August 23, 2019
|Chef Ricky Wong|
Ricky Wong has a reputation for his skills with seafood. One evening at dinner, he recommends Steamed Soon Hock (RM30/100g) with nyonya sauce. As this delicate marble goby is best lightly steamed with soya sauce, we wonder why Ricky chooses to cook it this way. He explains: “I feel the firm flesh and sweetness of the fish pairs well with this sauce made with ginger and galangal.”
The mildly hot sauce, aromatic with fresh herbs, is perfect for local palates and will go well with a bowl of steamed rice.
|Steamed Soon Hock (goby) with nyonya sauce|
|Spinach tofu with special sauce, shimeji mushrooms, shredded conpoy and chard|
But it’s not just seafood that Ricky shows his deft hand. I really enjoy Spinach Tofu With Special Sauce (from RM35), served with chard (white bok choy). The house-made tofu is prepared with chopped spinach scattered on top. Then it’s cut into cubes and deepfried. The tofu is topped with white shimeji mushrooms and shredded conpoy (dried scallops). The oyster-based sauce is delicious and perfect to add a perk to the dish.
|Sweet & Sour Pork in Ice Bowl|
Then there are new meaty surprises in the a la carte menu. The Sweet & Sour Pork in Ice Bowl (from RM40) is Instagram-worthy. The deepfried cubes of meat are tossed in sweet and sour sauce and then placed in a bowl made of ice. The sudden chilling of the outside caramelises the sauce, giving the meat a crisp exterior while the inside stays juicy. Ricky sprinkles crumbled cheese on top to give flavours a deep boost.
|Baked Spare Ribs with Crispy Sliced Bentong Ginger|
There are 2 more pork dishes. For Baked Spare Ribs with Crispy Sliced Ginger (from RM40), Ricky extracts juice from top grade Bentong ginger and uses this with fermented beancurd to marinate the ribs. Brushed with apple jam and sesame sauce, the ribs, which have plenty of meat attached, are both sweet and flavoursome. Thin slices of young ginger are then battered and deepfried before these are scattered over the ribss. As much as I dislike ginger, I find these very palatable, with just a hint of the root spice.
|Braised Pork Belly with Fermented Beancurd Sauce and steamed broccoli|
Braised Pork Belly with Fermented Beancurd Sauce (RM58) and steamed broccoli florets is a treat, especially when I would not attempt this at home, given the labour-tedious preparation. The slab of pork belly, with skin attached, is boiled, fried, braised and steamed for 5 hours to render the meat tender and the fat layer, melt in the mouth. The flavours are complex from the use of various spices and fermented beancurd. It’s served with a brown gravy with juices collected during the braising process.
|Stirfried Kailan in 2 Styles|
I haven’t had Stirfried Kalian in 2 Styles (from RM35) in a while. Popular in the early 1990s, this method separates the leaves from the stems. The stems are sautéed lightly to render them tender while the leaves are shredded and deepfried to a crisp. The contrasting textures are a playful symphony in the mouth.
Xin Cuisine (non-halal)
Concorde Hotel KL
2 Jalan Sultan Ismail,
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Daily: Noon to 2.30pm. 6.30pm to 10.30pm