Friday, January 16, 2015

Celestial Court's Lunar New Year Offerings

It's taken me awhile to realise, but I think I can more or less say now, that my favourite (or at least top 3 favourite) pork free Chinese restaurant is Celestial Court in Sheraton Imperial.  Their dim sum is creative and delish, and the food in general is excellent.  I recall fondly when Starwood still sold their privilege cards, and there was 50% off dining for two people, the wife and I would feast away on their peking duck, and whatever else.

And after knowing the marcomm people for so long, there's a certain familiarity, and gratitude, that after so many years, we are still on the media guest list.

Christmas seems barely over, but already, ever ready to feast Malaysians, specifically Malaysian Chinese, have already let loose the pre Chinese New Year revelry.  I swear soon they'll be serving Yu Sang for Halloween....

The signature Yee Sang With New Zealand Swordfish and Netherland Arctic Char Fish.  (Pic below).  The flesh of the char fish is rather unique, it has an orangy pinkish hue, almost like smoked salmon, but the taste is no salmony despite the facial similarities.

Whilst our waitress did the do with her repertoire of chinese blessings, we could hear an English translation on the next table for the benefit of a couple of foreigners who were present.  Basically most wishes in Chinese revolve around prosperity.  Wishes of good business, the occasional wish for health, if you're a student, for you to do well in your studies.  And each element of course has its own significance, from the oil, to sweet plum sauce.

Ready, get set, GO.............

Lou hei, lou hei, make the best...ooops, I meant  mess out of it...I liked this version because it was more or less the traditional one.  I am not too sure about those that stray too far from the original, even for moon cakes.  I'm an old traditionalist that way.

The wonderful Poon Choy, or Celestial Court's Premium Treasure Pot. As I said, I hardly missed the unmentionable meat, because all the other stuff was more than enough to compensate.  My favourite dried scallops, fresh scallops, tender succulent abalone, (which didn't taste or feel like it was from a goodyear factory), crunchy delicious prawns, sea cucumber, clams, bamboo clams, chicken and duck.  The gravy beneath was so lovely, I am surprised I was the only one surreptitiously slurping it up. 

Price : RM888++ for a pot enough for 5 people. 

Wok heated prawns with nutmeg, asparagus and smoked chicken.  I can't really say I tasted any nutmeg, and one of the guys on the table was sure the smoked chicken was actually duck, but it was definitely chicken.  Very well smoked and well prepared.  I liked the crispy prawn in batter, but didnt care much for the mayo it was doused in. 

My selection from the Poon Choy pot, not to shabby I have to say.  I could do with one of those abalone and scallop pieces just about now. 

Stir fried scallops with pumpkin, asparagus and celery served with Macadamia Nuts.  I am not sure when it became the rage to serve scallops with macadamias, but then again, macadamias go with anything!  And asparagus, my favourite.  (Oh, they were in the prawn dish too, much to my delight).  Succulent perfectly seared scallops.  And that pumpkin was yummy too.  Didn't care much for the celery. 

To wash it all down, a Chilled Earl Grey Syrup with Hasma, Snow Fungus and Black Dates.  To my horror, I had finished the entire bowl, slurped it down with gusto, when 2 facts were revealed.  Hasma, which I always thought was the saliva gland or some gland of the frog, is actually something else.  Initially, Kelly Siew, that fount of wisdom seated next to me, said that hasma was where the frog keeps its sperm.  Anyway, upon googling, she very kindly pointed out that it is actually some part of the fallopian tube.  The second fact was when she read out the menu, EARL GREY SYRUP!!! AAAAAAAAAARGH, that's worse than a fallopian tube, I am caffeine intolerant past 4pm, and I knew it was going to be a sleepless in KL kind of night.  I was right.  Nevertheless, it was good!

