Writer Polly Szantor and photographer Cheryl Hoffmann sample delicacies at Celestial Court Restaurant, Sheraton Imperial, Kuala Lumpur
Executive Chef Ho Boon has recently created several new, a la carte dishes, and I can honestly say that everything I tried was delicious. We began with Fried Prawns in Chunky Mayonnaise - tasty, juicy and totally desirable.
The Tempura Soft-shelled Crab and Shredded Vegetables, served with Wasabi Mayo, had a Japanese twist that was echoed later in the menu and was crunchily delicious.
I confess that I swooned as I sipped on the Double Boiled Chicken Soup with American Ginseng. I could feel it permeating my body with goodness and I noticed that all my dining companions drained the cute little teapot containing the precious broth. I was sure I was healthier after imbibing this treat.
The Pan-Fried Lamb Cutlet was served unexpectedly rare with a melt-in-the-mouth quality that only happens when the very best of meat (in this case Australian) is cooked to perfection (by Assistant Chef Chan Hoo). The meat was served with a sauce reminiscent of the Canadian barbeque variety, very down-homey and satisfyingly tangy.
Now take a good look at this. It seems simple; a chunk of steamed black cod nestled on spinach in a rice porridge puree and topped with fried shredded ginger and black caviar. Nothing fancy, but hands down, the crowning glory of the menu. This combination of gently cooked fish, crispy ginger, salty caviar, earthy spinach and silky rice sauce is an inspired creation, and is hands down the most engaging dish on the menu. For this miscellany I would return, over and over again.
Moving onwards, we tasted Crispy King Prawn with Cornflakes and Shredded Egg. I love crispy and I love prawns, so this worked beautifully for me. The cornflakes were super-crunchy and lots of fun to eat with chopsticks!
The final savoury dish was Celestial Court Fried Rice, a healthy combination of glutinous rice, brown rice, barley, sunflower seeds and other odds and ends, topped with bonito flakes (the Japanese touch again) that gyrated in the heat and confounded the photographers. This is comfort food at its very best.
We ended with one of the house signature desserts, Pumpkin Puree with Coconut Gelato, sheer heaven in its sweet smoothness, vaguely reminiscent of pumpkin pie yet enjoying that Asian twist of coconut.
Reason to visit: For the comforting food, relaxing atmosphere and to come away with an overall feeling of well-being.
Celestial Court is open daily for lunch from 12 noon to 2:30pm Mondays to Saturdays and from 10am to 2:30pm on Sundays and public holidays. Dinner is served 7 days a week from 6.30pm to 10.30pm.
For reservations, please call 03-2717-9900 or email email@example.com
Celestial Court Restaurant
Sheraton Imperial Hotel
Jalan Sultan Ismail