THE ferocious looking dragonwith its mouth wide open,shooting off imaginary bolts offire is really quite harmless especiallyif it is carved out of a whole lengthof carrot.
Sitting quietly on a plate, this intricately shaped vermilion dragon is merely an enhanced feature of the Braised Sea Cucumber with Assorted Seafood at the Golden Sun Seafood Restaurant.
Each time the dish makes its way to a customer's table, excited comments on the presentation are heard, manager Baby Fong said.
“It takes two hours for the chef to carve the dragon out of the carrot,” she said.
Accompanying the symbolic dragon are ingredients deemed prosperous for Chinese New Year as chief chef Ng Hoon Khiong stir-fries a generous mix of whole sea cucumber, Pacific clam, scallops, dried scallops, mushroom and fish maw and serves it up.
The dish rich with ingredients does not come cheap, priced at RM88++ per plate.
Fong said customers did not mind spending on dishes considered prosperous as the celebration is a once a year affair.
Chef Ng has maintained the traditional flair of Chinese cooking this Lunar New Year with six set menus, priced from RM498nett to RM1288nett for family, friends and business associates to choose and savour.
Those wanting more than the ordinary fare might want to ask for the Golden Sun 8 Prosperity Cuisine menu 2008.
One will find on this ala carte menu, the Braised Sea Cucumber with Assorted Seafood as well as Braised Abalone with Sea Cucumber, Dried Oysters and Pumpkin Sauce, Stir Fried Deluxe Vegetables with Scallops and Pine Seeds, Fried Sea Prawns with Tuna Sauce and Fish Flakes, Claypot Cod Fish with Stewed Pork Sauce, Braised Superior Shark's Fin with Dried Seafood, Stewed Pork Knuckles with Eight Treasures and Braised Broccoli with Crab Meat, Mushrooms and Chinese Wine.
Chef Ng has added a fusion twist to some dishes like the Braised Abalone with Sea Cucumber, Dried Oysters and Pumpkin Sauce and Fried Sea Prawns with Tuna Sauce and Fish Flakes.
The handsome dish of abalone, sea cucumber, dried oysters and pumpkin sauce has fatt choy, asparagus and dried waxed meat for additional flavour.
For some contrast to the beige white abalone and dull sea cucumber, pumpkin sauce is dotted on the plate.
Pumpkin sauce also enhances the flavour of the prawn and tuna in the Fried Sea Prawns with Tuna Sauce and Fish Flakes.
Chef Ng decided to incorporate a touch of fusion to his ala carte options as customers were accustomed to Chinese cuisine cooked with a flair of difference.
“We have conventional Chinese New Year dishes on the set menu for traditional minded customers and new flavours on the ala carte menu for a difference,” he said.
There's a whole lot of crunch and flavour in the Stewed Pork Knuckles with Eight Treasures.
Chestnuts, gingko, black mushrooms, dried oysters, dried waxed meat, button mushrooms, garlic and water chestnut cooked for three hours fully flavours the pork knuckles.
Another dish that takes hours to prepare is the Braised Superior Shark's Fin with Dried Seafood as it takes eight hours for it to achieve its desired taste and consistency.
Of course, Chinese New Year is rather meaningless if yee sang is not tossed to great heights.
This year, it is all about fruits in the yee sang offering at Golden Sun.
Kiwi, dragon fruit, honey dew, mango, snow pear, apple, pickled radish, pickled onion, deep fried mee hoon and salmon mixed with plum sauce, oil, peanut and seasoning are what's laid out on the yee sang platter.
The outlet is open on the eve of Chinese New Year and thereafter.