Showing posts with label dried scallop. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dried scallop. Show all posts

Thursday, January 23, 2020


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:

Thursday, January 19, 2017


Crunchy deep-fried soft shell crabs emerged as the distinct element which made the festive Yee Sang outstanding at The Emperor restaurant this year. This together with shredded young mango and Korean pear brought refreshing twists to the festive salad we sampled.
Diners can look forward to this delicious Soft Shell Crab Yee Sang alongside more ubiquitous Jelly Fish, Salmon or Baby Abalone variants for lou hei this Year of the Fire Rooster. Priced at RM68-RM138nett per half portion and RM98-RM258nett for a full portion, Yee Sang is served for lunch and dinner daily throughout the celebration.
A standing joke among those who know me is my lack of enthusiasm for most things soupy. Still, I make an exception for reviews especially when it's a nutritious broth like the Double-boiled Cordycep Flowers with Dried Scallop, Bamboo Pith, Black Chicken and Fish Maw Soup. Such premium ingredients are nourishing for the soul so even I won't pass up on such a gourmet treat. This wholesome broth is featured in the RM1,888nett set menu.
The sweet, sharp pungency of garlic was discernible when we bit into the tender, juicy meat of Golden Crispy Roasted Spring Chicken with Prawn Crackers. Frankly, the crisp skin and flavourful flesh barely needed the house-made chilli sauce served on the side, but an occasional dip into the tangy condiment managed to kick things up a notch.
A CNY feast without fish would be unthinkable since yue is synonymous with abundance to us Chinese. While Steamed Silver Cod with Taiwanese Beancurd and King Soya Sauce may sound tried-and-tested, the fish's delicate sweetness and smooth flesh complemented by silky slices of white beancurd had us hooked at first bite. I especially love the judicious balance of savoury-sweet accents from the use of premium soya sauce and deep-fried minced garlic.


A bed of smooth steamed egg white served as the base to showcase tender halves of Steamed Fresh Water Prawns with Golden Garlic and Egg White. We detected a faint whiff of Chinese wine as we savoured the fresh, springy crustacean whilst lapping up the creamy roe and sublime jus. Sedap giler!
Toothsomely QQ texture of the prawn paste made the palate-pleasing dish of Pan-fried Scallops utterly memorable. Guaranteed to put an extra spring in your step for the joyous festivities! The cluster of broccoli should ensure your green quota would be met too.
Instead of lap mei farn, a huge portion of Steamed Glutinous Rice with Diced Chicken, Yam & Duck  in Lotus Leaves wrapped up the substantial parade of mains. Carb die-hards would succumb to the hearty flavours reminiscent of hearth and home.
Sweet conclusion came in a platter of Deep-fried Chinese New Year Cake and Mochi Green Tea Paste. Mindful of today's health-conscious diners, both offerings were subtly sweet; teasing the tastebuds with different textures and adroitly combining the old (nin gou) and the new (mochi). 
Washing it all down with Chilled Mango Puree with Mixed Fruits & Sago, the whole plethora of festive specialities was indeed fit for an emperor. For the Fire Rooster Lunar New Year celebrations, The Emperor proffers four set menu options: Fortune of Gold (RM1,188 per table of 8-10 persons), Abundance & Wealth (RM1,388 per table), Luxurious Prosperity (RM1,688 per table) or Everlasting Prosperity (RM1,888 per table) for your picking.

For reservations, please call The Emperor restaurant, tel: 03-5031 6060. Address: Level 1, Dorsett Grand Subang, Jalan SS12/1, Subang Jaya, Selangor.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


Justin Hor is undoubtedly Malaysia's most progressive, dynamic and well-respected Chinese chef today. As the Group Executive Chef and co-founder of The Oriental Group of Restaurants, his name is what the Chinese decrees as 'sou yat, sou yi' - literally second to none in the cut-throat and insanely competitive F&B scene. 

I still recall the buzz surrounding the opening of Noble House, one of The Oriental Group's earliest culinary bastion in KL. Well, 16 years later the resto group has grown by leaps and bounds yet the group's sterling reputation remains intact and as revered as ever. To celebrate its 16th year of Chinese culinary excellence, The Oriental Group spearheaded by Chef Justin Hor is offering a selection of age-old dishes updated for current times specially for customers to savour.
That was how us lucky few ended up at Noble House, for a sampling of the special celebratory menu. For the uninitiated, the impressive interior on the lower ground level is dominated by a koi-filled pond and gurgling water features. Upstairs, a warren of cosy private rooms allow customers to dine in comfort. Wheelchair-bound and infirm guests can even enjoy hassle-free access to the resto via a lift to transport them upstairs.
I was often asked what I like to eat most as a food writer. As a typical Chinese, I believe Chinese food trumps 'em all. Never mind if Chinese cuisine doesn't have the same cachet as French or Japanese in the eyes of the world. Fyi, Chinese cuisine is far more intricate and complex yet it remains sorely undervalued in today's culinary stage. Hence more Chinese food proponents like Chef Justin Hor helps tremendously to raise the cuisine to fresh gastronomic heights and give it extra shine.
Dinner rolled off smoothly with us scoffing down the first of five appetisers: sesame seeds-coated Black Squid Ink Balls. Held in place using decorative toothpicks with diced cucumber and cherry tomato halves, the springy squid paste balls darkened with squid ink bore a nutty aftertaste, whetting our appetite for more.

