Waxed Meat Hakka Style (RM78++ medium, RM128++ large). Available at all Oriental Group restaurants except for Seafood World, Ruyi and Yu, this festive favourite still has its die-hard fans who never tire of sampling the fragrant rice with slices of waxed liver and pork sausages in addition to waxed meat.
 
The last hurrah is as auspicious as the dessert name: Golden Pudding with Bird’s Nest in Whole Orange (RM23++ each). Served in hollowed-out orange ‘bowls’, we rave over the delightful orange jelly topped with bird’s nest.
 
Of course, every CNY meal calls for a serving of nin kou (sweet glutinous rice cake). At the Oriental group of restaurants except for Seafood World, Ruyi and Yu, it’s in the form of dainty Deep Fried Sesame Balls with Nin Kou (RM5++ per pc) to round up the celebratory feast.
For reservations and information, visit The Oriental Group of Restaurants website: www.orientalrestaurants.com.my

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