THIS Chinese New Year, Hilton Kuala Lumpur’s Chynna restaurant is moving towards a more health-conscious direction by offering a variety of vegetarian dishes in its Great Chynna Set menu.
Not wanting to diverge too much from traditional Chinese New Year fare, it is keeping the traditional Norwegian Salmon Lao Sang (RM238 per portion à la carte) as the default yee sang option for the set menu.
However, those who are more adventurous can always opt for the unique Year Of the Rooster Lao Sang (RM248 per portion à la carte), which is a rather fruity version comprising freshly-cut fruits such as strawberries, pear, jackfruit and dragon fruit.
It is topped with anchovies and peanuts, and finished with a dressing of plum sauce, lime, sugar and vinegar. The result is a sweet and refreshing dish akin to a fruit salad.
Shark fin soup has long been popular at grand functions for the Chinese, but because the consumption of shark fin is now recognised as having severe negative impacts on the environment, the restaurant is forgoing it in its version. But no worries, diners, you still get the same luxurious soup – and a clean conscience to go with it.
The difference in taste in the Braised Vegetarian Fin Soup with Shanghai-style crab meat and fish maw is negligible. And the savoury soup still goes very well with a dash of vinegar.
For fish, they are offering Steamed Wild Patin Buah with salted fish and tauchu, chilli and congee broth. You get smooth and firm fish meat done in a unique creamy and spicy style.
A more traditional choice would be the Simmered Abalone Cube with Sea Cucumber and Mushrooms in Abalone Sauce. This is a delicious savoury dish that boasts abalone of excellent quality.
The Stir-Fried Korean Pear with Vegetarian Meat and Sea Moss is a meatless dish – though it can be hard to tell.
The vegetarian meat is nearly indistinguishable from chicken other than being much more tender. And the mixture of Korean pear, lotus seed and sea moss in oyster sauce and curry leaves makes for a well-rounded dish.
No Chinese gathering would be complete without a rice dish, and Chynna offers a pork-free (chicken) version with the Stir-Fried Fragrant Rice with Sausage and Char Siew wrapped in lotus leaf.
The cooling herbal dessert for the set is the Chilled Coral Weed (a.k.a. Coral Grass or Sea Bird Nest) with Ginseng and Wolfberry. It is a refreshing way to end your festive dining experience.
The seven-course Great Chynna Set is priced at RM298 per person, and is available from Jan 5 to Feb 16. Diners may enquire with the restaurant regarding their à la carte options.
Among the options for yee sang are Chilean Crab With Gold Flakes Lao Sang (RM580), Caesar Salad With Grated Parmesan Cheese, and the Australia Three Heads Abalone Lao Sang (RM255 per piece).
CHYNNA, Hilton Kuala Lumpur, 3, Jalan Stesen Sentral, Kuala Lumpur. (Tel: 03-2264 2596). Business hours: Noon to 2.30pm (Monday to Friday), 11am to 2.30pm (Saturdays and Sundays) and 6.30pm to 10.30pm, daily. Pork-free.
This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.