Saturday, February 06, 2016

Chinese New Year Festivities at Celestial Court, Sheraton Imperial KL

Celestial Court has always ranked quite highly in my books, as one of the better "Pork Free" restaurants in town.  When I saw the lobster yee sang that lay before me, my first thought was WOW, ..... and as Alice of Jom Makan put it, the dinner menu looked like a King's ransom.  Alas, we were to find out that most of the dishes were for "illustration purposes"

For the well heeled, this decadent Boston Lobster Yee Sang with Peach ...costs RM50/100 gm of lobster, but translating that into reality, it probably works out to about RM250 per half portion, or RM500 for a fully portion.

The 20 Lips Abalone and Snow Pear Yee Sang is RM188 for half portion and RM376 for full portion.

And this rather unique combination of Banana, salmon and monkey head mushroom, which I think is RM118 for half portion, and RM226 for full portion.

The lobster that got away....from us, at any rate.

A hearty Thick Broth with Baby Lobster Meat, Shredded Jade Abalone and Dried Scallops, Cucumber, at RM50 per person.  A great substitute for the very unpolitically correct Sharks Fin... In a way, the stopping of the usage of sharks fins soup in most establishments seem to have spawned a whole new range of wonderful soups that are equally luxurious.

Braised Superior Bird's nest with Spinach... RM128 per person.   I personally fail to see the appeal of birds nest, save for the fact that it is expensive.  The soup itself is a clear consomme, very "ching", as the chinese would say, and gives a sense of wellness.  

Brasied 20 head Green Lips abalone with goose webs, sea cucumber in superior brown sauce.  RM120 per portion.  I guess for such a generous chunk of abalone, the price is reasonable.  For the tasting portions, however, to be honest, I am not sure what fauxbalone was served, but it was rubbery and fishy, although the goose web was delicious.

The overall taste of this dish is really very good, and the goose webs are a winner.

Sauteed Fresh Scallop with flower fungus and green vegetables.  RM168 for small portion, and RM242 for medium,

Duo combination of Tiger King Prawn, Deep Fried with Spicy Chilli Salt and Sauteed With Sichuan Style, RM138 (S) RM208 (M).

Braised Ee Fu Noodleswith Seafood, Dried Oyster in Abalone Sauce.I enjoye this dish because I loved the noodles, in particular, which were firm and springy.

Double Boiled Birds Nest with Red Dates, Sweet Pear , White Ginseng and Snow Fungus.

The set menus for CNY start at RM1988 nett for 10 people...

Sheraton Imperial KL
Tel: 27179900

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Memory Makers at Gobo Upstairs, Traders Hotel KL

Back in October, the lovely Theresa Goh of Traders Hotel invited me for a feedback session on their MEMORY MAKERS menu, but alas, I was traipsing around Nepal, so could not make it. So I was grateful they still invited me nonetheless to sample the final product that is now already available to the public.  Somehow the term Memory Makers conjures images of 70s and 80s music.

Anyway, suffice to say, after the meal, I had to jog my Memory... or rather, jog off my Memory Makers...I was so stuffed,

To start, a clear and cleansing Mushroom Tea, served in a bodum teapot, reminiscent of a Japanese Dobin Mushi soup, ...The aroma of the variety of mushrooms wafted to the olfactories, immediately imparting a sense of wellness and comfort.

Accompanied with salted tempura oyster mushrooms on the side, gotta love the presentation. RM35 nett

What is a Memory  without a menage a trois?  The 3some meat platter, which is for two very hungry eaters, or I'd say 3-4 moderate eaters, consist of a medley of grilled chicken, artichoke and coriander pesto, Lamb with rosemary and bordelaise sauce, Tenderloin with pumpkin puree and sides. RM250 nett

The chicken is rather sizeable, half a small chicken, I'd say, cos there is a choice of thigh or breast.  I enjoyed the tender thigh, I can never fathom how people can eat breast.  The presentation is most unique, served in the wrappings of a corn cob.

Tenderloin, moist and tender and cooked to perfection. My medium was a medium, ..

The rack of lamb was aromatic, and did not reek of that lamby flavour that I have become averse to in my old age.

Finally, their piece de resistance, and who'd have thought, the humble Nasi Lemak with a makeover.  Steamed wtih the waters of a hawaiian coconut, and coconut milk, the amazing aroma of the rice itself makes this dish a star.  Labelled Nasi Lemak 2.0 (RM30 nett), the rice alone would make me happy.

Served with prawn sambal, ayam berempah or rendang, and the requisite hard boiled egg with nuts and anchovies.

The aroma of that rice still lingers in my residual memory till this day.

Le Bon Vivant Ice Kepal - for those of you young enough to remember the ice was so uncomplicated then, a 10 sen ice ball could bring such joy...of course, this glamourized version is certainly not 10 sen, but it does have something probably most people in the 70s here have never seen, summer berries....

