Showing posts with label suckling pig. Show all posts
Showing posts with label suckling pig. Show all posts

Thursday, October 25, 2018


The largest banquet hall in Cheras. That is Oriental Star’s claim to fame; heralding the debut the newest restaurant under the Oriental Restaurants group, to open in one of KL’s most densely populated suburbs.
Personally, I’m overjoyed as Cheras has always been considered a backwater; more renowned for its notorious traffic jams (really? Which part of Klang Valley is not??) and often perceived as a ‘rough and tumble’ ‘hood. It is heartening to know savvy restaurateurs like the Oriental Group realise this huge area has untapped potential, with folks yearning for the latest lifestyle mod-cons.
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Designed as a wedding and banquet venue, Oriental Star’s cavernous premise boasts an uncluttered setting, complete with a raised stage, mellow downlights and plush underfoot carpeting. Besides dim sum to pull in the lunch crowd, Oriental Star is enticing Cheras residents with a super value Gourmet Set Menu. Priced at RM 798++ per table of 10 pax, the multiple course menu should be the irresistible siren’s call to any food lover’s heart and stomach.
True to the Oriental Restaurants’ Group ethos, the opening volley is already designed to create an indelible impression. No detail is left to chance as the curtain-raising Teochew Style Platter is presented with aplomb, on a custom-made tiered stand to exude that wow factor.
Under the capable leadership of culinary supremo and Group Executive Chef Justin Hor, the kitchen team here proves they have the chops from the get-go. The quartet of appetisers comprising Fragrant Garlic Fish Fillet, Stewed Pork Neck, Intestines & Beancurd, Crispy Crab Meat Dumplings and Sea Clams with Wasabi Sesame Sauce is guaranteed to garner a few 'wow' around the table. Thumbs up to the clever melding of old-school, nostalgic taste and textural appeal with fleeting fusion influences.
My fave out of the lavish platter is the sliced clams complemented by crunchy jellyfish and okra pieces dressed in the nutty-zingy sauce. The other offerings are equally on-point and should bridge the familial generation gap easily.
The stodgy and somewhat fishy Braised Shark’s Fin with Crab Roe is underwhelming IMHO. And let's not wade into hot soup over the key ingredient (you know what I'm referring to) as one's man soup is another man's poison.
Fresh hope resurfaces once we sample the whole Steamed Ocean Dragon Garoupa with Fresh Abalone, Seng Kwa (luffa) & Squid Balls Taishan Style. Inspired by the ubiquitous hot pot of Taishan — a city-level county in Guangdong province — the clear, inherent sweet fish makes a raveworthy splash along with some toothsome abalone scattered with minced garlic, soft-tender luffa with slippery glass noodles and springy squid balls.
As expected, the house speciality of Roast Suckling Pig with Preserved Beancurd alone makes this menu worth every ringgit. Just savouring the impossibly thin, crackly crisp skin is utterly satisfying.
Although I enjoy the plump strands of Stir-fried Asparagus Beans with Olive and Soy Beans, I find the residual oily aftertaste leaves much to be desired. It could be our fault as we had left the dish sitting there too long. Remember, this dish is best eaten piping hot.
Eating Steamed Rice with Waxed Meat & Yam Shunde Style is almost evocative of the Lunar New Year season but such flavour-packed comfort food will undoubtedly hit the spot with the Cheras crowd.
Bringing the curtains down with a flourish are Three Angels, whimsically presented on another triple tiered stand resembling a tree with tiny birds perched on it. On closer inspection, each ‘branch’ bears a different dessert: lemon jelly and osmanthus jelly balls as well as dainty bricks of steamed sponge cakes with dessicated coconut. Ethereally light and subtly sweet, the delicate morsels ensure we leave Oriental Star in blissfully sweet mood.
The Gourmet Set is available for dine-in only until 31 December 2018.

For reservations, call Oriental Star, tel: 03-9134 8488. Address: M-S-01, Level 2, EkoCheras Mall, No. 693, Batu 5, Jalan Cheras, Kuala Lumpur.

