Monday, 11 June 2012

Dim Sum @ Celestial Court, Sheraton Imperial, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Celestial Court, Sheraton Imperial, Dim Sum, Kuala Lumpur, restaurant
Rose Tea - the recommended brew to begin with essential oils supposedly helping to improve circulation
Celestial Court, Sheraton Imperial, Dim Sum, Kuala Lumpur, restaurant
 Har Kao - the king of dumplings. It said that a good dim sum restaurant can be judged on these shrimp dumplings alone, a fresh well prepared parcel is a strong indicator of the quality of the rest of the meal. The orange hue of the skin is given by various vegetables, in this instance carrot.
Celestial Court, Sheraton Imperial, Dim Sum, Kuala Lumpur, restaurant
Celestial Court Signature Cheese Rolls – firm bouncy prawns and molten cheese sheathed in a crisp batter 
Celestial Court, Sheraton Imperial, Dim Sum, Kuala Lumpur, restaurant
Rice Rolls with Barbecued Chicken – tender barbecued chicken with just the right balance of smoke, tang and molasses like sweetness in fragile rice wrappers sitting in a runny pond of savoury sauce
Celestial Court, Sheraton Imperial, Dim Sum, Kuala Lumpur, restaurant, dumplings
Steamed Siew Mai - dense bundles with mini abalone and crispy kai lan topped with bonito flakes appearing life like as they waver in the steam
Celestial Court, Sheraton Imperial, Dim Sum, Kuala Lumpur, restaurant, dumplings
Siew Long Pao - crabmeat and caviar cloaked in a fine rice skin enlivened with a ginger soy dip
Celestial Court, Sheraton Imperial, Dim Sum, Kuala Lumpur, restaurant, dumplings
Charcoal Bun with Custard – gently sweet, fluffy bread roll filled with salted egg yolk custard 
Celestial Court, Sheraton Imperial, Dim Sum, Kuala Lumpur, restaurant, dumplings, Portuguese
Yam Puff with Assorted Seafood in Portuguese Sauce – brittle and flaky on the outside, moist and clammy within.
Celestial Court, Sheraton Imperial, Dim Sum, Kuala Lumpur, restaurant, dumplings
Sauteed Radish Cake - cubes of radish with shredded roast duck in a mellow spicy sauce with fresh bean sprouts and a mélange of herbs
Celestial Court, Sheraton Imperial, Dim Sum, Kuala Lumpur, restaurant, dumplings
Sichuan Grouper Dumplings in Peppercorn and Vinegar Sauce – grouper fillet with prawns cocooned in a quaggy rice noodle shell with crunchy peppercorns, oil, cabbage and chili. Deceptively mildly spicy at first and then your nose runs and your eyes water - an awakening for all of the senses.
Celestial Court, Sheraton Imperial, Dim Sum, Kuala Lumpur, restaurant, dessert
Chilled Cream of Mango & Pearl Sago - topped with smooth vanilla ice cream, almond flakes and granted a tang with grapefruit pulp
Celestial Court, Sheraton Imperial, Dim Sum, Kuala Lumpur, restaurant, dessert
Chilled Avocado Puree, Walnut Ice Cream & Toasted Coconut - velvety, buttery heaven

A busy restaurant laden with locals is always an affirmative reassurance that you've selected a promising spot for lunch. According to the waiter, Saturday is their quietest day, but Celestial Court seemed abuzz to my unknowing eye. Dim sum is what we came for, so as did half of KL, or so it appeared. A capacious dining area though allowed us all to be comfortably seated. Capable of handling both groups and smaller tables, open ornate dividers and low gardened walls turn an enormous room into a number of more intimate spaces. During the day my preferred perch is by the sun streaming windows. Red chairs stake a firm contrast against the white clothed tables and Chinese music tinkling the air completes the scene.