Check out their Ala Carte Menu:

Chinese New Year Ala Carte Menu 2015


1. Braised Sze Chuan Soup with Baby Lobster Meat
RM 50++ per person

2. Monk Jump over the Wall
RM128++ per person

3. Braised Assorted Seafood Broth with Trio Mushroom
RM 38++ per person

4. Double-boiled Maitake Mushroom with Fleece Flower Root and Garden Chicken
RM 50++ per person

Dried Seafood

1. Braised Supreme Dried Seafood with Sliced Abalone in Broth
Small - RM 320++ Medium - RM 480++ Large - RM 640++

2. Braised Baby Abalone with Imported Asparagus, Sea Cucumber and Sea Moss
Small - RM 118++ Medium - RM 172++ Large - RM 228++

3. Braised Giant Fish Belly with Sea Cucumber, Chinese Mushrooms, Dried Oysters and Sea Moss
Small - RM 108++ Medium - RM162++ Large - RM 216++

4. Stewed Oysters with Sun-dried Scallops and Sea Moss and Lettuce
Small - RM 108++ Medium - RM162++ Large - RM 216++


1. Simmered Cod with Chili and Lime
Small - RM128++ Medium - RM192++ Large - RM 256++

2. Pan-fried Prawns with Red Curry Paste
Small - RM 100++ Medium - RM 150++ Large - RM 200++

3. Combination of Crispy Fresh Scallops topped with Caviar and Stir-fried Prawns in Spicy Sauce
Small - RM 138++ Medium - RM207++ Large RM 276++

4. Steamed Cod Fish Fillet with Egg White and Julienne Ginger
Small - RM128++ Medium - RM192++ Large RM 256++

5. Braised Australian Red Grouper with Flower Fungi and Vegetable Curry
Small - RM 60++ Medium - RM90++ Large - RM 120 ++

6. Steamed Fresh Water Prawns with Two variety of Garlic and Glass Noodle
RM 50++ per portion (minimum order of 2 portions)


1. Oven-baked Crispy Black Truffle Chicken with Spicy Garlic Topping
Half - RM 88++ Whole - RM 176 ++

2. Signature Hong Kong-styled Crispy Roasted Duck
Half - RM 90++ Whole - RM 180 ++

3. Braised Garden Chicken with Lettuce in Dried Scallop Sauce
Half - RM 60++ Whole - RM120++

4. Combination of Barbeque Premium
Small - RM 68++ Medium - RM 102++ Large - RM136++

5. Signature Braised Duck with Ginger, Water Chestnut and Bean Curd Stick
Small - RM 68++ Medium - RM 102++ Large - RM136++

Vegetables & Bean Curd

1. Stir-fried Scallops with Pumpkin, Asparagus, Celery and Macadamia Nut
Small - RM 88++ Medium - RM 132++ Large - RM 176++

2. Home-styled Special Assorted Vegetarian Curry in Claypot
Small - RM 38++ Medium - RM 57++ Large - RM 76++

3. Braised Vegetarian with Glass Noodle in Claypot
Small - RM 38++ Medium - RM 57++ Large - RM 76++

4. Braised Bean Curd with Marrow Gourd and Assorted Seafood
Small - RM 68++ Medium - RM 108++ Large - RM 138++

5. Stir-fried Seasonal Vegetables with Dried Prawn Topping
Small - RM 58++ Medium - RM 88++ Large - RM 116++

Noodle & Rice

1. Braised Rice with Roasted Duck and Dried Scallops in Abalone Sauce
Small - RM 80++ Medium - RM 120++ Large - RM 160++

2. Thai Fried Rice with Tomato, Seafood and Walnut
Small - RM 60 ++ Medium - RM 90 ++ Large - RM 120++

3. Fried Rice with Pickled Cabbage, Minced Chicken and Mushroom
Small - RM 38++ Medium - RM 58++ Large - RM 76++

4. Fried Rice with Minced Duck and French Bean in Peanut Sauce
Small - RM 38++ Medium - RM 58++ Large - RM 76++

5. Wok Fried Glass Noodle pairs with Rice Noodle with Crispy Cod Fish
Small - RM 80++ Medium - RM 120++ Large RM160++

6. Signature Prawn Consommé with Egg Noodles, Seafood and Enoki Mushroom
Small - RM 60 ++ Medium - RM 90 ++ Large - RM 120++

