So as mentioned in my earlier post, Standard Chartered is riding in the wave of ’8′s this Chinese New Year, with the Standard Chartered Extravagant 8 Menu. Spreading over 8 different top Chinese restaurants in the Klang Valley, this campaign will run only from the 20th of January until 17th of February 2011. Thanks to the gracious invitation by Meena and Tim, I had the opportunity to sample Li Yen’s menu specifically crafted for this promotion. It was my first time stepping into this posh hotel and everything was so proper and in-place, so much so that I almost felt out of place! *LOL* But when I saw familiar faces in the restaurant, I immediately warmed up and became comfortable in the private dining room.
Meticulous table settings
Waiting for dinner – isn’t that Ken behind me?
As with most Chinese New Year dinners, it is customary to start off with the Prosperity Yee Sang, topped with fresh slices of salmon. A variety of shredded vegetables and crackers gave this combination a light crunch and definitely a lively colour.
Prosperity Yee Sang
Topped with fresh salmon slices (Before)
And then, all of us tossed and tossed while hollering the new year’s wishes – “Money come!”, “Health!”, “Love” and so on. The result was a well-tossed plate of Chinese salad, coated with tangy plum sauce. Messy, yes, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Well-tossed plate of Yee Sang
Following that was Double Boiled Assorted Seafood Soup with Bamboo Piths, a clear broth with fish maw, grouper fish, scallop, mushroom and prawns boiled for a good 7 hours! The result was a bowl of delicious and wholesome soup, powered by the taste of a myriad of seafood – light and sweet!
Double Boiled Assorted Seafood Soup with Bamboo Piths
Variety of seafood, mushroom and vegetables in the soup
The next dish was Peking Duck with Steamed Sesame Pancakes, but we had the chance to have a glimpse of the glorious and shiny Peking duck first. It was perfectly roasted, golden, shiny and absolutely aromatic! The sight of this whole duck reminded me of my trip to Beijing a couple of years back.
Glorious and golden Peking duck
It was one thing watching the carving of the Peking duck being done and another holding back my saliva!
Carving of the Peking duck
She delicately and skilfully skinned the Peking duck into perfect slices of rectangles, before wrapping them with the steamed sesame pancakes. A dash of sweet sauce was added to it for good measure and the end product was a combination one couldn’t resist! Soft and warm on the outside, crispy, savoury and sweet on the inside. Can you blame me for having seconds?
Peking Duck with Steamed Sesame Pancakes
As with most Chinese New Year menu, the presence of Fish is customary as it signifies abundance. Li Yen presented to us the Steamed Patin Fish with Superior Soya Sauce – huge, fresh and flaky smooth. Really, the best way to cook fresh fish is just to simply steam it. But steaming itself is not simple. The amount of time used, the heat and the intensity – these only come with experience and I’m glad to say that Chef Leong had certainly proven himself worthy of the title Master Chef of Li Yen.
Steamed Patin Fish with Superior Soya Sauce
My plate of fresh fish – flaky and smooth
After dishes of meat, it was time to balance it out with a dish of Braised Dried Scallops with Dried Oysters and Sea Moss. Sea Moss, also known as ‘Fat Choy‘ in Cantonese, resembles black hair and has a very soft and delicate texture. The pronunciation of this vegetable in Cantonese (Fat Choy) means prosperity and for that reason, it is a popular ingredient in Chinese New Year dishes.
Braised Dried Scallops with Dried Oysters and Sea Moss
Black moss, pork, oyster and scallop
The Stir fried Assorted Mushrooms and Asparagus were aplenty and the mushrooms were sweet and delicious. It’s amazing how a simple dish like this could taste so good and yet healthy.
Stir fried Assorted Mushrooms and Asparagus
When the next dish arrived, I had the trouble of guessing what was inside. Was it fried noodles? Or rice? It was later revealed to be the Hokkien Fried Rice, in fact the first that I’d ever tasted. The rice was nicely fried with duck, chicken and mushroom cubes before being drenched all over with a starchy sauce. It was decadent to say the least! The gravy was thick and savoury, and the rice inside was still fluffy and warm. Mixing them together indeed gave rise to a unique combination and taste which I enjoyed very much.
Hokkien Fried Rice
Fabulous down to the last morsel
To end the meal on a sweet note, we had Deep Fried Yam with Lunar Cakes (Nian Gao) which is another must during Chinese New Year. This was nicely fried, golden and crispy on the outside, and gooey and soft on the inside. Definitely a combination that never fails!
Deep Fried Yam with Lunar Cakes (Nian Gao)
Perfect slices of yam sandwiching the nian gao
This amazing dinner set was made possible thanks to Master Chef Leung Kwai Hong from China, who, at 61 years old, has had more than 45 years of culinary experience! Bravo!
Master Chef Leung Kwai Hong
Of course, dinner was made more pleasant with the presence of delightful company!
witch and Meena
Joa Quim and witch
Bangsarbabe and witch – why were all of us girls in black?
Gorgeous interior of Li Yen Chinese Restaurant
Li Yen Chinese Restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur
Standard Chartered Extravagant 8 Menu is available only for Standard Chartered credit card holders from 20th of January until 17th of February 2011.
Note: Black out date is on 2nd Feb. 2011. Menu is design for 8 diners and the minimum charges is RM888++ for the set menu. For additional number of guest, it will be chargeable at RM111++ per head for a maximum of 12 persons.
Li Yen Chinese Restaurant
The Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur
168, Jalan Imbi,
Kuala Lumpur 55100
Tel. No: +603-2142 8000
Fax No.: +603-2143 8080