THERE is a short window of time to appreciate dishes associated with the Lunar New Year, and the time is now.
For a glorious meal this Chinese New Year, Li Yen at the Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur is offering diners a ritzy feast worth remembering.
The restaurant is presenting three curated sets each for lunch and dinner that will surely leave you wanting more despite feeling satiated.
Our meal started off with yee sang with executive Chinese chef Leung Kwai Hong using salmon slices to depict a flower symbolising a prosperous year ahead.
For those who want additional topping options for the Prosperity Yee Sang, there is a choice of salmon, tuna or abalone to add a twist to the festive toss.
Among the signature offerings are Li Yen Special Roasted Chicken and Steamed Bamboo Fish with Sliced Chinese Ham.
While the chicken was tender, the flakiness of the fish combined with ham proved to be a perfect match, said Leung.
One traditional favourite on the menu is the Steamed Claypot Rice with Chinese Waxed Meat, made with Chinese sausages specially flown in from Hong Kong.
“This dish requires up to 45 minutes to prepare for the flavours of vegetables, Chinese herbs and meat to infuse into the rice, leaving a distinct and rich flavour,” said Leung.
Another favourite is the dim sum trio of Steamed Siew Mai with Crab Meat, Steamed Oyster with Sea Moss and Deep-fried Meat and Minced Prawn Roll.
One that struck our fancy was the juicy Crab Meat Siew Mai for its tasty seafood appeal..
Other delectable culinary offerings this festive season include Braised Pork Knuckle with Dry Oysters and Sea Moss, Double-boiled Abalone Soup with Chicken, Roasted Duck, Chicken Simmered in Bouillon and Stir-fried Prawns with Haw Sauce.
To conclude the meal on a sweet note, Li Yen has a sought-after selection of desserts such as Double-boiled Red Bean Cream with Glutinous Rice Balls, Double-boiled Glutinous Rice Balls in Almond Cream and Fried Nian Gao with Deep-fried Sesame Balls.
Available from Feb 15 to 18, the lunch set menus are priced from RM1,388 nett per table of 10 while dinner set menus are from RM1,888 nett for 10 diners.
The Lunar New Year specialities are also available with advance notice.
If one feast is not enough this impending Chinese New Year, take a five-minute walk to Shanghai restaurant in JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur.
There are three set menus featuring classic Shanghainese cuisine to usher in the Year of the Dog.
Shanghai puts a refreshing spin into its yee sang variety this year, with fresh fruits and a special sauce to pep up the dish.
The addition of sliced fruits enhances the dish’s taste and balances out the tartness of the dressing which is made with plum, peanut and wasabi sauce, said executive Chinese chef Wong Wing Yuek.
We savoured a combination of eight Shanghainese signature cold and hot dishes featuring Sliced Pig’s Ears with Sesame Oil, Flat Glass Noodles with Peanut Sauce, Duck Served with Chef’s Special Sauce, Chilled Drunken Chicken in Chinese Rice Wine, Eggplant with Bean Sauce and Chilli Paste, Japanese Cucumber with Minced Garlic and Soya Sauce, Celery with Dried Bean Curd and Shredded Mushrooms as well as Deep-Fried Bean Curd Skin filled with Shredded Black Mushrooms.
“Despite adhering to the Shanghainese concept, the restaurant still tailors its courses to current trends and preferences,” said Wong, who hails from Shanghai.
This fusion element is showcased in the speciality dish, Deep-fried Bean Curd stuffed with French Goose Liver and Truffle Paste. Meat lovers who want an eccentric taste can opt for the Braised Spanish Pork with Pine Nuts and Vegetables.
“This dish uses Iberico pork and pine nuts, and offers a unique taste that our customers will enjoy.
“This is something that you cannot find in other restaurants,” said Wong who is dedicated to serving authentic dishes from his native city.
Next is the Braised Pig’s Trotter with Sea Moss infused with Chinese wine to exude that aromatic fragrance.
The thick pork fat layers proved unappetising to us, but it is worth experiencing the melt-in-your- mouth texture just once.
Starting from RM288.80 per person, the festive menus offer other signature dishes such as Steamed Cod stuffed with Chinese Ham with Honey and Supreme Stock Paste, Braised Superior Fish Maw Soup with Sea Cucumber, Stir-fried Succulent Prawns with Sweet and Sour and Mustard Paste as well as Steamed Bamboo Fish with Preserved Vegetables.
The chef’s specialities a la carte menu will feature Shanghainese Family Hot Pot with Assorted Dried Seafood as well as Braised Wild Mediterranean Red Prawn in Brown Sauce.
These creations are available for lunch and dinner from Feb 1 until March 2.
LI YEN, Level Two, The Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur, 168, Jalan Imbi, Kuala Lumpur. (Tel: 03-2782 9122) Business hours: Noon to 2.30pm (Monday to Saturday), 10.30am to 2.30pm (Sunday and public holidays), 6pm to 10.30pm (Monday to Sunday). Non-halal.
SHANGHAI, Level One, JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur, 183, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. (Tel: 03-2719 8288) Business hours: Noon to 2.30pm (Monday to Saturday), 10.30am to 2.30pm (Sunday and public holidays), 6pm to 10.30pm (Monday to Sunday). Non-halal.
This is the writers’ observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.