Eighteen treasures well worth the pot


Full of flavour: The poon choy is cooked with 18 ingredients such as abalone, fish maw, sea cucumber, black moss, dred oyster and tiger prawns.

INDULGE in a potful of treasures with family and loved ones this Chinese New Year with the Eighteen Treasure Poon Choy at Empire Hotel Subang’s Di Wei Chinese Cuisine Restaurant.

The Poon Choy (RM488++ for five pax, RM688++ for 10 pax) is cooked with 18 ingredients — abalone, fish maw, sea cucumber, dried scallop, mushroom, black moss, dried oyster, yam stick, radish, lotus root, steamed chicken, roast duck, fishball, Chinese cabbage, bamboo pith, beancurd skin, tiger prawn and pork tender.

Di Wei head chef Yong Thian Teik, who was trained by Hong Kong chefs, said the dish was a Chinese New Year staple among the people in the walled villages (wai tsuen) in Hong Kong.

“At some places, there may be more than 20 ingredients in the poon choy.

“The yam sticks, cabbage and radish act as a sponge to soak up the essence of the other ingredients,” he said.

Light dish: Steamed Marble Goby with Light Soy Sauce.
Light dish: Steamed Marble Goby with Light Soy Sauce.
 

This luxurious dish is visually astounding, with prawns and abalone at the top layer.

Chinese cabbage lines the bottom layer of the pot, soaking up all the goodness of the ingredients, giving it a flavourful taste.

I was about to dismiss the fishballs but decided to give it a try and one could tell immediately they were different as I could taste more fish than flour, unlike some places where it is the other way around. Needless to say, I went for seconds.

Yong said the fishballs and most of the ingredients were made in-house.

We also tried the Six Happiness Platter (RM168.80++) and the “happiness” factors were jelly fish, roast pork belly, honey sauce char siew, soy sauce chicken, roast duck and Chinese sausages.

The honey sauce accentuated the barbecued pork.

While I am not a big fan of duck, the roast duck was a pleasant surprise as it did not have a gamey flavour and the meat was tender.

We were served the CNY set menu (RM688++ for six diners) which includes Salmon Fish Yee Sang, Braised Seafood Thick Soup with Bamboo Pith and Dry Scallop, Sauteed Scallop and Prawn with Celery, Steamed Marble Goby with Light Soy Sauce, Braised Black Moss and Dry Oyster with Beancurd and Seasonal Vegetable, Fried Glutinous Rice with Minced Waxed Meat, Red Bean Cream and Steamed New Year Cake (nian gao or glutinous rice cakes) with Shredded Coconut.

CNY staple: Toss the Yee Sang for a good year ahead.
CNY staple: Toss the yee sang for a good year ahead.
 

I love scallops and the sauteed scallops did not disappoint.

The homemade beancurd served with black moss and dried oysters was also lovely.

So what’s so special about the New Year cake?

“I won’t tell you yet, you need to try it first,” the chef said.

What differentiated it from other New Year cakes I had tried was the layer of black glutinous rice, which added texture to the cake.

“New Year cakes should not be too sweet or too sticky,” said Yong.

The New Year cake is available for takeaway at RM28.80.

Also available for takeaway are the poon choy, yee sang (RM68.80++ full portion, RM48.80++ half portion) and Six Happiness Platter.

Dessert: End the meal on a sweet note with the Steamed New Year Cake with Shredded Coconut.
Dessert: End the meal on a sweet note with the Steamed New Year Cake with Shredded Coconut.
 

The pot is included when customers order the poon choy for takeaway.

“We have many customers ordering takeaways as they do not cook but would like to enjoy a meal with family at home,” Yong said.

The Lunar New Year items are available until March 5.

¦ DI WEI CHINESE CUISINE RESTAURANT, Empire Hotel Subang, Jalan SS16/1, Subang Jaya. (Tel: 03-5565 1388 / www.empirehotel.com.my). Non-halal restaurant. Business hours: 11am-3pm and 6pm-10pm (Monday-Friday); 10.30am-10pm (Saturday, Sunday and public holidays). Non-halal.

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

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