German-inspired Yuletide fare

By C.S.

A spin on the traditional German roast chicken — chicken roasted with malt.

STOLLEN, bratapfel mit walnusseis and chicken cooked with malt are some of the traditional German flavours enjoyed over Christmas.

This year, Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson is pulling out all the stops with Christmas Eve and Christmas dinners inspired by traditional German flavours.

The showstoppers of stollen (traditional German fruit-studded bread), bratapfel mit walnusseis (baked stuffed apples) and chicken roasted with malt are some ideas hotel culinary director Ryan Poon has come up with for diners.

Poon, whose culinary career spans several countries, said the dishes were inspired by a three-month stint in Wolfsburg, Germany.

“A favourite with the locals is ‘beer can roast chicken’, where the chicken is stuffed into a beer can perforated with holes, enabling the beer to flavour the meat as it cooks.

“For our dish, I’m substituting the beer with non-alcoholic malt so the dish can be enjoyed by everyone. The malt not only lends the chicken a distinctive flavour but also helps the meat stay succulent,” he said.

The chicken is served with a trio of sauces — cranberry pomegranate sauce, brown sauce and giblet gravy. Another dish that brings back fond memories of winter in Germany is bratapfel mit walnusseis — oven-roasted apples stuffed with chopped walnuts and sprinkled with spices.

“For me, the fragrance of apples baking in the oven together with spices conjure up Christmas time in Germany.

“Besides, stollen is one of my favourite festive eats,” he said.

Other highlights from the festive menu include roasted leg of lamb, roast turkey roulade and Yorkshire pudding, the perfect accompaniment for the roast meats.

Poon said he used lamb sourced from New Zealand for the roast, while the turkey was from the US.

“For melt-in-the-mouth meat, the lamb is marinated for three days in a secret blend of herbs and spices, and then roasted to perfection.

“To make the roast turkey roulade stuffed with chopped hazelnuts and sage, we use turkey meat that has been brined for 24 hours. Turkey tends to dry out quickly but the brining process helps keep the meat moist,” he said.

Poon and his team have also prepared a range of side dishes to go with the roasts.

These include a classic potato salad — cooked Russet potatoes and hard-boiled eggs dressed with wholegrain mustard and chopped shallots.

With over 30 dishes, including Asian favourites like Thai basil fried rice and ginger spring onion seafood tofu on the Christmas buffet menu, diners have a variety to choose from. But, of course, no Christmas buffet is complete without decadent desserts.

At Lexis Hibiscus, the array of sweets include alcohol-free spiced fruit cake flavoured with ground ginger, star anise, cinnamon and cranberry juice, the traditional yule log, English trifle, eggnog cookies, white chocolate torte and croquembouche (choux pastry puffs).

The Christmas Dinner buffet is available on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The Festive Dinner Feast for Christmas Eve and Christmas is priced at RM168nett (per adult) and RM88nett (per child).

ROSELLE COFFEE HOUSE, Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson, 12th Mile, Jalan Pantai, Pasir Panjang, Port Dickson. (Tel: 06-660 2626).

Business hours: 6.30am to 10.30pm.

This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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