Oriental delights recommended by the chef

The extravagant Three Treasure Lychee Tree. — Photos: PATSY KAM

Renowned for their fine Chinese cuisine, the Oriental Group of Restaurants is recognised as one of the top Chinese restaurant groups in Malaysia, showcasing exceptional Cantonese cuisine.

When it comes to commemorating Chinese festivals, the Group never fails to impress in curating special menus, as they always think of innovative ways to interpret traditional dishes.

In conjunction with the coming Chinese rice dumpling festival on June 22, the Group has prepared a “giant” rice dumpling weighing more than 1kg, chock-full of premium ingredients – the Oriental’s Premium Japanese Dried Scallop and Double Salted Yolk Rice Dumpling. For the media’s review at Noble Mansion in Petaling Jaya, our table of 10 people could not finish this since we had other dishes as well.

If you’re a bachang (dumpling) fan, this is triple the enjoyment as it has sumptuous premium Japanese dried scallop, dried oyster, pork, lotus seed, chestnut, bailing mushroom, double salted egg yolk, dried shrimps, dried mushroom, mung bean and glutinous rice; it’s a full meal for three to four people.

The highlight of the lunch was undoubtedly the grand entrance of the lovely Three Treasures – a “lychee tree” that had red lychees which were red prawn balls with rice puffs, “Deng Ying” (lantern) filled with scallop salad, and crispy dragon beard roll filled with squid and prawn paste on a mayo bed.

Quite the visual, there were artful elements of play in the deep-fried crispy prawn balls that could be picked off the tree, and the creative use of traditional Indian puri puff balls containing refreshing Chinese scallop salad with mango. I was more than happy to deliberate over the different crunch textures.

My personal favourite, however, was the next dish. At first everyone thought it was fish, only for the banana leaves to be cut away to reveal Iberico pork ribs, an Oriental Group signature dish. Ingeniously wrapped in banana leaves in a Malaysian context for an updated flavour and scented with bunga kantan (torch ginger flower), this method retained the natural juices of the succulent and tender meat while providing a subtle fragrance that elevated this to next-level ribs.

Luxurious foie gras to go with garlic fried rice.Luxurious foie gras to go with garlic fried rice.

Soup or gravy? Either way, the stuffed cod fish with prawn paste in golden broth was satisfying and a joy to the palate. Made by deep-frying the cod fish and prawn paste together, a bite of the crisp outer prawn layer revealed the moist, sweet flesh of the fish inside.

The golden broth, made from carrot and milk then topped with truffle oil, added subtle layers of flavour to the unusual combination.

Mango being in season, featured prominently throughout this meal and was part of the prawn salad too.

The edible work of art was made visually more appealing by topping the chilled salad with a large prawn and having a juicy combination of sweet and tangy fruits such as mango, strawberry and honeydew below. Light and sweetish, this dish was a nice change in tempo from the earlier courses.

The chef incorporated a Western delicacy − foie gras − into a conventional Chinese fried rice dish, giving a different spin to an otherwise predictable dish. An impressive whole piece of foie gras sat on top of the fragrant and tasty fried rice.

You can either enjoy the foie gras, delicately pan-fried to perfection, on its own and then dig into the rice, or eat a small piece of it with a spoonful of rice to enhance the taste of each mouthful.

I would never have thought lemongrass would go with bird’s nest, infused with basil seeds and mixed fruit, but there you have it. A must-have dessert for the current hot spell, this chilled, delightful treat not only cools you down but also provides nourishment. The refreshing dessert combined with bird’s nest is said to give skin rejuvenation benefits.

While this menu comes under the chef’s recommendation for June, the dishes can also be ordered on special request after this period.

Chilled prawn salad with mixed fruits.Chilled prawn salad with mixed fruits.

Oriental Group of Restaurants

Oriental Pavilion @PJ33, PJ; Oriental Treasure @Bangsar South, KL; Oriental Star @Ekocheras Mall, KL; Oriental Landmark @Intermark Mall, KL; Oriental Sun @Sunway Pyramid, PJ; The Ming Room @Bangsar Shopping Centre, KL; The Han Room @The Gardens Mall, KL; Tang Room @Starling Mall, PJ; Yuan Room @1 Utama mall, PJ; Noble Mansion @Plaza 33, PJ; Noble House @off Jalan Imbi, KL.

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