Saturday, 18 January 2020


Hot and steamy

December 9, 2019

The sound of cymbals and drums signalled the start for a pair of lions to shower their blessings on the brand new Coco Steamboat Restaurant in The Scott Garden, Old Klang Road. The two lions, gold and black, drew much attention as they pranced around the restaurant and at its entrance.
Coco Steamboat is not new to folks in the Klang Valley as it first opened 15 years ago. Apart from a previous outlet in Old Klang Road, there are two other branches in Cheras – Taman Bukit Hijau and Sungai Long.
Restaurateur Mr Wong said he hopes the new outlet will offer customers a bigger and better dining experience. Indeed, at 2,100 sq metres, the new restaurant is spacious and can cater to up to 600 people in groups of 4, 6 or 10.
Amanda Wong
More used to round steamboat pots, I am amused to find the pots here are square in shape. Wong’s daughter and business development manager, Amanda, says they feel this shape more suitable, especially if customers who want two soup choices. It is also to accommodate the powerful suction system that draws smells downwards. This way, customers won’t go home with the smell of cooking clinging to their clothes.
Square steamboat pot with the signature Yeye's Pork Bone Broth
While little if any culinary skill is required to cook your own food in a steamboat, the key to a delicious meal lies simmering in the stock and Coco offers a choice of 5 soup stocks. The signature is Yeye’s Pork Bone Broth (RM34.90). I love how there is evaporated milk added to give it a boost of creaminess. It seems that this broth is made from an old recipe handed down the generations in the Wong family.  
The others are Cordycep Flower Chicken Soup With Fish Maw (RM46.90), Tomato Soup (RM27.90), a hot Mala Soup (29.90) and the latest premium Black Truffle Broth (RM49.90), made with shaved black truffles.
Pork Set also has beancurd, sweet corn, mushrooms and vegetables
As for the ingredients, there are a la carte choices listed under meat, seafood, dumplings, balls, tofu and vegetables as well as set platters of pork, beef or seafood. At the sneak preview, we are served Pork Bone Broth with the Pork Set, a platter of Chinese cabbage, bok choy, sweet corn on the cob, thinly sliced pork, pork kidney, deepfried beancurd, brown shimeji mushroom as well as preboiled pork stomach and belly pork. The soup is delicious, well flavoured and smooth with collagen goodness. This is the kind of stock that will jellify beautifully if kept in the fridge.  
Cold Tofu and Popo's Prawn Ball
Pork dumplings
Ling Long Tofu
We also had a la carte items such as sliced fish, Popo’s squid ball, Popo’s prawn ball, shimeji mushroom, Ling Ling tofu, cold tofu and deepfried tofu.
What really brings the ingredients together is the stock and the Pork Bone Broth lives up to its reputation.
On a side table, there are freshly cut fruit and ingredients such as peanut paste, sesame paste, chilli and scallions. For RM5 per person, customers can combine the various items to make their own dip. 
Fragrant deepfried chicken wings
Fried Prawn Beancurd Rolls
Popo's Deepfried Dumplings
But it’s not all about steamboat at Coco. While waiting for the soup to boil, we nibble on appetisers (from RM8.90): Crispy vinegar black fungus, fried dumplings, fried shrimp paste sliced pork, fried prawn curd rolls and fried chicken wings.
As for drinks, we sip on Coco’s Signature Sugar Cane (RM11.90). This is not the regular fresh sugar cane but rather, it is a boiled combination of ingredients to help the body “cool” down. 
As steamboat is a popular cuisine style for Chinese New Year, head over to Coco Steamboat for yummy hot pot goodness. Do note that the chain is closed for three days (January 24-26) and reopens for business on January 27.

COCO STEAMBOAT (non-halal)
Lot 1-1-A The Scott Garden
289 Old Klang Road
Kuala Lumpur

+6019-277 6596

Opening Hours
Daily: 11.20am to 2.3pm, 5.30pm to 11.30pm
Closed alternate Mondays

Closed for CNY from January 24-26

Sunday, 5 January 2020

ZUAN YUAN @ One World Hotel PJ

Celebrate the Merriment Of Spring

January 4, 2020

Raise the red lanterns. Yes, the lanterns are up at Zuan Yuan Chinese Restaurant and the kitchen is all set to welcome the little Rat and to celebrate the Merriment Of Spring.