Thursday, August 09, 2018


A rose by any other name tastes just as nice when you dine at The Oriental Group's yearly culinary showcase. This time, the diversity and abundance of China and the Nanyang (South East Asia) serve as the hot bed of inspiration for Group Executive Chef Justin Hor.
As a passionate advocate for flying the flag high and shining the spotlight on Chinese cuisine, Chef Justin joins forces with Corporate Executive Chef James Ho of Ruyi, Malaysia. The dynamic duo's collab is in line with The Oriental Group’s past initiatives in bringing definitive menus featuring lou si fu or veteran master Chinese chefs and their signature specialities to educate the dining public and gain greater appreciation of Chinese food and cooking. The nostalgic 1960s, past decades of Hong Kong cuisine, and the legacy of Teochew food were some of the chosen themes in the past.
Chef Justin Hor said: “We always strive to stay true to the authencity of Chinese cuisine when curating recipes for the China and Nanyang promotion. It took us six months of brainstorming to rustle up 60-70 dishes before we narrow the selection down for the final menu. We have to ensure the dishes can be replicated by our team at the different restaurants.”
The opening volley by Chef James Ho is already a conversation-stopper. Delicate and thin slices of crunchy radish are fashioned into pretty rose blossoms, to form Pink Roses of Pickled Radish (RM28). Stained pink using boiled red cabbage water, the radish 'petals' taste tantalisingly salty-sweet after being pickled with preserved plums. A pleasing starter to prime the palate for the curtain-raisers of Spicy Garlic Sauce Pork Belly (RM28) and Hunan Waxed Meat & Dried Long Beans (RM38).
Streaky belly pork slices drizzled with sesame seed-flecked, garlicky and punchy hot Taiwanese oyster sauce makes it a notable tastebud-teaser. While the latter appears seemingly simple and no frills, we discover the painstaking efforts that goes into preparing the dried long beans before the appetiser hits the table.
Not to be outdone, Chef Justin Hor steps up to the plate with stellar creations such as Jellyfish & Okra in Wasabi-Sesame Sauce (RM28), Cod Fish Rolls (RM28) and Zhenjiang Sweet & Sour Iberico Baby Pork Ribs (RM28).
The mildly hot zestiness with the crunchy-gelatinous soft textural combinations of the first appetiser enhances it irresistible appeal. As for the batons of crispy, lightly-battered cod, we find the buttery shoyu-mirin sauce bestows a delightfully lush finish.
Premium Zhenjiang vinegar is the key condiment to accentuate the tender ribs. It's one of the best sweet and sour sauce rendition I've encountered, leaving the chunks of pork slicked with such bright and flavourful tangy-fruity-savoury nuances that leave us wanting more.
Boiled for over 8 hours in a rich, superior stock of pork, old chicken, dried conch and Yunnan ham, the Superior Shark’s Fin Soup with Morel Mushroom (RM118 per person) is a cherished classic updated with the inclusion of morel mushroom. A heartwarming broth that beguiles with its hearty depth of oceanic sweet-savoury flavour dimension.
Expect a frisson of excitement when a salt dome crusted with cinnamon, star anise and cloves is set ablaze; a touch of dramatic flair to herald the serving of Salt Baked 3 Head Abalone with Truffle & Kombu (RM138 each, min 2 pcs per order). 
This pricey speciality ticks all the right boxes and then some, mainly due to the inventive East-West truffle and kombu pairing to amplify the delicacy’s unique deep-sea notes.
Hats off to both chefs for raising their game to create the exquisite Roast Suckling Pig with Foie Gras Mousse (RM398). Not content with using French goose liver in its original form, they imbue the foie gras with Sichuan pepper and spring onion before blending it with sake and mirin into a lush, sublime mousse.
Piped onto wafer-thin water crackers, each foie gras rosette is then topped with a piece of crackly suckling pig skin to transform it into a dream epicurean dish fit for a king! Ever mindful of a dish’s flavour balance, the chefs proffer some deep-fried peppery hot, zingy ‘popcorn’ chicken, to help temper the cloying richness.
After his first unforgettable taste of the yellow corvina a decade ago, Chef Justin succeeded in sourcing the fish from China and imported it exclusively for this showcase. According to the chef, Deep-fried Yellow Corvina Shanghainese-style (RM38 each) is the best way to savour its mild, sweet taste.
“The fish’s firm, flaky flesh is especially tasty along the spiny bone area where the natural oil is concentrated” said Chef Justin. I find dipping the fish into the vinegar and ginger dip or eating it with marinated cherry tomatoes on the side helps to refresh the palate should the natural oiliness seems a tad overwhelming.
Pine nuts, crabmeat, mushroom and water chestnut dices give the Baked Rice with Cheese & Crispy Rice in Baby Pumpkin (RM28) a myriad of textural dimensions. Sourced from Fujian, China, the baby pumpkins came flash frozen and hallowed out; a whimsical receptacle to hold the delicious baked rice, smothered under creamy cheese topping and crunchy rice krispies.
Dessert is never ho-hum with special servings of Refreshing Rainbow Bird’s Nest (RM28) and Peanut Lava Carrots (RM15 per 3 pcs) to tempt us. Light and refreshing, the Thai lemongrass jelly is enhanced by bits of blueberries, strawberries, jackfruit and basil seeds.
It took Chef Justin two months to reinterpret the usual sesame seed balls into plump ‘carrots’. Naturally coloured with carrot juice, the outer chewy dough is made from a mixture of glutinous rice flour with cornstarch and wheat flour whilst the core yields a molten filling of crushed peanuts, sesame seeds, margarine and butter.
You can relish the gamut of China & Nanyang speciality dishes in a set menu priced at RM2,388 nett for a table of 10 persons. Both Chef Justin Hor and Chef James Ho will appear at a series of grand dinner on the following dates:

9 August      The Hand Room
10 August     Ruyi
13 August     Oriental Treasure
14 August     Noble Banquet

Alternatively, try the a la carte dishes at all participating restaurants under The Oriental Group until 31 August 2018.
For reservations and information, call Emily: 012-392 2082 or Melysa: 012-599 6028. Website:

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