One of the more memorable reviews from the total of 14 Chinese New Year feasts I had this year was at Di Wei Chinese Cuisine Restaurant at Empire Hotel Subang. Di Wei had been in my radar for a while and I had wanted to sample its modern Cantonese porky cuisine (yes, it’s non halal!) but as usual timing and work had got in the way.
I finally stepped in last Saturday and in my effort to sample Di Wei’s offerings, I had even postponed my VW Beetle -Ipoh trip to late afternoon instead of early morning departure.
And boy, I was glad I did! Di Wei’s scrumptious food was well worth the sacrifice!
The moment I walked into the dining room, I was greeted with a giant bowl of Poon Choy. That was an unexpected surprise, as I had thought the review would be in the usual sequence of Yee Sang followed by the other 7 courses. Moreover, it is my first poon choy ever, so you can imagine my delight that I’m finally able to sample one!
And it’s just my good fortune that I started on one that’s adeptly prepared. I know there are Poon Choys around in chinese restaurants and even decades old establishments but the minor issue I had with such places are the ingredients used as well as the sodium and oil levels.
In general, I find food at such places are more liberal on the use of oil and salt and I really do prefer my food to be less greasy and lower in salt. But that is just a general observation on my part so if you know of any establishment that serves good Poon Choy with such criteria as above do let me know.
Anyhow, I was so glad Di Wei served us Poon Choy that afternoon.
After 10 Chinese New Year menu previews, I was itching to sample something entirely different. Besides, it’s also a dish that I had wanted to try for a very long time. Throughout lunch, I had a swell time stuffing myself silly. There were all together 18 ingredients in this pot of mouthwatering Poon Choy. We dug in and with each scoop we unearthed more delectable “treasures”.
I think I managed to eat every single of the 18 ingredients!
For the uninitiated, Poon Choy is a ONE bowl dish, typically made up of a few layers, starting with the simpler (cheaper) ingredients at the bottom such as bean curd skin (fu chuk), yam which absorbs the flavours from the richer ingredients on top. The most prized ingredients are the one laid on top and those would be the abalones, scallops, prawns and oysters.
For our Poon Choy, the ingredients were abalone, scallops, prawns (pre-fried), roasted duck & steamed chicken, oysters, siew yok (pork belly), Lap Yok – wax meat, fish maw, Tau Kan (wet bean curd sheets), yam, lotus root, white radish, fish cake, fish balls, bamboo pith, sea cucumber, pork knuckle & black moss (fatt choy).
Being my first time eating Poon Choy, I had wanted to make sure that I got all the ingredients correct and because I had not expected to see fish cakes in the bowl (I had always thought everything in a poon choy is all meat & dried produce) I double checked with the chef to confirm if it was fish cakes. Myself and Vivian (my dining partner) were preoccupied trying to identify each individual ingredient, while simultaneously attempting to translate the Cantonese names to English (I do not know Cantonese and the chef only speaks Cantonese), so I was quite peeved when someone at the table actually said “Aiyo, fish cakes also you don’t know”.
It was frustrating enough not being able to understand what the chef was saying, and Vivian’s command of English wasn’t strong enough to translate it fast enough for me. To top that off, Cantonese names for ingredients/produce aren’t exactly formally printed in a dictionary.
Anyhow, I just wanted to make sure I got my facts correct. Perhaps I should add another resolution to 2013 – to learn Cantonese!
Fortunately, the Poon Choy was really really delicious so all was well. As Vivian remarked, it was tasty with the natural flavours of the ingredients coming through and minus the grease and heavy seasoning that such chinese cuisine can usually be.
The Yee Sang was served as we were busy tucking into our Poon Choy. It was the only “vegetarian” dish that day and the least indulgent.
Di Wei’s Yee Sang is exactly the version that I enjoy; less of the pickled and fried items (though the fried yam crisp were addictive!) and more of the freshly shredded vegetables and fruits.
The other heavy dish we had was the rice topped with premium imported wax meats. Its wonderful aroma wafted through the air as the waitress stirred in the ingredients and served it to us in individual bowls.
Chef Thian came in and chatted with us while we chewed on his special dessert; Nian Gou prepared 2 ways; one dusted in peanuts and another pan fried then coated with sesame seeds. Accompanying this was the Red Bean Cream with Glutinous Rice Ball, which is part of the CNY dinner sets that you’ll see below.
I certainly didn’t expect the Executive Chef of a chinese restaurant to look so young and boyish! Well, his food spoke volumes of his capability.
I’ll revisit Di Wei soon for sure, and this time for the dim sum. Di Wei’s current promotion for dim sum is Buy 2 dish and get the 3rd one at RM2.60++. That may no be much I know, but if you’re heading here anyways you’ll appreciate any convenient promotion. The dim sum chef is Chef Kong, and I trust that I won’t be disappointed.
A sneak preview of one of the dim sum that we sampled during the CNY preview was this Green Tea Custard Bun with Salted Egg Yolk. Decadent!
For a Chinese New Year feast that’s a bit out of the ordinary, I’ll recommend Di Wei for the Poon Choy. It’s RM388++ for 5 persons and RM688++ for 10 persons. Likewise, usher the year of Snake at Di Wei Chinese Cuisine Restaurant with their auspicious Fatt Choy Salmon Yee Sang starting from 1st January 2013 till 25th February 2013. Price is RM48++ for half portion and RM68++ for full portion. Other selections of topping for yee sang such as snow pear, sliced abalone or jelly fish are available upon request.
Golden Set : RM388++ per table of 4 pax.
Happiness Set : RM1188++ per table of 10 pax.
Longevity Set : RM1688++ per table of 10 pax.
Di Wei Chinese Cuisine Restaurant seats up to 150 diners and offers six private dining rooms.
Operation hours : 11am – 3pm and 6pm – 10pm from Monday to Friday.
Saturday, Sunday and public holiday :10.30am – 3pm & 6pm – 10pm.
For more information on Di Wei Chinese Cuisine Restaurant, kindly contact 03 – 5565 1388 or log onto www.empirehotel.com.my
Here’s my round-up for 2013 Chinese New Year Menu in KL. I’ll include the links once I have published the posts this/next week. I’m trying to write as fast as I can!
1. Chinese New Year Menu 2013: Ti Chen Chinese Restaurant, The Saujana Hotel
2. Chinese New Year Menu 2013: Zuan Yuan Chinese Restaurant, One World Hotel
3. Chinese New Year Menu 2013: Li Yen Chinese Restaurant, The Ritz Carlton Hotel
4. Chinese New Year Menu 2013: Shanghai Restaurant, JW Marriott Hotel
5. Chinese New Year Menu 2013: Cheng Ho Court Chinese Restaurant, Mines Wellness Hotel
6. Chinese New Year Menu 2013: West Lake Garden Chinese Restaurant, Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa
7. Chinese New Year Menu 2013: Armada Hotel PJ
8. Chinese New Year Menu 2013: 5enses, Westin KL
9. Chinese New Year Menu 2013: Celestial Court, Sheraton Imperial Hotel KL
10. Chinese New Year Menu 2013: Latest Recipe, Le Meridien Hotel KL
11. Chinese New Year Menu 2013: Di Wei Chinese Cuisine Restaurant, Empire Hotel Subang
12. Chinese New Year Menu 2013: Tai Ze Heen, Prince Hotel KL
13. Chinese New Year Menu 2013: Xin Cuisine, Concorde Hotel KL