Chinese New Year 2011 is in less than 3 weeks !! Man, I’ve got to say this cliched statement “Time sure flies!“. 😉
We have now come to that time of the year again, where the ubiquitous Yee Sang makes it’s appearance during every dinner in every restaurant.
I’m not complaining of course. On the contrary, I’m actually looking forward to some boisterous CNY dinners with my friends to usher in a new beginning in this year of the Rabbit. :yes:
To start the ball rolling (or the tossing going ) I tossed my first Yee Sang at Zuan Yuan, One World Hotel just last week.
To the uninitiated, yee sang is not so much about eating the dish but more of the food-play as the key element of the “yee sang” involves tossing the ingredients as high as possible and mixing it all vigorously while shouting out loud all the positive vibes & wishes you desire for the coming year.
This is a very auspicious act as it portends to financial and personal success where future ventures will hopefully “rise and reach high levels”.
“For $! For better health! For better opportunities in life! Toss it all high, higher & higher!!”
(pic below frm one of my CNY dinners last year, & for illustration purpose, as I was too busy tossing that night at Zuan Yuan to take any pic of my own! )
Our yee sang that night was almost purely vegetarian, other than a serving of jellyfish. Everything on the plate makes for a winsome combination; sweet & slightly tart flavours from the pears & pamelos, crunchy & dry textures from the crackers & refreshing clean flavours from the freshly shredded vegetables.
Yee Sang with Seaweed and Assorted Fresh Fruits.
Satiated momentarily with the yee sang, (but thankfully the wait wasn’t long for the other mains to make their appearance) I was looking forward to chomp down some MEAT hence the next dish was a sight for sore eyes (and rumbling tummies); a beautiful crisp -skinned duck, gorgeously tender & golden.
Roasted Duck with Unique Spicy Sauce.
Wok-Fried Tiger Prawn Hong Kong Style. The prawns were amazingly fresh & delivered the most marvellous “crunch” when I bit into its flesh. De-shell & eat with the deep-fried dried shrimps toppings for maximum prawn-y satisfaction.
The fish was a tad overcooked, but would have been perfect otherwise. The fish dish at any Chinese dinner is my favourite course & this was the only small set-back that night.
Steamed Coral Fish with Pickled Radish and Chilli.
The “cleansing dish”; a vegetables course, had a delightful twist as the boring bean curd was given a miss, and instead replaced with these……..
…….little pockets encasing a delicious mix of minced dried oysters, mushrooms & sea moss. A commended effort & my personal credits to the Chef Micheal Chew for giving old favourites new twists. I loved this.
Braised Diced Sea Treasure, Dried Oyster and Sea Moss in Golden Bag with Green Garden.
Being picky of carbs, I normally avoid the rice course during Chinese dinners. Unless it is very good of course.
And Zuan Yuan’s version had me making a total exception to my self-imposed “low-carbs during dinner rule”. Some food are just worthy to s***w that diet & this was one of them. 😉
A lover of liver sausages, I swooped down on them & was rewarded with the sublime textures of really good liver. The overall dish was very well prepared, without the oiliness that normally plagued such lotus rice preparations. Aromatic & littered with cubes of yummy mushrooms, yam & slices of waxed meat, all at the table agreed that this is as good as it gets minus the element of swine.
Chef Micheal must have heard us singing praises, for he generously added a special soup to our dinner. LOL. The presentation may seem a bit stark, but the flavours sure aren’t!
Light, with lingering nauces of chrysanthemum, but not too much lest it spoils the soup & reminiscent too much of chrysanthemum tea, this soup retained its savoury flavours, but sweet & herbal-ish enough for easy digestion.
Desserts! And with my favourite avocadoes incorporated too.
Deep-Fried Avocado Custard and Ninko with Katafi Fillo.
I had expected avocado mash, sweeten and stuffed within these artful kalafi filigree and that’s all to it. But no, the chef managed to surprise us again with another trick up his culinary sleeve. We found sticky sweet nian gou inside!
Last of the course, Double-Boiled Sea Coconut with Organic Bird Nest, Red Dates and White Fungus, providing a sweet ending to our overall splendid meal.
I have the Chinese New Year Menu – (downloadable HERE) & The Appreciation Set Menus HERE & I would my readers (yes, you! 😉 ) to take a look at them. Zuan Yuan would be ideal for company dinners, expecially if you are seeking for a halal chinese dining option. The sets are reasonably priced for the ingredients and creative preparations of Chef Michael.
I had a good experience over lunch as well & you can read about the interesting Ginseng Panna Cotta HERE. Yup, Chef Michael Chew dares to experiment & I am pleased with his innovative creations so far!
Zuan Yuan remains open on the eve of Lunar New Year and throughout the fifteen days of the Lunar New Year. For reservations at Zuan Yuan, please call (603) 7681 1159.
Thank you to Florence & Crystal for the invite & lovely dinner & for starting my CNY mood for 2011!!
Zuan Yuan Chinese Restaurant @
bandar utama city centre
47800 petaling jaya
Phone +603 7681 1111
Fax +603 7681 1188
Monday to Friday:
Lunch 12.00 noon to 2.30 pm
Dinner 6.30 pm to 10.30 pm
Saturday, Sunday and Public Holiday:
Lunch 11.00 am to 2.30 pm
Dinner 6.30 pm to 10.30 pm