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Friday January 31, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Saturday February 1, 2014 MYT 8:12:12 AM
by esther chandran
The Year of the Horse is being welcomed at Hilton Kuala Lumpur’s Chinese restaurant with much pomp and splendour with seven auspicious yee sang choices on the menu.
Executive Chinese chef Lam Hock Hin, who enjoys experimenting with new flavours, came up with two dishes — Alaskan King Crab ‘Lo Sang’ and Treasure of Soft Shell Crab and Five Nuts ‘Lo Sang’ — to usher in the Lunar New Year.
“In October last year, we finished planning the menu and decided to add two yee sang dishes for 2014.
“Besides the Alaskan King Crab and Soft Shell Crab Yee Sang, our Hakka ‘Lei Cha’ with Rice Bran Oil ‘Lo Sang’, Chicken Jerky with Korean Pear ‘Lo Sang’, Caesar Salad with Grated Parmesan Cheese and Norwegian Salmon ‘Lo Sang’, Premium Australian Whole Abalone ‘Lo Sang’ and Australian Lobster Sashimi ‘Lo Sang’ have been well-received by diners,” he said.
The flavourful green-hued ‘Lei Cha’ yee sang introduced last year was a winner with diners, hence its return.
This particular yee sang pays
tribute to the popular Hakka vegetarian serving lei cha or lui cha with rice bran oil, seaweed bird’s nest, plum sauce and basil paste lending it its attractive shade.
Although the practise of tossing the yee sang may be symbolic in wishing for a prosperous year ahead, many look forward to relishing the various dishes that have ingredients that are deemed prosperous.
Chef Lam said ingredients such as fatt choy, sea cucumber, abalone and fish represented good luck, health and wealth, and many looked forward to savouring them for a promising year ahead.
To usher in luck and happiness, a group of us raised our chopsticks and tossed as high as we could the Alaskan King Crab “Lo Sang”, with some eyeing the chunky lobster pieces on the colourful yee sang platter.
The familiar crunchy, sweet and tangy flavours made a welcome starter, while we waited in anticipation to taste other dishes that had been lined-up for us.
The team at Chynna did not disappoint with the Double-boiled Shimeiji Mushroom and Free-range Chicken Consomme with Snow Lotus, which was abundant with the goodness of herbs, lin zi mushrooms and snow lotus.
For his presentation of fish, we recognised the taste of kaffir lime, coriander and chilli in the Steamed King Grouper with Chopped Chilli and Kaffir Lime Leaf Sauce.
The dish was reminiscent of the Thai steamed fish with lime sauce but for this particular recipe, chef Lam used kaffir lime juice which gave it a lovely aromatic and zesty essence.
My curiosity heightened when the Stewed Abalone with Sea Cucumber, Sun-dried Oyster, “Fatt Choy” Mushrooms and Bran Gluten in Claypot was placed before us.
This particular dish, brimming with auspicious goodness, had an interesting red hue due to chef Lam’s clever use of carrot juice and oyster sauce.
“By using oyster sauce alone, the dish will be quite dark but by adding carrot juice, it becomes visually appetising,” he said, adding that bran gluten was used to thicken the sauce.
The Stewed Chicken with Sun-dried Scallop, Oriental Herbs and Roasted Garlic; Wok-fried Australian Scallop and Prawn with XO Sauce served with Garden Green and Fried Egg Noodle with Dried Shrimp Curry Paste are some of the other dishes on the An Abundance of Prosperity menu.
In the scallop and prawn dish, the piquant XO sauce made from dried scallop, shallots, dried chilli, anchovies, chicken floss and crab sticks complemented the seafood nicely.
“The XO sauce is made in-house as it is difficult to find halal XO sauce,” he said.
Even the ningko which we appreciated in the Combination of Osmanthus Jelly with Pan-fried Sesame ‘Nian Gao’ is prepared at Chynna’s kitchen.
The soft yellow jelly, chef Lam said was made with sweet smelling Osmanthus flowers from Guilin, China.
The CNY set menu packages (The Source of Wealth is Plentiful, A Prosperous and Flourishing Year, Prosperous Year of the Horse at Chynna), start from RM188.80++ per person for a table of 10.
The promotions last until Feb 14.
This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement of Star Metro.
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Lifestyle, Chynna, Hilton Kuala Lumpur, Yee Sang, Chinese New Year
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