Gosh, I’m so hungry doing up this set of comic. I’m.Supafat.Must.Resist.Temptation.
A couple of weeks back, theQguides.com invited a few bloggers and their partners over for a food review at Hilton PJ. There was The Queen who came as Lotsofcraving‘s date, Cumi&Ciki, lonelyboy Friedchillies Adly (who was stood up at the last minute) and The RedFM makan babes. And were were introduced to ZestPJ.com as well.
If you’re wondering what’s all these dot com business, well it’s a little like this:
theQguides.com: An online F&B portal and booking service. It’s FREE and really easy to use. Use it to book any restaurants on their panel. They even have a QuickBook system which just puts in your booking in a jiffy; sends you a confirmation SMS and email within 4-hours, by 11am the next day or 30minutes before your dining time – whichever is applicable. And they will give you free points, with every successful booking, which you can redeem for your next meal.
www.ZestPJ.com: This is the blog for the restaurants & bar of the hotel and it allows their restaurant guests to share their dining experience with others and it’s not moderated. So, good or bad it’s all out in the open for all to see. If you like, you can also follow them on twitter!
Now, we’ve all drawn lots to decide which restaurants we’ll be dining in and I’ve picked out
Paya Serai Toh Yuen (thanks Adly!) which is renowned for their excellent Cantonese cuisine. But before the meal, we’ve all gotten a chance to preview the 2009 mooncake collection by Chef Lee.
I’ve always been a fan of the snow skin variations, so I was glad to see the colourful set of Four Seasons mini mooncake laid out for us to try. We were told that each of these dainty delights were creatively infused with the season’s freshest bloom:
Lotus Spring (Green): Made with White Lotus Paste and Sunflower seed, this was pretty much your regular fair.
Fiery Summer (Pink): Now, this is one adventurous mooncake – with a kick. My favourite from them lot. Ingredients consist of the tongue numbing pepper flower, chicken floss and assorted nuts. Interesting combination eh? But it’s sure on fire.
Autumn Fragrance (Yellow): The lotus paste inside is mixed with the aromatic Osmanthus flower (also known as the 10-miles flower as it’s fragrance is fabled to reach such a distance when they bloom) and is made silky smooth with custard like texture. Fragrant it may be, but it’s an acquired taste I’d say.
Frosty Winter (White): Fall under the charming taste of pure vanilla beans. Sweet and floral in taste. Can’t really fault vanilla now can you?
Just when you thought the meal was never going to start, out came the two starters, Mango Dragon and Norwegian Salmon Roll. While both were beautifully presented, almost like western hors d’oeuvres, they fell flat in the taste department. They were oily and tasted rather bland. The only saving grace was the fruity Mango sauce. I could eat it all like yogurt in the morning. Rather disappointing start.
We were glad that the disappointment didn’t last long. Next up was the *ahem* The Superior Shark Fin in Brown Sauce. A highly treasured dish by the Chinese culinary world but also highly shunned upon by many for its endangered status. For me, the fascination was on its thick broth, which I’ll gladly lick off the bowl any day – just not the fin. In fact, the beansprouts that came with it had more taste and texture than the strands of fin itself. Oh yeah forgive me, this was the first time I’ve seen taugeh served with it. According to Cravings, it’s a regular phenomenon. Just one I hardly noticed. Then again, I rarely have such luxury.
I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but I loved the Abalone and Century Egg. Excellent. I’m not a fan of century egg to start with, but credit is given where credit is due. Hats of to the chef who came up with this. Pile up a slice of abalone, century egg, vinegared ginger and some of the tangy garlic sauce. Pop it all in your mouth at once, chew and slowly descent from gastroheaven.
We have also ordered an entire Traditional Peking Barbeque Duck (to the constant persuasion of Frat Mustard). This I gotta say was a great choice too. Can’t go wrong with this crispy KFC-smelling duck skin (I swear the colonel’s 11 herbs and spices recipe was used here) rolled in flat pancake and topped with sweet hoisin sauce.
Once we were done with the skin, the duck meat was sent back for a quick mince and stir fried with carrots and onions, and served with lettuce leave. We also took up Adly’s advice and ordered a portion of the Baked Canadian Black Cod in Honey Sauce. This was a hit on our table. A quick ration and it was gone. Not contented with the size of our fish, we decided to order another. The Steamed Red Garoupa with Superior Soy Sauce would have been good if accompanied with some rice. By now, all the dishes and our tastebuds has become a blur and I was trying hard not to pop my pants.
Next, came the super TENDER and juicy Pan Fried Beef Tenderloin in Chinese Barbeque Sauce. It’s one of those meat dishes that just evaporates with the slightest contact with saliva. Like Joe, I’m suspecting the use of external tenderizer in the cooking process. The meat was smothered in a tangy brown sauce, that tasted like a mix of HP sauce + Ketchup + Chinese cooking wine. But I wouldn’t know, because I ain’t the chef. And since McCutie was with us, a compulsory poultry dish was ordered in honour of the resident Chicken royalty. The Deep Fried Boneless Chicken with Lemon Sauce was surprisingly good as not many restaurants can pull off such a simple dish. Chicken pieces were thick and juicy while the sauce was well balanced. It was also beautiful to look at.
Are you stuffed yet just by reading what we’ve ate so far? However, if you have an appetite of a young boy like Nipples, you’d be tempted to order more. That’s how we ended up with a portion of Sang Har Meen on our table, smack in the middle of all the other unfinished dishes. All because Lisa commented that it was damn awesome. Well, it was. Only if we weren’t so bloated.
Ok, here’s my explanation on how 4 bloated foodies ended up ordering dessert. Firstly, we browsed through Ciki’s blog earlier and read that she would have died a happy girl after eating a bowl of bird’s saliva here. And there was a big chunk of us that wanted to order something that would soothe our now aching tummies. So Bird’s Nest it was and an order of Black Sesame Tong Yuen rolled in Crushed Peanuts. They were a joyful end to a fantastic feast. I’m so glad we ordered them.
A meal like what we had at Toh Yuen is not going to be cheap. But having said that, you get what you give. Service here is excellent, with well experienced front of house and kitchen staff, most of them loyal to the establishment since day one, and so was the food.
Once again, you are able to book for a meal at Toh Yuen (and Genji too) in Hilton PJ from theQguides.com. The more people you book for, the more points you’ll earn. And, you are able to spend these points on future meals. Best of all, you’ll automatically gain 100 points when you register because they are nice people.
Toh Yuen Chinese Restaurant
1st Floor, West Wing
No 2, Jalan Barat,
46200 Petaling Jaya.