7. Wok-fried Flat Noodle with Beef, Spring Onions, Ginger in Balck Bean Sauce
Small - RM 38++ Medium - RM 58++ Large RM 76++

And some of their Set Menus

Chinese New Year Wealth Set Menu

1. Yee Sang with Norwegian Salmon, Fish Roe and Snow Pear

2. Boiled Tom Yam Soup with Assorted Seafood, Mushrooms and Chinese Parsley

3. Oven-baked Crispy Chicken with Truffle Essence and Spicy Garlic Topping

4. Smoked Pomfret with Spicy Thai Mango Salad

5. Deep-fried Squid with Lemon Sauce, Salt and Pepper

6. Braised Sea Cucumber with Dried Oysters and Chinese Mushrooms

7. Fried Rice with Shredded Dried Scallops, Diced Chicken, Roast Duck and Mushroom

8. Double-boiled Hasma with Snow Fungus, Red Date, Chinese Pear and Ginseng

9. Chilled Coconut Layer Cake

Chinese Tea

A complimentary bottle of selected wine

RM2288 nett for a table of 10 persons
* Price quoted is inclusive of 10% service charge and 6% Government Tax

Chinese New Year Fortune Set Menu

1. Yee Sang with a combination of Smoked Sliced Lamb and Salmon

2. Premium Eight Treasure Soup

3. Steamed Cod Fish with Chilli and Lime Sauce

4. Poached Sliced Lamb with Spinash, Century Eggs and Salted Egg Yolk Broth

5. Traditional Roasted Duck with Pickled Papaya

6. Pan-fried Prawns with Red Curry Paste

7. Thai Fried Rice with Pineapples and Crispy Rice Grains

8. Chilled Earl Grey Syrup with Hasma, Snow Fungus and Black Dates

9. Deep-fried Golden Banana Fritters with Chocolate Dripping

Chinese Tea

A complimentary bottle of selected wine

RM2488 nett for a table of 10 persons
* Price quoted is inclusive of 10% service charge and 6% Government Tax

Chinese New Year Happiness Set Menu

1. Signature Yee Sang with Norwegian Salmon and Sliced Abalone served with Chrysanthemum Sauce

2. Double-boiled Mini Monk Jump over the Wall

3. Crispy Roasted Truffle Chicken served with Thai Hoi Sin Sauce

4. Steamed Cod Fish with Golden Garlic paired with Fish Belly

5. Deep-fried Prawns with Fresh Fruits and Wasabi Mayo Dressing

6. Braised Sea Cucumber with Dried Scallops, Mushrooms, Sea Moss and Vegetables

7. Braised Rice with Diced Roasted Duck topped with Dried Scallops and Abalone Sauce

8. Double-boiled Bird’s Nest with Young Coconut and Ginseng

9. Black Sesame Glutinous Rice Balls with Coated Minced Peanut Crush

Chinese Tea

A complimentary bottle of selected wine

RM2688 nett for a table of 10 persons
* Price quoted is inclusive of 10% service charge and 6% Government Tax

Premium Chinese New Year Set Menu

1. Yee Sang with New Zealand Tarakihi Fish served with Traditional Plum Sauce

2. Double-boiled Mini Abalone Soup with Bamboo Pith and Dried Scallops

3. Oven-baked Crispy Truffle Essence Chicken paired with Peking Duck Rolls with Foie Gras Pâté

4. Steamed Cod Fish with concentrated Chicken Soya Sauce

5. Braised Sea Cucumber with Chinese Mushrooms, Fish Maw served with Stir-fried Scallops with fresh Lily Bulbs in Spicy Sauce