Cantonese dim sum is the reason the crowd flocks. Meaning, touch your heart, dim sum is almost the Chinese version of tapas. Petite portions served in steamer baskets or small plates encourage sharing, interaction and conversation, making this style of eating ideal for menu exploration. Traditionally consumed at breakfast, nowadays however has seen the rising popularity of dim sum to be offered in various locations throughout the day. The menu at Celestial Court is divided into five categories – steamed, deep fried, pan fried, braised and rice noodles. According to my sources Westerners tend to order the deep fried crunchy options while the Chinese prefer the steamed healthier options. Here's an opportunity to take note to compare the size of many westerners and the size of many Chinese and learn a valuable lesson...

Chef Ken has led the team at Celestial Court since inception, 15 years ago. Prior to this post he held a number of international positions in Singapore, Japan, Indonesia and Vietnam. After traveling the world, gaining experience and knowledge, he decided to settle in his home country to be once again with family. Praising his hard working team, Ken notes that many of his kitchen crew have been with him faithfully for more than 10 years. This is an excellent barometer of a stable kitchen and an outfit that can work in harmony. We learned that Har Kao, shrimp dumplings, are known as the Kings of Dim Sum and that these are a reliable indicator of the quality of the rest of the meal. Very fresh ingredients are imperative and should be prepared a la minute. The outcome will be a juicy parcel with a sturdy structure. The rice skin is usually coloured with either pumpkin or carrot and should be delicate but maintain form. If the har kao gets your approval, chances are the rest of the meal will follow as equally reputable. Our personal picks from the barrage of bites we assayed at Celestial Court were: the Signature Cheese Rolls – firm bouncy prawns and molten cheese sheathed in a crisp batter; Rice Rolls with Barbecued Chicken – tender barbecued chicken with just the right balance of smoke, tang and molasses like sweetness in fragile rice wrappers sitting in a runny pond of savoury sauce; Charcoal Bun with Custard – gently sweet, fluffy bread roll filled with salted egg yolk custard and; Chilled Avocado Puree, Walnut Ice Cream & Toasted Coconut - a velvety, buttery heaven. 

Dim sum at Celestial Court is served at lunch with most dishes ranging between RM10 and RM15. If you’re a Starwood Privilege card holder, the 50% discount when dining as two makes it a very reasonable midday meal.

Reason to visit: dim sum - especially the Cheese Rolls, Rice Rolls with Barbecued Chicken, Charcoal Bun with Custard and the Chilled Avocado Puree with Walnut Ice Cream

Celestial Court
Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Sultan Ismail
50250 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
+6 03 2717 9900

18 comments:

  1. I love the dim sum here, esp the charcoal bun!

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    1. Hubbies fav! It's the soft and creamy combo that gets him every time :-)

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  2. dim sums are so creative and luxurious nowadays... super yums!

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    1. I'm always surprised at the number of options! It's such a fun way to eat. :-)

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  3. I think those dim sum r not meant to b eaten....
    Only admire ....

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    1. They're so beautiful aren't they? To think all of those handmade parcels can be gobbled in seconds! :-)

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  4. Yayyy... I'm gonna feast on this soon! :-)

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  5. the har kao looks great! i've never seen ones with a carrot-tinged hue before. usually they're just plain. oh, i haven't mentioned this to you, but the office where i've been working since 1999 is only an elevator ride away from celestial court (we're at the office block of sheraton imperial). and amazingly, i've never tried the dim sum lunch at celestial court before! :D

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    1. It seems that way everywhere in the world, visitors always see more of your home base than the locals themselves. ;-)

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  6. the charcoal bun definitely will catch my attention!

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  7. Just saw this at goodyfoodies... None of the charcoal ones for me, never mind even if it's supposedly good for health, thank you. LOL!!!

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    1. Oh, good for your health too! That's a bonus on top of tasting so good. :-)

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  8. Yam Puff is my favorite dim sum dish. I must order every time

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    1. I like this one too - the crunchy outside and dense middle with a slight sweetness... mmm...

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  9. Gosh...it all looks awesome. No wonder my dinner mates were busy talking about it 2 nights ago. The Charcoal Bun with Custard is new. Most places serve it in regular buns.

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