Priced at RM2,888 nett (a table of 10), The Oriental Group's 16th Anniversary Set Menu gives more bang for the buck while simultaneously serving as an exquisite throwback of the group's grand dinners past. Featuring a king's ransom of premium ingredients, the multi-course repertoire entails laborious prep work and masterful culinary techniques, coupled with artistic food presentation using exclusive custom-made tableware.
For the second appetiser, Chef Justin decided to give classic braised pig's ear a fresh spin, reinterpreting it as a crunchy Chinese salad of Pig's Ear with Baby Black Fungus. Sliced into strips, the slightly resistant cartilage pieces tossed with baby black fungus and Japanese cucumber chunks were light yet tantalising to sample.
Likewise, he tweaked the old-school 'hai jou' (crab meat dumpling rolls) by adding clams into the filling. Enmeshed in pig's caul, the deep-fried and sliced Crispy Clam Rolls with Five Spices yielded an irresistibly good mix of minced pork, clams, waterchestnuts and five spice powder. A delectable creation that would induce anyone to polish off a whole plate!
Inspired by a trip to Tawau, Chef Justin whipped up a distinctive kerabu-style salad of Sea Grass with Shredded Yam. Tossed in piquantly sour-hot Chef's special sauce, we relished the multitude of crunchy textures: that of tiny silverfish, thin strips of yam and sea grass (also known as sea bird's nest).
His Hong Kong 'pei fung thong' (typhoon shelther) style of Baby Pomfrets with Cili Padi & Minced Garlic also took us by storm.
A surefire crown-pleaser thanks to the invigorating strong flavours evoked by the scattering of crisp-fried curry leaves, minced garlic and hot bird's eye chilli. Kudos to the chef for daring to wade into unfamiliar waters, using the little fishes which left us hooked on their smoky crispiness and sweet flesh.
Then we were all souped up by the Imperial Rejuvenation Soup. According to Chef Justin, this speciality recipe came from his 'sifu' (mentor) and is similar to a traditional Buddha Jumps Over The Wall. Updated to fit modern cognoscenti, the double-boiling process took up to 6 hours and that lengthy period haven't covered the initial, painstakingly preparation of the various dried seafood items yet.
We dug in and uncovered a 4-head abalone, superior shark's fin, fresh fish maw, sea cucumber, Japanese dried scallop and conch in addition to plump Japanese mushroom, Yunnan ham, pork tendon, a hardboiled quail's egg and Chinese herbs like ginseng, 'huai san', superior 'tong sum' and wolfberries. With such choice ingredients in one specially designed receptacle, the sumptuous soup will boost your vigour for sure.
Next in the pecking order was Roast Baby Hong Kong Pigeon. Delicately suffused with the complex nuances of 'lou sui' (braising stock) and aromatic spices, the crackly crisp skin gave way to moist, tender meat. Every serving also came with half a kaffir lime and cherry tomatoes soaked in preserved plum juice.The kaffir lime was meant to moisten the drier breast meat and temper its mild gaminess while the cherry tomatoes helped to cleanse the palate from residual greasiness.
Those of you who are old enough like yours truly will remember the Traditional Stuffed Whole Chinese Cabbage once ruled supreme in Chinese banquets of yore. The Chinese has always held this vegetable in high regard as 'pau choi' in the native language means guaranteed prosperity. 
Now you can appreciate this retro masterpiece in which the whole cabbage held an enticing stuffing of minced pork, crab meat, diced mushroom, carrot and waterchestnuts at its heart.The yummy offering was accompanied by florets of broccoli enrobed with fish paste and immersed in an unctuously rich dried scallop sauce. Heavenly.
The culinary wizardry continued with the droolworthy sight and smell of Steamed Fresh Water Prawns on Glutinous Rice. Tucked inside a huge bamboo steamer basket was sizeable fresh river prawn halves, generously smothered with minced ginger and chopped fresh coriander plus spring onion. These springy textured crustaceans reclined on a bed of fluffy glutinous rice; the sticky grains capturing all the sublimely sweet prawn jus for our enjoyment.
What little tummy space remained was amply filled by Sweetened Red Bean Broth with Old Guangzhou Orange Peel. It was fascinating to learn from Chef Justin the aged citrus peel he procured from Guangzhou cost a bomb. Compared to the regular homemade dried mandarin peel which imparted a stronger overtone, this one infused the 'tong shui' with its pleasantly mellow citrusy scent and nuance.
Plenty of 'oohs' and 'aahs' over the skillful handiwork that went into making the White Lotus Peonies & Crystal Pumpkin Dumplings. I prefer the latter for the dumpling's slightly chewy skin - stained a bright orange - contained subtly sweet mash that contrasted well with the flaky, light floral-shaped dumplings brimming with white lotus paste.
For more information and advance reservations, please call Noble House, tel: 03-2145 8822 or check for the full listing of The Oriental Group of restaurants. 

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