Pushing the limits of Chinese cuisine

Stir-fried Hokkaido Scallop and Asparagus with Black Truffle Sauce.

THE challenge of reinventing Chinese cuisine with new flavours often takes traditionally trained chefs out of their comfort zone.

However, Ngoi Siak Kong who is Chinese head chef at Pullman KLCC and has 35 years’ experience, regularly experiments to develop innovative dishes.

In Red Chinese Cuisine’s new dinner menu, Ngoi’s skills in combining traditional Chinese cooking methods with contemporary flavours shine through.

Steamed Tiger Grouper Fillet with Superior Stock.Steamed Tiger Grouper Fillet with Superior Stock.

We were treated to exquisite offerings such as the Dim Sum Trio Platter comprising crystal dumpling, scallop cheese ball and Japanese eel dumpling.

I always look forward to double-boiled soup because of its comforting flavours and the Double-Boiled Black Chicken Soup with Dried Scallop and Fish Maw served in Whole Coconut did not disappoint.

“The natural sweetness of the coconut brings out the sweetness of the soup.

“The soup with Chinese herbs and dried seafood is poured into the coconut and we steam the whole thing,” said executive chef Fong Teck Fei.

Next up was the Steamed Tiger Grouper Fillet with Superior Stock which featured firm, succulent fish that was beautifully complemented by chef Ngoi’s superior sauce.

The bright yellow pool of sauce on the plate was a silky, well-balanced carrot puree.

“Carrot is milder and won’t overwhelm the taste of the herbs. It’s a creative option instead of the usual soy sauce base,” said Fong.

Cold Ramen with Aged Vinegar Dressing and Oven-baked Butter Garlic River Prawn at Red Chinese Cuisine, Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre. — Photos: AZLINA ABDULLAH/The StarCold Ramen with Aged Vinegar Dressing and Oven-baked Butter Garlic River Prawn at Red Chinese Cuisine, Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre. — Photos: AZLINA ABDULLAH/The Star

Stir-fried Hokkaido Scallop and Asparagus with Black Truffle Sauce presented pan-seared mollusks that had a good bite, coupled with stir-fried asparagus and a piquant black truffle sauce that was a successful marriage of contemporary ingredients.

Pan-searing scallops can be tricky, said Fong, as they will be rubbery if overcooked.

The dish melds three cooking styles – pan-searing, stir-frying and poaching – resulting in a cleverly balanced medley of flavours and textures.

Cold Ramen with Aged Vinegar Dressing and Oven-baked Butter Garlic River Prawn had a dressing that deliciously complemented the prawns.

Aged vinegar is defined as vinegar which is aged for more than 10 years and appears viscous. It is sweet compared to regular vinegar that is sour.

“It’s somewhat of a palate cleanser after the main course, soup and meat dishes,” said Fong.

We were surprised to see a non-Chinese dessert, Classic Coffee Tiramisu, on the menu, but this was in line with the chef’s fusion of food cultures.

Earlier, guests were taught how to make snow-skin mooncakes in conjunction with the Mid-Autumn Festival that culminates on Sept 29.

This year, the two new flavours for the baked mooncakes are White Lotus Spirulina with Single-Egg Yolk and Five Variety Nuts with Propolis Honey.

Additionally, there is an assortment of snow-skin mooncakes such as Premium Tieguanyin with Sun-Dried Cranberry, Yam Taro Black Sesame with Snow Bird’s Nest, Belgian Dark Chocolate with Crunchy Caramelised Walnut as well as Charcoal Coffee and Coconut with Gold Dust.

These can be ordered in gift boxes that contain four flavours.

The Bamboo Gift Box, priced at RM238, is made from recyclable material and contains four mooncakes and a 250ml bottle of WonderBrew Kombucha with four flavours to choose from: Purple Serai, Original, Beetroot Basil or Sakura Lychee Rose.

The elegant Elite Gift Box, priced at RM178, features fine laser-cut paper and high-grade cardboard.

It includes four mooncakes of either the baked or snow skin varieties.

The Peony Gift Box, priced at RM178 has four tins, each adorned with a peony pattern.

Delivery services are available within Klang Valley and selected states.

RED CHINESE CUISINE, Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre, Jalan Conlay, Kuala Lumpur. Business Hours: noon-3pm, 6.30pm-10.30pm (Monday to Friday), 11am-3pm, 6.30pm-10.30pm (Saturday, Sunday and public holidays). Tel: 03-2170 8888, email: enquiry@pullman-klcc.com

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

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