According to the Chinese zodiac, 2011 marks the year of the Rabbit, also the 4th animal in the 12-year cycle. Apparently, people born in the year of rabbit are usually diplomats or politicians, with grace and beautiful manners. They are also kind and loving as well as intelligent and quick. Are you one of them? Well, if you don’t have the chance to meet someone from the year of rabbit, why don’t we eat something with a ‘Rabbit touch’? We had the chance to do so at the elegant and stunning Celestial Court of Sheraton Imperial.
The oriental entrance to Celestial Court
Pot of Gold
We were there for another round of Standard Chartered’s Extravagant 8 promotion, where 8 selected top restaurants in KL will serve a menu of 8 dishes at RM888++ per table of 8 persons.
The Extravagant 8 Menu
Fortune cookies for every Extravagant 8 menu “Don’t be nasty, prosperity will knock on your door soon”
So what was the dish that had the ‘Rabbit touch’? Look no further than the first dish! The Yee Sang with Norwegian Salmon and Fish Roe had us all in awe and followed by a unanimous sigh “Aww, look at that!”. Kudos to the chef for putting the effort in arranging the shredded vegetables of Yee Sang into an attractive shape of a rabbit on grass! This was definitely the most memorable Yee Sang I had to date.
Yee Sang with Norwegian Salmon and Fish Roe
After adding the necessary condiments and fresh salmon slices, we were all ready to ‘lou sang’. What made this yee sang different (apart from the attractive presentation), was the sheer amount of vegetables used! Due to the sculpting of the rabbit, extra white radish was used, making this platter larger than the usual portion. It was significant, for all of us felt the weight on our chopsticks during the tossing! And no, we’re not complaining. Never too much of yee sang, you see?
Yee sang with salmon slices and plum sauce
Lou Sang with happiness
After satisfying ourselves with the plentiful yee sang, we had a bowl of Braised shredded chicken soup with fish maw and sea moss each. Sea moss, also known as ‘fatt choy’ in Chinese, is an auspicious ingredient during the Chinese New Year, for the term ‘fatt’ rhymes with fortune and wealth. This thick and hearty broth that was boiled for 2 whole days was savoury and very comforting. The fine and smooth texture of sea moss combined with the chewy shredded chicken was a match made in heaven.
Braised shredded chicken soup with fish maw and sea moss (Fatt choy)
However, the star of the night had to be Roasted crispy chicken with chili oil sauce. When presented, this dish looked just like any other normal roasted chicken but before we could say ‘boring’, the chili oil sauce immediately perked us up. The chili oil was like no other – spicy, savoury and very very good. It was a combination of chili padi (bird’s eye chili), chili powder, chili oil, curry leaves and garlic all mashed and mixed into a wondrous mixture that we could never get enough off. This dish left all of us speechless and love-struck ( I know I was! ) that we almost fought for the last piece on the plate. OK that was just a joke but you get my drift. 😉
Roasted crispy chicken with chili oil sauce
Another ingredient that I found to be quite a popular pick in restaurants is the bamboo pith. Most restaurants incorporate bamboo piths one way or another in their menu, such as the Two varieties of vegetables braised with bamboo piths and mushrooms at Celestial Court. There were two types of vegetables used here – broccoli and siew bak choy (Chinese cabbage), braised tastefully with giant mushrooms. The bamboo piths were slightly crunchy and earthy, while the mushrooms were just juicy and bursting with flavour.
Two varieties of vegetables braised with bamboo piths and mushrooms
Cod fish always has a soft spot in my heart, so whenever I see the dish being served, I go weak in my knees. Anything with cod fish is agreeable with me, for the sight of its smooth, white flesh with a pearly finish was already enough to make me go ‘Ah..’. The Simmered Cod fish with Chinese herb in superior broth indeed had the same effect on me, and the texture of the meat on my tongue was almost ecstatic. This melt-in-your-mouth piece of cod fish is good enough reason to be here for the Chinese New Year dinner.
Simmered Cod fish with Chinese herb in superior broth
As with other dinner menus, there’s the customary fried rice before the dessert, and we were served the Honey barbecued chicken fried rice with scallops. The rice was fluffy, with no sight of oiliness and was a nice golden colour. It’s just amazing how a simple dish like this requires so much skill to make it work. Indeed, this was another masterpiece from the chef, which we all polished clean even with a full stomach.
Honey barbecued chicken fried rice with scallops
Delicious scallop on my fried rice
To end the splendid meal on a sweet finish, we had the Deep fried nian gao with yam together with the Sweetened red bean puree with lotus seed, pak hup and sesame dumplings. The Chinese believe that ‘nian gao’, which rhymes with ‘higher year’ in Mandarin, is an auspicious dish to have with the meaning of raising oneself higher in the new year. The nian gao was fried to perfection – crispy and savoury skin surrounding a sandwich of yam and a thick slab of nian gao. The combination of savoury and sweet flavours in this delicacy was just the perfect ending that we were searching for.
Deep fried nian gao with yam
Sweetened red bean puree with lotus seed, pak hup (lily bulb) and sesame dumplings
Black sesame oozing out from the glutinous rice ball
At the end of the meal, all of us were satiated and happy, thanks to the genius of a Chef Ho Boon. The shy chef gradually opened up when we asked him more questions regarding the dishes, especially the Roasted chicken in chili oil. The smart chef thought that the common roasted chicken was boring, and the addition of spiciness is uncommon but a refreshing twist to the menu. And he was right. Oh yes, he was.
Some of the dishes from the Extravagant 8 menu
Chinese Chef Ho Boon
witch with the lovely ladies Christine and Ivy
The elegant Celestial Court
The Standard Chartered Extravagant 8 Promotion is only available from the 20th of January until 17th of February 2011.
- The promotion is only valid to Standard Chartered card members and must be paid via Standard Chartered credit cards
- The promotion is applicable for lunch and dinner
- The promotion is not valid with any other special discounts, promotions, etc
- The promotion is only applicable for food
- Black out date on eve of CNY (2nd Feb) applies
Sheraton Imperial Hotel
Jalan Sultan Ismail
50250 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603-2717 9988
Opening hours: Monday – Saturday: 12.00 – 2.30pm & 6.30 – 10.30pm, Sunday & Public Holidays: 10.00am – 2.30pm & 6.30 – 10.30pm