Its culinary team, headed by Chef Tommy Choong, has designed three 9-course set menus each for Merriment of Spring CNY (until Feb 15) and Good Ties & Good Times Appreciation dinners (until Jan 10).
Yee Sang with Alaskan Scallop & Ice Vegetable, Fish Skin and Black Truffle (bottom left)
Sweet Alaskan scallops are a fabulous topping for yee sang
At a recent sampling of dishes from the menus for CNY, we start by tossing up auspicious luck with Yee Sang which has toppings of Alaskan scallop, crispy fish skin, black truffle paste and crystal pear. The thick, fat scallops, sliced in half, are fresh, juicy and sweet. The crispy fish skin adds another texture to the combination of shredded vegetables and crunchy pear. There’s also ice plant shoots, crunchy and refreshing. Chef Tommy says the truffle paste is made with freshly shaved black truffle and olive oil. It adds an earthy flavour to the whole equation.

Whole abalones in Braised Superior Soup
This is followed by Braised Superior Soup which is topped with whole abalone and tobiko to add a flash of auspicious red colour. In the soup are dried scallop, fish lip and crab meat. Delicious to the last drop.

Hot Mango-Pomelo salsa goes well with Roasted Smoked Duck Breast
Roasted Smoked Duck Breast comes with a Thai twist. The slices of duck are topped with a scrumptious mango-pomelo salsa. Mildly hot from the addition of chopped chilli.
Smooth and sweet, Tapah fish is topped with deepfried salted radish and chilli padi
The fish dish is another surprise. Chef Tommy has chosen to use a live river fish, Tapah (Wallago Attu or Lim Yue in Cantonese). The flesh is so smooth and sweet that it requires little more than superior soya sauce although deepfried salted radish and chilli padi gives it extra oomph.
Prawns come with crispy fish skin  topped with chicken floss
Chef Tommy is indeed full of surprises this year. The ubiquitous prawn dish is served with a sidekick of crispy fish skin, tossed in salted egg yolk sauce and  chicken floss. The prawn is shelled (yay!) and coated with a clinging mayonnaise sauce that carries hints of flavour from the finely minced celery, carrot and nutmeg.
Braised Mushroom with Fish Maw, Dried Oyster and Fatt Choi
Sakura prawn gives the Wokfried Wild Rice with halal waxed chicken sausage a festive look
We finish the meal with Wokfried Wild Rice and Braised Mushroom, Fish Maw, Dried Oyster and Fatt Choi (Nostoc flagelliforme which grows in the Gobi Desert and Qinghai Plateau).

What wows me is the Wokfried Wild Rice. Diced halal waxed chicken sausages give it a distinctly CNY flavour while the cubed yam and chicken make the dish much more interesting. As a final flourish, a generous sprinkle of pink-hued Japanese sakura prawn on top gives the dish a festive look.
Panfried nian gao dipped in egg (left) and ginger tea with red dates and glutinous rice tang yuan
For dessert, it’s hot sweet ginger tea and black sesame-filled glutinous rice ball (tang yuan) with red dates and served alongside nian gao dipped in egg and panfried. The nian gao is one of the most fragranced I’ve had, with the aroma coming from the use of coconut milk and gula Melaka. 

Zuan Yuan Chinese Restaurant (pork-free)

One World Hotel

Petaling Jaya, Selangor



+603-7681 1159

Opening Hours

Noon to 2.30pm, 6pm to 10.30pm

Zuan Yuan remains open throughout the Chinese New Year season.


* Good Ties & Good Times Appreciation Set Menus: Dec 1, 2019 to Jan 10, 2020 RM1,688, RM1,828 and RM2,288.

* Merriment of Spring CNY Set Menus: Dec 15, 2019 to Feb 15, 2020. RM1,888, RM2,088 and RM2,388.

All are 9-course menus for tables of 10 and prices are nett, with a complimentary bottle of house wine or premium Chinese tea.