CHEF Lam Hock Hin continues to take the adventurous path with his culinary concoctions, as he taps into his innovative streak to create this year’s festive delights.
“I’m using an ‘out of the box’ approach to the Chinese New Year menu, while also incorporating some muhibbah elements into selected dishes,” said Lam who is Hilton Kuala Lumpur’s executive Chinese chef who heads the team at Chynna.
Chynna’s Chinese New Year delights, themed “Year of Blooming Abundance”, come in the form of four set menus and five yee sang options.
The Prosperity set kicked off on a high note, featuring Yee Sang with Macadamia Nuts and American Strawberry.
“I wanted to stay away from pears that are typically served in meat-free yee sang, and settled on strawberries which I felt were something unique,” said Lam.
“The strawberries’ sweet and sour flavours are enhanced with a sauce made from strawberry, plum and kumquat. Crushed macadamia nuts are added to make the yee sang more premium.”
Lam’s efforts paid off as the strawberries gave the yee sang a different flavour profile, while macadamia nuts added some crunch and texture.
The soup dish came in the form of Braised Assorted Dried Seafood with Vegetarian Fins, Crab Meat and Fish Maw.
Vegetarian fins (plant-based) were used, in line with the hotel’s sustainable seafood practice that included not using shark’s fin.
The fish dish – Steamed Wild Caught Giant Grouper Slice with Congee, Fried Ginger and Tauchu Chilli Sauce – is one that may ruffle some feathers, as some traditionalists believe it is taboo to have congee during Chinese New Year (because it was thought that only poor people ate porridge).
To this, Lam said, “I wanted to create something unique and this is my vision of the fish dish. The steamed fish with soy sauce method is too common and I wanted something different.”
The Batter Fried Crispy Chicken with Yellow Curry Sauce is a muhibbah-inspired dish that will taste somewhat familiar to Malaysian taste buds.
“Some diners have tried this dish before and enjoyed it, so I thought why not introduce it in the Chinese New Year menu,” said Lam.
While he declined to reveal the ingredients for the batter, Lam shared that the curry featured belacan, dried shrimps, curry leaves and spices.
Other dishes featured in the menu are Braised Abalone Cubes with Sea Cucumber, Pumpkin Sauce and Crispy Smoked Meat, Stewed Cabbage with Yam and Shrimps served in Claypot and Ten Grain Rice stuffed with Chicken Floss.
Diners may want to go easy on the first two dishes, as the gravies may quickly fill the stomach before the end of the meal.
“The Ten Grain Rice includes a mix of grains and beans, such as barley, brown rice, black bean, red bean and nuts. They are steamed with sugar and oil, then rolled and served,” said Lam.
For dessert, there is a Combination of Snow White Coconut Jelly, Nian Gao Roll with Cheddar Cheese with Macadamia Nut and Musang King Durian.
Lam said the desserts were made by the dim sum chef, and that the nian gao offered a good balance of taste in terms of sweet and savoury.
Meanwhile, the yee sang specials available at Chynna are Smoky Grilled Squid Tentacles, Macadamia Nuts and American Strawberry, Salted Egg Soft Shell Crab and Crispy Fish Skin, Australian Three-Head Abalone and Traditional Norwegian Salmon.
The yee sang is priced from RM128 nett for a small portion to RM268 nett for large; the abalone version is priced at RM280 nett.
The seven-course Abundance set menu is priced at RM288 nett per person; the eight-course Prosperity set menu at RM398 nett per person; the six-course Wealth set menu at RM438 nett per person and six-course Grand Fortune set menu at RM688 nett per person.
The Grand Fortune set requires a minimum order of five persons; the others a minimum of two persons.
The Chinese New Year menu is available until Feb 24.
Over at Vasco’s, a special buffet will be served for the festive period. The dinner tonight, tomorrow and on Feb 6 is priced at RM200 nett per adult; the lunch tomorrow and on Feb 6 is at RM178 nett per adult.
CHYNNA, Level Five, Hilton Kuala Lumpur, 3 Jalan Stesen Sentral, Kuala Lumpur. (Tel: 03-2264 2264 / 2596). Business hours: Noon to 2.30pm (Monday to Friday), 11am to 2.30pm (Saturday and Sunday); 6.30pm to 10.30pm, daily. Pork-free.
This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.
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