I've always been meaning to try Elegant Inn, because of its Tmn Connaught reputation. You can imagine me doing cartwheels, or maybe not, .... so on a Tuesday night, dumping my usual family dinner (sister comes home to eat on Tuesdays, so the house is very festive), I head for Menara Hap Seng, and find all my FAVOURITTTE people there. Thamby and Bald Eagle, Cumi and Ciki, ALilFatMonkey, our dear Hooi Khaw, and our gracious host, Jeanette.
Jeanette, I have so say upfront, is the Walking Wikipedia of food and food ingredients. Exceedingly particular about the items she serves, her cashew nuts are hand selected from the best. Malaysian cashews failed the test, Sri Lankan nuts are the best, Vietnamese are good, Chinese nuts are .... well, depends which part of China.
If you look carefully in the pile of nuts, there are one or two cashews left, coz I had picked out most of them. To eat.
Elegant people for Elegant Inn. Check out the perfectly manicured nails. Not on the menu though.
Monkey thinks there's food on the trees....
A rather lavish Yee Sang....and my first for the year. Now, let's see if I can remember this. The jelly fish for the texture, the abalone for the juicy spurt of marine goodness, and the salmon to wrap it all up. None of the fakely colored preserved questionable vegetables, only freshly grated pear, radish, etc etc....Really refreshing. RM88 for full mai, RM68 for half mai, RM48 for mini mai. Ours was the half mai, and very substantial. We tossed to various things...for the KLCI to hit 2000 points, for peace and harmony in the country, for more glorious food reviews.... etc etc
My two favourite Monkeys
Salt & Pepper HK silver fish and gloriously silken homemade tofu. The fish is battered just perfectly. Crispy on the inside, still chewy on the inside. It screamed for a glass of ice cold beer.
Japanese Kobe (yup, you read it right, JAPANESE KOBE) in E.I. Garlic Style, and special chilled spoon with fresh salmon and crabmeat. Eat the silverfish first, wash your palate with the chilled spoon, a tangy combination that refreshes your tongue, followed by the absolutely spine tingling melt in the mouth Kobe beef. Seriously, being spoilt like this, makes you think you must have done something right to deserve such blessings.
Our ever smiling Hooi Khaw. Alas, our host, Jeanette, warned us, NO PICS of her.
In case you missed it, check out the kobe close up. Okay, this dish is NOT cheap. It's RM108 for 100gm, and there's probably 50gm in each bowl.
Traditional Signature Pig Stomach With Peppercorn and Salted Vegetable Double Boiled Soup.
Look at the amount of ingredients that go into the soup. Kampung chicken, dried scallops, yunnan ham, pork ribs, pork stomach, abalone mushroom, salted vegetables, and because its double boiled, the carcasses still retain its flavour and can be a meal on its own.
Peppery without it assailing your palate. It should leave a subtle pepper afterburn AFTER you drink it, not while, according to Jeanette.
Golden Fried Estuary Garoupa Fillet with Chinese Leeks Topping. Excellent dish. The skin is crispy, and there's a light layer of potato starch to crisp it, without battering it. The fish was firm, and fresh. Excellent.
Somewhere at this juncture, we find out Jeanette is actually A SINGAPOREAN!!!!!
She did endear herself to us by the fact she's lived here a long time, and also, she was saying, aiya, these singaporeans, to them, (in relation to crabs), its all about the size. Hence the sri lankan crabs are popular. Size, doused in sauce.
As opposed to us clever Malaysians who appreciate the subtle sweet flavours of our smaller mud crabs.
Someone quipped that it would be quite hard to ruin this photo, as the crabs looked soooo beautiful. Signature styled Egg Yolk Style. Rather than the usual deep fried murdered by salted egg yolk style you get, this one allows the flavour of the crab meat to be savoured. Delicious.
8 Vegetarian Treasures in Chef's Sauce. The wood ears ...or was it cloud ears, are from HARBIN, where apparently the best ones come. Wood or cloud, the texture is supposed to be somewhere in between. Not an ear connoiseur, even I could tell that this was really fine quality stuff.
Bitter gourd with Salted Vegetables. I love bitter gourd, so this is one of my favourite dishes. Bald Eagle and bittergourd are like PKR and Umno.
The amazing Claypot Rice with HK Waxed Meats. What can I say? I think a picture (even a not so terror one, unlike those from the Queen of the DSLR) speaks a thousand words. I can almost smell that intoxicating aroma....
Their signature fried rice, simple, but not so simple. Two types of rice, (thamby managed to sniff this out with her nose, the amazing chap), crab meat, enough wok hei....
The handsome young chef, and co-owner, who made it all happen.
Sweetened Japanese Pumpkin Sago Soup With Green Beans. Smooth and creamy, but not cloying, sago pearls to give it that contrasting texture, and green bean to give it that oomph.
Malai Gou. (Malay Kueh). Not a fan usually, but this was moist, spongy, and not too sweet.
Banana Chinese pancakes...(banana chinese are what ah? Yellow outside white inside?) and Nutty sesame rice ball. I like this take on the pancake, instead of the normal lotus or red bean.
Now, what were these people laughing at?
Check out this cute little bejeweled chandelier....
Did thamby steal some of the jewels and wear them like a queen?
No, apparently, they were laughing coz they saw her digging her nose. How very unqueenly. It's like imagining the Queen on the potty. Cis.
Thanks again Hooi Khaw for the invite, and to Jeanette for having us.
Elegant Inn also has some CNY set menus, very reasonably priced, from RM788++ per table for dinner, or from RM538++ for lunch. (thinking to self, when to go back there and eat).
On another unrelated note, erm, I was interviewed on BFM yesterday, so if you want to listen, check out the pocast HERE.