There are definitely plenty of good meals to look forward to during the Chinese Lunar New Year. It is no surprise given how food plays an important role in our custom – be it to feed the living or to sweeten the spiritual world in hope of a blessed year ahead. Therefore, the Chinese’s mad quest for culinary auspiciousness during this time of year is forgivable. And in this highly commercialised world, all of these “ong” usually comes with a hefty price tag, after all nobody should ever be stingy when it comes to the matter of fortune. As the old saying goes, “If small fortune does not go out, bigger fortune can never come in.“
Fortunately for some of us, if you’re a Standard Chartered credit card holder that is, the Here For Good bank has organized a special something to help you boost your “wealth” for the coming new year. From now until 17 February 2011, you and a party of 8 can feast away on an assortment of propitiously named dishes at 8 well-respected restaurants around Kuala Lumpur, for only RM888++. That’s a steal considering how much these restaurants usually charge for their regular Chinese New Year set meals.
What’s not to be happy about? Lets do a little math shall we?:
1 Standard Chartered bank credit card + 8 superstar chef + 8 top Chinese restaurants + a customised Extravagant-8 Set Menu = 8 smiley faces + 8 happy tummies + great savings + big recognition.
Still no convinced? What if the above equation comes with a chance to win an iPad 64GB wifi+3G*? Now, isn’t that just extravagant or what?
One of the said 8 top Chinese restaurants featured in the Extravagant-8 campaign is Chynna at the Hilton Kuala Lumpur. The affable Chef Lam Hock Hin and his team have created a healthy menu that would definitely make you hop into the year of the rabbit with a gusto. No doubt that the season calls for obsessive eating and over-indulging, but the restaurant’s array of organic dishes changes that perception without tasting like rabbit food.
A little pre-dinner entertainment courtesy of the resident kung fu tea master had the girls ducking their head to avoid the flying teapot and long snout before they were served the restaurant’s signature 8-treaasure tea, which complimented the crispy shredded duck with meat floss appetizer.
The dinner officially started with a newly-designed Yee Sang that contains no fish whatsoever. Instead, you find threadlike organic melon (better known as “Sharks Fin” melon) strips in place of actual sharks fin, tossed together with gold pumpkin cubes and a colourful collection of fruits, heaps of toasted peanut and sesame seed. In an admirable community effort to help preserve our ocean’s bounty, Standard Chartered has taken a stand against the used of any sharks fin in their menus. Perhaps, it was the absence of the usual junk that usually goes into this appetizer or it was the peanuts, but I thoroughly enjoyed the textures and flavours of this Organic Yee Sang very much.
Unlike some of the other restaurants, each dish is pre-plated and served to us individually. In a clever twist to the classic Hot and Sour Soup recipe, Chef Lam adds in a good amount of piquant Korean Kimchi for that extra kick. I’m no fan of starchy soup or Scezhuan flavours to begin with, but this had me begging for more. Quickly, we moved on to the Steamed Canadian Cod with Fishermen sauce. The umami-oozing sauce is made with sweet sautéed strips of onions and mildly accented by dauchi ?? (fermented and salted soy beans), coriander leaves, tiny dried shrimps (har mi ??) and peppery chili sprinkles that were neither overpoweringly present nor spicy and draws your attention to the sweetness of the fish. Highly swoon-worthy. The chef informed us that the cod used were of the small scaled version which has a sweeter flesh. All those added zing just made these two dishes very addictive and unique.
While the Stewed Sun Dried Oysters with Fatt Choy served with slow braised peanuts and chicken cubes was slightly on the salty side, I was really happy that we weren’t served another platter of boiled brocoli and dried seafood drowned in oyster sauce. The oyster was wonderfully fragrant and HUGE, while the peanut added a nice texture to the dish. Carbohydrate fans would be delighted with the Wok Fried Shanghainese Nian Gao (flour cake noodles) with cabbage and mushroom.
And finally, dessert arrived in the form of Ginger Syrup with Black Sesame Glutinous Dumplings. While the dinner may not seem to be lavished with many dishes, we walked home feeling just nice without the sickly feeling of overeating. A case of quality trumping over quantity.
Special thanks to Chef Lam Hock Hin and Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia for the wonderful evening. And of course to the Lemon for throwing an invitation my way.
Chynna, Hilton KL
3 Jalan Stesen Sentral,
Reservation Tel: 1-800-80-1818 (Malaysia only) or +603-2264 2264
Business Hours: Sun-Thu, 7am-11pm; Fri-Sat, 7am-1am.
This is the 2nd post written for the Extravagant-8 Menu campaign. Read about Tai Zi Heen @ Prince Hotel’s review HERE.
*Note: Standard Chartered is currently giving away the highest range of iPads when you spend RM4,000 or more on your credit card. Check out their website for more information.