Infused with a touch of Japanese
December 30, 2019
I have always thought of Still Waters as a Japanese restaurant. But it also offers Cantonese cuisine by the talented Chef Meng. His specialties, as we are about to discover at a Chinese New Year Tasting preview, are deliciously different too as, having worked alongside the Japanese cuisine chefs, he has injected some of their ingredients and methods into his dishes.
|Yee sang with Japanese ingredients|
For instance, we start the meal with Japanese yee sang. As we all know, yee sang is a culinary creation of the local Chinese community, a truly unique Malaysian dish that has even found popularity in Hong Kong and some parts of China too.
At Still Waters, Chef Meng gives it a Japanese twist by adding ingredients such as tako, Japanese fish cake, crab stick, jellyfish, marinated baby octopus, Japanese pickled seaweed, kyuri, tobiko and ikura (fish eggs) to fresh lollo rossa, lollo bionda, pickled onion, radish, roasted sesame, crushed peanuts, pok choi and not forgetting, thick slices of the freshest salmon. The sauce is house-made and chef uses, among others, Japanese plum sauce and sesame sauce.Well tossed, each mouthful of yee sang is a fascinating dance of flavours and textures, all swaying to the rhythm of the sesame-plum sauce.
Japanese yee sang is available a la carte (RM78/half portion) and as part of CNY Set Menu C. Regular yee sang (from 43/half portion) is also available a la carte, with toppings of jelly fish, salmon, kampachi (yellowtail) and crispy silver fish.
|Eight Treasure Soup|
|Oven-Baked Chicken with Chinese herbs|
Before we even lick the bowl clean, we catch whiffs of herbal fragrance. And there it is… Oven-Baked Roasted Chicken with Chinese herbs. The aroma of herbs (danggui, tong sum and pak kei) is heady while red dates add a pleasing sweetness to the dish. This is not crispy skin roasted chicken. Steamed lightly just before it’s served, the chicken is tender but not fall-off-the-bone soft as there is still some texture on the bite. The juice is thickened and poured over the chicken, adding another layer of smoothness.
|Pearl Grouper steamed with mirin sauce|
Pearl grouper is steamed with mirin sauce and topped with scallion, coriander and deepfried ginger. The fish is fresh and firm but I find the mirin sauce a tad too sweet for my liking.
|Wokfried Prawn with Golden Salted Egg Yolk Sauce|
Wokfried Prawn is a treat. Coated thickly with Golden Salted Egg Yolk sauce, each prawn is butterflied at the back to allow the rich sauce to penetrate into the flesh. It also allows peeling the shells off with little fuss.
|Scrumptious Garlic Fried Rice with barbecued chicken meat, mushroom and waxed duck|
To end our meal, we have Garlic Fried Rice. But this is not quite the Japanese rice dish. In tune with the CNY festivities, Chef Meng has thrown in diced barbecued chicken meat, shitake mushrooms and waxed duck meat to add flavour the dish. I surprise myself by reaching out for a second helping. And I love the slightly sticky and al dente texture of the Naga rice that chef uses.
|Osmanthus jelly and nian gao tossed in grated coconut|
For dessert, we have the de rigueur nian gao (CNY sticky cake), steamed till soft, then sliced and tossed with snow white desiccated coconut. There’s also osmanthus jelly, imbedded with goji berries and scented with the mild fragrance of delicate osmanthus petals.
(no pork served)
Level 1, Hotel Maya
138 Jalan Ampang, KL
+603-2711 8866 ext 260
Monday - Friday
Lunch: Noon to 2.30pm
Dinner: 6pm to 10.30pm
9-course CNY Set Menu for 10 pax, including yee sang:
RM888, RM1,088 and RM1,388 nett
Yee Sang platters also available a la carte
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