Golden ‘mice’ yee sang to commemorate zodiac year

Mighty Mouse ‘Yu’ Sang is an exclusive 2020 design with edible gold, salted egg yolk crispy fish skin, Atlantic salmon and sea caviar.

COMING up with creative ideas to jazz up the Chinese New Year delicacy of yee sang, is something chef James Ho spends a lot of time thinking about.

With so many chefs paying emphasis to the tangy sweet dish, Ho’s palatable appetiser is created to please the sense of taste and sight.

The result is in Ruyi’s Mighty Mouse “Yu” Sang (RM168) to welcome The Year of the Rat.

As usual, Ho’s eye-catching yee sang design attracted exclamations of ooh-aah from diners when it was presented at the table.

Two golden “mice” made from julienned radish dusted in edible gold power, sat majestically on a mound of shredded fresh vegetables, surrounded by chopped peanuts and pickled condiments.

“Every year, we create a unique yee sang design to commemorate the zodiac.

“This year, we included a pair of mice for the Year of the Golden Rat.

“The idea of a pair (dusted in gold) stems from harmony and togetherness and irregardless of species, to us every living thing is precious.

“We have included an additional fun element to our yee sang with a mini mouse bun, baked in-house, so in the midst of tossing, one lucky diner gets the baby mouse!” said Ho, adding that the act of tossing yee sang represented the togetherness aspect among families.

Koi Fish ‘Nian Gao’ with red bean, coconut cream and coconut flakes.  — Photos: IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/The StarKoi Fish ‘Nian Gao’ with red bean, coconut cream and coconut flakes. — Photos: IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/The Star

The yee sang presents standard must-have ingredients such as sweet sauce and Atlantic salmon which is believed to help facilitate smooth sailing days ahead as well as to have abundance in life.

The crispy fish skin in salted egg yolk denotes eternal youth while piquant pickles and radish are said to herald prosperity.

The savoury Fortune Ball priced at RM28 per portion, was reminiscent of the famous chicken rice balls in Melaka.

The Ruyi version, however, was a pleasant concoction of glutinous rice with chicken and dried oysters.

Ho said he was inspired by the Chinese tradition of consuming glutinous rice and dried oysters, both of which are often eaten separately.

So he combined minced chicken and dried oyster into a ball before coating it with glutinous rice.

Each rice ball is full of flavour and can be savoured with or without black vinegar and julienned ginger served alongside.

Ruyi’s Phoenix’s Cloud (RM68 per portion) — a thick Double-boiled Egg with Foie Gras and Crab Essence — is a rich and satisfying starter.

Inspired by Hubei cuisine, Ho combined crab roe, salted egg yolk with ginger to derive the essence for the soup.

Chicken stock is boiled with the essence forming the gravy, which is then poured over smooth chawan mushi. This is essentially the Japanese touch to our meal.

To complete the presentation, Ho garnishes it with seared foie gras.

Ho also indulged guests with the Bird’s Nest Chicken Wings (RM38 per person with a minimum of two diners).

Bird’s nest, Ho said, was cherished and consumed by women for its beauty benefits.

“For Chinese New Year, we hope to popularise this ingredient among the younger generation.

“We stuff the barbecued chicken wings with bird’s nest and egg white.

“It is a unique way of consuming bird’s nest as it is usually presented as a dessert,” said Ho.

The festive menu also has Shanghainese Rice Cake with Smoked Duck and Conpoy (RM38 per portion) featuring savoury nian gao stir-fried like how one does char kuey teow.

Ho said sliced rice cakes was used as a replacement to noodles.

Stir-fried with chives and bean sprouts and served with smoked duck, it was a hearty treat indeed.

Boston’s Big Sister featuring 10 pieces of Braised Boston Lobster with Garlic Dusted Abalone (RM438 per portion) and Star Grouper Money Pocket (steamed with snow pickled vegetables and chopped chillies) at RM268 per portion are also recommended.

The Koi Fish “Nian Gao” filled with red bean, coconut cream and coconut flakes (RM88) ended the night on a sweet note.

RUYI, 4th Floor Annex Bangsar Shopping Center, 285, Jalan Maarof, Kuala Lumpur. (Tel: 03-2083 0288) Business hours: 11am to 3pm, 6pm to 11pm, daily. Pork-free.

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

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