6. Sesame Prawns with Nutmeg and Smoked Chicken and Asparagus

7. Signature Crispy Noodles with fresh Water Prawns

8. Double-boiled Bird Nest’s with Sugar Cane Syrup in Whole Chinese Pear and paired with Tiramisu in Mini Chocolate Cup

Chinese Tea

A complimentary bottle of Hennessy Cognac

RM 3388 nett for a table of 10 persons
* Price quoted is inclusive of 10% service charge and 6% Government Tax

For further inquiries on these packages,
Call 03-2717 9900
Real time reservations please visit

For Reservations:

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!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Strongbow Cider Launch

To be honest, I am not a fan of any form of alcohol that is sweet, perhaps with the exception of a Hendricks Gin & Tonic (but diluted with soda).  As such, Cider has never been in my "to drink" list, although I do love using it for cooking.

The invitation from GAB intrigued me on so many levels though, because it was a launch of three different new flavours of Strongbow, and held at a location I'd never heard of.  So my interest was piqued.

Streams of people seem headed to the location of the launch, ushered by Rela members, which heightened the anticipation.

An interesting array of finger foods accompanied the original Strongbow, actually, rather good food I have to say, with Strongbow ladies flitting around offering receptacles of well chilled cider.


We were then ushered into a large studio, where we were to witness the launch of what was dubbed the Delightful Trio.  An eclectic dance troupe performed a artistic dance.... as I am very uncultured I am unable to decipher the deeper meaning of the choreography, but I imagine it had something to do with apples, and harvest.

Before that, Hans Essaadi, Managing Director, Guinness Anchor Berhad (Malaysia) and Bruce Dallas, Marketing Director, Guinness Anchor Berhad (Malaysia) graced the crowd with a few words.

Bruce Dallas had this to say : “Tasting Strongbow is an experience by itself; it offers the perfect first drink to start the evening as a prelude to a lovely night or simply the perfect drink for a hot sunny afternoon. At any time, it sets the stage for you to be yourself as you indulge in real conversations with great company of friends and family. The three new Strongbow Apple Ciders variants – Gold, Honey and Elderflower – will certainly provide you with more unique choices to appreciate authentic experiences and savour your ‘Golden’ moments in life.

The three new variants introduced that night at the launch were Strongbow Apple Ciders Gold, Strongbow Apple Ciders Honey and Strongbow Apple Ciders Elderflower Made from the freshest apples, these new variants deliver respective top notes to the ciders that are enjoyable for all.  It should be available in the market by now, as the event was about a month ago.

The Strongbow name itself bears over 125 years of cider-making heritage. They continuously adapt and invent newer and more exciting variants, to provide consumers with more choices and to suit different individual tastes.

Strongbow Apple Ciders Honey is a sweet and pleasant cider that delivers the saccharine aroma of honey, while maintaining the crisp taste of cider. Every bottle of this new variant contains a unique golden bronze hue and ends with a refreshing hint of rhubarb for a fruity finish.

I personally found this variant a bit on the sweet side for me, although there is no doubt it was very aromatic.

Strongbow Apple Ciders Gold offers a refined sweet and crisp apple bite that captures the light aftertaste of bittersweet apples, giving a very long finish. The clean and invigorating colour of the Gold apple cider is of a warm golden yellow and a pleasant dash of green apple note, which reflects the quality and taste of the cider within.

I liked this, it almost reminded me of beer.  Perhaps it's the "aftertaste of bittersweet apples".

Strongbow Apple Ciders Elderflower is a blend of elderflower and lime that hits the ‘bull’s-eye’ by capturing the sweet floral aroma, along with hints of Muscat and fresh litchi fruits. The clear silver-white tint provides a breezy, enlivening look to it, while the delicious infusion of fresh lime flavour in the cider adds a natural zest to the palate.

It's true, there really was a very floral aroma, that I actually liked, though I realized these tastes are quite subjective, as the people I was with didn't particularly like it.  But I like elderflower extract anyways, so it's no surprise that I found this very palatable.

