Celestial Court – Sheraton Imperial, KL. Fancy your Cantonese cuisine with some wine?

Once upon a time, beverages at Chinese dinners meant only chinese tea/beers. Sarsi/Orange would be the default for the underaged. And as dinner progressed, bottles of Stout may appear. Next to follow were likely to be brandy or whisky.

The scenario is certainly different now. Most Chinese  restaurants now serves wine with their dishes; or at the very least, there are wine options available in their menu. Fruit juices & Coke replaced Sarsi & orange.

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Celestial Court at Sheraton Imperial is one of the grand old dame of Cantonese fine dining restaurants in KL. I have heard tales of “how good it was last time” & til now, I’m still hearing the same positive reviews from these 30- 40 y/old friends who had dined there back then.
A recommended feat indeed, to have stood against the test of time & also the proliferation of millions of (Ok, I’m exaggerating here) Chinese restaurants in town.

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This doesn’t mean Celestial Court is resting on its laurels.
Recently, in keeping with the trends & demands of the growing set of sophisticated diners in KL; Celestial Court now offers wine pairing with its highly- praised Cantonese cuisine.

I attended a recent dinner at Celestial Court, where premium Taylor’s Wines from the Clare Valley in the heart of South Australia was selected to complement the 6 course Chinese dinner.

Pre Dinner
Taylor’s Estate, Sauvignon Blanc 2009

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Duck & Bamboo Shoots Salad, Crispy Roasted Duck with Plum Sauce and Steamed Fish Cake with Spicy Coconut
Taylor’s Estate Clare, Riesling 2010

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Pan Fried Scallop & Crab Dumpling with Stuffed Bitter Melon in Black Bean Sauce
Taylor’s Estate, Chardonnay 2008

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Chili Marinated Cod Fish with Miso Yellow Pepper Jus
Taylor’s Estate, Chardonnay 2008 (pic as above)

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Braised Oxtail Consommé La Mian
Taylor’s Estate, Pinot Noir

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Citrus Sherbet

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Hakka Style Slow Cooked Lamb Neck with Sticky Rice Wrapped in Lotus Leaf
St. Andrew Carbenet Sauvignon 2005

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Kuih Koci Pulut Hitam with Teh Tarik Ice Cream

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The Pre – Dinner Sauvignon Blanc started the night on the right note. Almost fruity, it was sweeter than most wines I have drank before & it remained my favourite throughout the night .

The legendary Celestial Court duck lived up to its reputation as I savoured the Crispy Roasted Duck. So much so that I wished there was a whole duck served rather than just 2 cuts! I didn’t care much for Duck & Bamboo Shoots Salad but I find the Steamed Fish Cake a rich & innovative twist to our local ‘Otak- otak’.
The crisp Taylor’s Estate Clare, Riesling 2010 accompanied the appetisers & I find it perfect for the strong flavours of the duck and fish cake.

Next was the Taylor’s Chardonnay.This leant more on the fruity side, and it made sense to have paired it with the delicate Cod. I love the slightly spicy ‘jus’ that accompanied the flaky fresh Cod.

Same wine was paired with the Pan Fried Scallop & Crab Dumpling with Stuffed Bitter Melon, a dish of which failed to make much of an impression on me.

Given a choice, I would probably be happy that night with just the La Mian and MANY bags of the Braised Oxtail “wantons”!
Such superbly tender, flavourful meat encased in thin skins, swimming in the most clear but herbalicious Consommé. Give me more please…! 😉

I find the Pinot Noir “oaky” – ( a woody-ness taste) & of a pretty strong acidic body. From a wine noob point of view, it might actually overpower the delicate Consommé with its strong body. Anyhow, I never thought it was a good idea to pair wine with soups, especially the clear types.

A quick lick of the face – contorting sour sherbet did the job of getting my palate cleanse and I waited eagerly for the much anticipated Hakka Style Slow Cooked Lamb Neck with Sticky Rice Wrapped in Lotus Leaf.
I found this dish to be a pleasant surprise; as the rice was not as “sticky” as the ones normally served at 8 course dinners. This version was somewhat lighter in texture & not as oily too. The lamb was a tad too gamey for me but the tenderness won me over.

St Andrews is the flagship range of ultra premium wines from Taylors. This course was matched with the St. Andrew Carbenet Sauvignon 2005, a powerful, medium to full-bodied cabernet with the savoury earthy notes.

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Any food blogger would be curious to read “Kuih Koci with Teh Tarik Ice Cream” on the menu. My first experience with Teh Tarik ice cream was at The Last Pollka & I have been hooked ever since.
But here at Celestial Court, it came served with kuih koci!

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A truly enjoyable combo was having a bite of the chewy gritty coconut kuih koci together with the creamy tea ice cream in one spoonful. A good dessert always finishes off a meal right.

Celestial Court serves dim sum, a-la carte & set menus for lunch daily from 12pm till 2.30pm on Mon- Sat. I think I should be heading there soon for some dim sum loving, especially since they got a dedicated dim sum Chef! I have my hopes high for some good dim sum in KL now. 😉

For a scrumptious dinner like mine, Celestial Court opens for dinner from 6.30pm till 10.30pm, 7 days a week.

Any further inquiries on events or on table reservations at Celestial Court can be made by calling 03-27179900 ext 6988. Thanks to Cindy & Evelyn for the invite!

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Sheraton Imperial Hotel
Jalan Sultan Ismail
50250 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
Tel: — 6 03 2717 9900

Web: sheraton.com/imperialkualalumpur