And lest you think you're being slaughtered like ice on the shaving block by the cendol man, ...and paying RM20 for ice, and berries, well, there is a scoop of ice cream at the bottom to gentrify the entire dessert.  I can't say I liked this particularly...the ice was a bit too coarse for me, and the berries, gentrified as they may be, gave it a totally foreign feel, unlike the nasi lemak.

Great food with great company, #soveryblessed....

The finale, the Cherry BOMMM, a block of white chocolate that resembled a cricket ball, with hot dark chocolate ganache poured over which eventually pierces thru the ball, ....much like another phenomena of nature where those swimming flowy things penetrate an egg....

The visuals of this dessert are truly stunning, and that alone almost makes the RM30 nett worthwhile, but fortunately, the dessert is as yummy as it looks.

They also have their signature cocktails, the SKY 33, RM35 nett, ,,,cubes of vodka kiwi jelly make it rather unique, in a blend of kiwi and vodka on ice.  The Selangor Sling , quite potent because of a perilous dash of absinthe, that drink that makes you see green fairies...with hibiscus syrup, Tanqueray in, and a roselle flower.

The live duo at Gobo Upstairs is really good too...

Address: Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Phone:+60 3-2332 9888

Friday, January 29, 2016

First Lou Sang of 2016 - Imperial Garden, Tai Thong Group

Gasp, January is almost over, and I have not written a single thing since 2016.  A sure sign that this blogger is at the sunset of his blogging career!!!

My first event of the year from the ever exuberant Eddy aka Chyuan Tiffin, of the TT Group, for their Chinese New Year press event.  Their events are always very carnivalesque, previously with all kinds of interesting stalls, and photobooths, and calligraphy booths, etc.  Well, perhaps the economy has come to a screeching halt, but there was markedly less festivities this year.

This was basically the spread which we expecting, as this was all laid out nicely at the foyer for photography...

Entrance of the god of Prosperity and the Monkey god.  No offence to these Chinese deities, but I don't think I'd fancy an encounter with either of them in a dark alley way late at night.  In a rather rare appearance, Eddy himself gave the welcome address...

Their Golden Fortune Yu Sang is basically a fruit salad, rather than the usual traditional Yu Sang with the gloriously artificially colored unidentifiable objects....which makes this rather refreshing, but there's no Yu, nor was there any jelly fish, which frankly, at RM108.80++....hmmmm.....No doubt it was tasty.  Those who prefer the traditional Yu Sang might find this a tad too healthy.

But good news, they do have the traditional Yu Sang as well, the Fortune Yee Sang with Salmon and Snow Pear (also RM108.80++) or the Double Happiness Yee Sang with Japanese Fish Roe and Prawns, at RM128.80++.

Steamed Fatt Choy Dumpling with Prawns...we were sampling both the dinner and lunch menus.  RM8.80++ per basket.

I have to say, this baked dried oyster tart was stunning..... Buttery (or maybe lardy) flaky shortcrust pastry, melt in the mouth with a delicious oyster filling.  This was one of my favourite dishes of the night. RM8.80++

The steamed bamboo rice with waxed meat, part of the lunch time menu, at RM10.80++. is worth every penny.  Lovely flavours infused into the rice by the waxed stuff...

Steamed Triple Delight With oyster sauce, RM9.80++, pretty good value as well, with a dried oyster, a small tuft of fatt choy and chinese mushrooms on a fish and prawn patty.

Everyone's unanimous favourite of the night, double boiled dried premium seafood soup served in coconut.  A clear soup, with all the goodness of a chinese soup, abalone, scallops, fish maw, crab sticks (eugh, I don't know why this absurdly fake ingredient is allowed in any dish at ALL), mushrooms, bamboo pith, village chicken and red dates.  Well, seeing to how all the ingredients are listed out, I might try making this at home, because it's really very very good.  RM48.80++.  (That used to be the price of an entire meal per head)...

By this time, we were all getting rather full, as that soup was quite filling, and we already had the bamboo rice, so I think Eddy was trying to get us into a food coma.  The main rice dish, the Claypot Rice with Chinese Waxed Meat and Edamame, really filled us up.  What a jolly good idea to add edamame to the lap mei fan dish...

The grandfinale, Fortune Seafood Treasure Pot.  I personally think crab sticks should really be banned from any dish, unless it deliberately wants to look cheap.  The fortune pot, well, costs a fortune as well, RM298.80 ++ for 5 pax, and RM498.80 ++ for 10 pax.  Consists of tiger prawn, jade perch, cheese baked mussels, stuffed squid with chicken meat, shitake mushrooms, baby corn, etc etc...

Something must have greatly amused the floggerati...

And finally, chilled nian gao with osmanthus and sakura RM11.80++. Such a pretty dessert if you ask me, pieces of nian gao enveloped in the translucent osmanthus jelly.

Anyway, there's a whole host of Tai Thong restaurants to choose from,