Friday, January 16, 2015

TT Group's Chinese New Year Press & Media Dinner - And So It Begins, The Start of the Lou Sang for 2015

Unbeknownst to me, although the Tai Thong Group is well and alive, apparently none of their restaurants are actually NAMED Tai Thong.  So, the heading might be a bit misleading.  The press & media CNY review dinner was held at Imperial Garden, (next to Armada Hotel, above the big night club).  Of course, little did I expect the media event to be like a mini wedding dinner.

A carnival atmosphere prevailed, as they had photo booths, live dough figurine makers who could mould figurines faster than you can say Yu Sang, calligraphers, and Sugar Daddy who could fashion gorgeous works of art from caramelised sugar.

Simply love the photobooth, and the ridiculous things people do when given the chance to do so.

After the usual customary speeches etc,

there was the inevitable VIP toss of the yee sang,

....which took up an entire lazy susan, compared to ours at the table.

Our undressed naked fruity Golden Fortune Yee Sang, apparently back by popular demand and bigger and better.  This glamourous fruit salad for the tossing features sliced fresh star fruit, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and black sesame, jackfruit, water guava, dragon fruit, .....

It is definitely a refreshing change to the traditional, although since it was my first yee sang of the season, I would not have minded the good old traditional type with loads of raw fish that glide down your throat.  But this was good too. RM68++ for half mai and RM98++ for full mai.

No meal is complete without soup, and this lovely double boiled chicken soup with chinese cordyceps (I didn't know cordyceps had nationalities....are they like biceps?) which was wholesome and hearty.  Together with the free flow Asahi beers, it gave a warm feeling of zen-ness.

The piece de resistance of the night, the Golden Treasure Poon Choy, a claypot filled with layers of goodness.  The  traditional Poon Choy is infused with a contemporary Szechuan-inspired twist, which uses a Sour and Spicy sauce as its base.  Succulent pieces of free range chicken, roast duck, dried scallops, prawns, sea cucumber, basically all the good stuff.

Golden Treasure Poon Choy is priced at RM298++ for 5 pax and RM498++ for 10 pax.

Sauteed Scallops and Prawns With Asparagus and Fresh Lily Buds.  I still think no one does scallops as well as chinese restaurants, minimalist, but always brings out the full flavour of the scallops.  The toasted macadamias added extra crunch to this dish, and well, who can say no to asparagus.

Yummy Lap Mei Fan, with all the necessary ingredients, esp Yun Cheong (liver sausage).  It was so good that the non rice eating Ciki even ate some.

The Chef comes and looks in horror at our unfinished rice, as the best bits are the slightly caramelized bits at the bottom, so he vigorously stirs up the remaining rice, and insists we try it.  It was good, I have to say.

At this age you think you've nearly seen it all, but these gawdy "loh mai kai" sans the "kai" are certainly new to me.

Mini Eight Treasures Rice, I learnt, has over around for 2000 years.  “Bba bao fan” has long been served during Chinese New Year celebrations, but probably in Shanghai or somewhere there. This classic sticky and sweet dessert, made from glutinous rice and pumpkin, lotus seeds, raisins, dried apricots, as well as red and green cherries, all drizzled with fragrant Osmanthus syrup,  that, according to Chinese medicine, are meant to provide therapeutic effect. RM9.80++ per serving

The many ram-inders that we are heading towards the year of the Goat...

Fun with Eddy Kwong!!!

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