Finally, to the Cider uninformed, this is how you drink it.

To fully enjoy Strongbow Apple Ciders, it is customary to have the bottle well-chilled at around 3° to 4°Celcius. Dubbed as ‘The Perfect Serve’, the following are the steps for maximum refreshment:
Fill a Strongbow glass with approximately 1/3 of ice cubes;
Take a chilled bottle of Strongbow or Strongbow draught and pour over ice;
Serve on a Strongbow coaster and present the bottle alongside.

There you go, not exactly rocket science is it now!!!

Both the Strongbow Apple Ciders Gold and Strongbow Apple Ciders Honey contain five percent alcohol per volume (ABV), while the Strongbow Apple Ciders Elderflower contains 4.5% ABV. Each is designed with a beautifully embossed detailing on a 330ml sleek pint bottle. The three new Strongbow Apple Ciders were supposed to be available in early December 2014, so do check the shelves for this refreshing beverage.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Pigs and Wolf, Pavilion

Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?  That Disney tune keeps ringing in my ear everytime I think about this place.  Well, remember the story of the Three Little Pigs ...and the Big Bad Wolf?  The owners of the establishment have decided to truncate that rather mouthful to just Pigs and Wolf, afterall, why restrict the pigs to three, when you can have truckload, as seemed to be the case after eating here.

Newly opened on the 7th floor of Pavilion, (Yes, there is a 7th floor, hitherto unknown to me, but apparently it was the Beauty floor), but now beauty has gone to make way for something far more important, ie, food.

The Perennial Wolf's favourite, a rich carbonara with a delightfully poached egg with runny yolk.  I love this dish, but alas, find it too rich, so would only be able to share with someone.   Generous bits of crispy bacon, swimming in a sea of creamy carbonara sauce, almost guaranteed to clog every artery.....

The mighty piggy burger... RM 28, got fried egg, which I think ALL burgers should have.

The One That Didn't Get Away - A rack of delightful ribs, falling off the bone.  RM79.  Very filling, so advisable to share as well.  Despite the fact that the place had just opened that very day, and were beset with teething problems, I was surprised how good this rack was.

Just another pork steak RM38. Well, the name says it all.  Just.  Not very memorable, bordering on the dry side.  Then again, I did say it was their opening night, so I would not be averse to giving this dish a second chance, afterall, isn't life about that?

Pork steak sandwich, RM35, ...I noticed all the dished come with truckloads of fries, which the kids would love, I'm sure.  I like that there was fat on the meat, and not like  those pretend pigs that had undergone liposuction.  The porky was tender and moist, and that sauce had a hint of wasabe.

Snug Piggy, RM39, or known as Cornucopia in a previous life, this pork steak laced with mushroom sauce hit the spot with me, cos I lurve my shrooms, and the gravy served to adequately moisturize the meat.

What have we here???  A whole knuckle?

The german style pork knuckle, RM98, guaranteed to fill up even the greediest of wolves, conveniently chopped up, although it's debatable if it should or shouldn't be.  (chopped up).  There's something primal about seeing the entire knuckle served on a platter.... very Asterix style.

Green with Envy, RM39, another pork steak.  The meat was well done, as in, cooked well, ie, not dry.  Not sure I cared much for the sauce though, but the roasted vegetables were welcome after eating what have been a sack of potatoes.

I THINK this is called "LIKE BUTTERCUP"... don't ask me why.  Basically creamy pork chop with rice, which must be the token rice dish for the fan tongs who will just keel over and die without rice.  RM38.  Kind of reminds me of a pork version of chicken ala king, minus the chicken, and buttered rice.  Mmmm, talking of chicken ala king, I wonder where I can get this childhood favourite dish of mine these days,

A vaguely familiar looking tiramisu, and and even more vaguely familiar looking Pandan Gula Melaka Cheesecake....

Like their FB Page HERE...