AS THE British often say, a cup of tea can melt your troubles away.
Aside from it being many people’s favourite beverage, tea can also be an inspiration to create interesting and unique dishes.
Zuan Yuan Chinese Restaurant at One World Hotel Petaling Jaya is doing just that by dishing out a double promotion this month for diners to experience a scrumptious culinary showcase.
Called Tea-licious and Insanely Hot, the month-long promotion is sure to whet diners’ appetites as it features tea-inspired dishes as well as a meaty selection of food served on lava stone imported from Turkey.
Executive Chinese chef Tommy Choong said making tea leaves the hero ingredient in various dishes was tricky, especially when striking a balance in flavour with other ingredients.
“Adding too much tea leaves will overpower the original flavour of other ingredients, while using too little will not make much difference.
“It is important for diners to still enjoy the food with a hint of aromatic fragrance and clarity from the tea leaves,” he said, adding that tea leaves had a distinctive flavour profile and was good for health.
Choong emphasised a lot on the original flavours of the food.
For the sizzling hot lava stone promotion, the meat dishes are well marinated and can be enjoyed on their own.
“However, diners can choose from three sauces – barbecue, black pepper or Mongolian,” he said.
As a starter, diners can order the Double-Boiled Abalone and Fish Maw Soup with Chrysanthemum.
The clear soup has a good combination of savoury and sweet, with a hint of the mild and refreshing floral taste of chrysanthemum.
“Instead of dried chrysanthemum, which would overwhelm and ruin the taste of the soup, I chose dried chrysanthemum buds which are milder,” he said.
The appetising soup is served with red dates and wolfberries.
Next, the Crispy Prawn Stuffed with Yam and Pumpkin bears a close resemblance to the cucur udang, but with a unique twist.
The crispy shredded yam and pumpkin lend a mild sweetness to the crunchy prawns, but what makes it special is the green tea dressing that is light and palatable.
Even those who dislike matcha are likely to find this dish delicious.
The Smoked Village Chicken with Oolong tea is an eye-opener.
The chicken with its golden brown skin is tender and comes with a generous serving of coriander and stir-fried tea leaves to give it a different texture.
The Fried Rice with Green Tea and Assorted Seafood Hakka style; Braised Minced Chicken with Homemade Bean Curd and Tieguanyin (Chinese oolong tea); and Stir-Fried shrimps with Longjing (Dragon Well tea) are a must-try.
For the Insanely Hot promotion, both the US Angus beef steak and Australian premium lamb cutlets are marinated to perfection with various spices and ingredients.
The succulent beef is juicy while the lamb is grilled flawlessly.
As Choong suggests, it is best eaten plain without any sauce.
Apart from the beef and lamb on the hot plate, the restaurant is serving other dishes such as the Australian grass-fed beef steak and king prawns.
It is priced at RM42 nett per 100gm portion with a minimum order of 200gm.
The Tea-licious promotion is priced from RM38 nett per portion.
ZUAN YUAN CHINESE RESTAURANT, One World Hotel, First Avenue, Bandar Utama City Centre, Petaling Jaya. (Tel: 03-7681 1159). Business hours: Noon to 2.30pm (weekdays), 10am to 2.30pm (weekends and public holidays), 6.30pm to 10.30pm, daily. Pork-free.
This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.