Back in November last year, wine enthusiast and food lovers were shown a new experience by the team of Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur. This was my first time attending, thanks to Ah Pa who invited us lesser mortals to one of their legendary entertaining events. By us lesser mortals, I meant me, myself and I because the other blogger who was also invited, Aly, is way up there with the popular angels.
Guests were given a preview of what to expect from Celestial Court in 2011, the hotel’s extravagant Chinese restaurant, which serves some of better Halal Cantonese cuisine in the city. I used to visit the restaurant on a weekly basis for its Dim Sum. I hardly noticed that it was halal at all.
It was good to be back in the restaurant and this time it was for a different experience. For the new year, the restaurant will offer a more exclusive and somewhat more Western dining concept with more wine pairing menus in the pipeline and individual servings instead of the traditional communal dishes laid out on a lazy susan. That evening, our dishes were served with beautiful South Australian wines from the Clare Valley where Taylors were attracted to nearly forty years ago for the sole purpose of growing world class Carbanet Sauvignon. Since then, the Taylors family has passed down generations of winemaking secrets in order to produce the best wine from that region.
The culinary team of Celestial Court enticed diners with a celebration of 6-course Chinese dinner which started with pre-dinner hors d’ovres, huge and plump steamed prawn dumplings (har gao) and the piping hot deep fried seafood balls with molten cheese. The crisp and light Taylor’s Estate Savignon Blanc 2009, was perfect for with the light tasting seafood dishes and actually remained one of the table’s favourite throughout the evening. The dinner opened with the trio of Duck and Bamboo Shoot Salad, Crispy Roasted Duck with Plum Sauce and Steamed Fish Cake which was beautifully presented and accompanied by the sweet and easy Taylor’s Estate Clare Riesling 2010.
More seafood came in the form of Pan-fried Scallop and Crab Dumpling with Stuffed Bitter Melon in Black Bean Sauce. Pretty much a high-class yong tau foo with a nice piece of perfectly cooked scallop. The accompanying Taylor’s Estate Chardonnay 2008 left me dry and so did the next course of Chili Marinated Cod Fish with Miso Yellow Pepper Jus. Well, actually the stogy sauce didn’t do much justice to a perfectly cooked cod. I would have enjoyed it more with a simple superior soy sauce and nothing more than a little coriander garnish.
Lucky for us, all of that were quickly forgotten when the exquisite Braised Oxtail Consomme La Mian was served. I love the texture of the noodles and how flavourful and wholesome this clear broth was. Easily the best dish of the evening. The dish was paired with the Taylors Estate Pinot Noir 2008 and a refreshing citrus sherbet, heavily perfumed with passionfruits, cleanse our palates for the next course, Hakka-styled Slow Cooked Lamb Neck with Sticky Rice wrapped in Lotus Leaf. By then I was too saturated to say what the Taylors St. Andrew Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 tasted like. But if it was anything like the lamb, it was tender and flavourful as the rice. Too bad I was really stuffed by then and couldn’t take in anymore.
Lastly, the meal ended with a delicious interpretation of local desserts, Kuih Koci Pulut Hitam and Teh Tarik Ice Cream. What a nice way to end the meal I’d say.
This wine pairing menu was specially crafted by Executive Chef Ho Boon and his team and was priced at a valuable price of RM188++ per person.
Special note: Celestial Court is currently closed for renovation and will re-open from 17th January 2011 onwards to usher in the year of the Rabbit. Thanks to the generous Fatboybakes for extending the invitation and Cindy and Evelyn of Sheraton Imperial for graciously hosting us.
Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel
Jalan Sultan Ismail
Booking Reservations: +603-27179900 ext. 6988
Lunch – Celestial Court serves dim sum, a la carte and set menus for lunch daily from 12 noon til 2.30pm on Mondays – Saturdays, 10am – 2.30pm on Sundays and Public Holidays.
Dinner – Celestial Court opens from 6.30pm til 10.30pm, 7 days a week.