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|
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
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.
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