|Shanghai at J.W. Marriott|
|Personally the chef likes to eat something simple. This is one of his favourites - a white fish cooked in a rice wine vinegar.|
|Braised Duck Leg Stuffed with Glutinous Rice in Abalone Gravy|
|Steamed Shanghainese Meat Dumplings|
|Hand Crafted Dough|
|Pan Fried Glutinous Rice Cakes with Sesame Seeds|
Chinese New Year Menu, Shanghai, J.W. Marriott
Words by Kristin Cosgrove
Photos by The Yum List
One of the best things about moving to a new country is participating in the holidays observed by its people. I’ll stop short of naming a favourite and just say I really love Chinese New Year. The reds and pinks exploding from the malls and homes, the impromptu parades in unexpected places and the impossibly acrobatic lion dances make for a joyful riot of colour and noise.
This year, I vowed to try more of the foods associated with the holiday, so I was thrilled at the invitation to sample the Chinese New Year Prosperity Menu at J.W. Marriott’s Shanghai, one of KL’s premier Chinese restaurants.
From 9th January to 23rd February, Shanghai is serving its Chinese New Year Prosperity menu with four set menus to choose from. We sampled several of the delights on different menus. On each one will find Yee Sang, the multi ingredient salad that is the obligatory (and tasty) way to kick off any Chinese New Year meal.
Steamed Shanghainese meat dumplings (Siew Loong Pau) were presented simply in a small bowl balancing on a Chinese soup spoon. We sprinkled them with fresh shredded ginger to our taste and then gave a quick dunk in vinegar before biting into them. The combination of snappy, spicy ginger, tangy vinegar and soft, savory dumpling left me wanting more. Making dumplings this good isn’t easy. Twisting and tucking the delicate skin of the dumplings is the mark of a great chef; Master Chef Won Wing Yuek has spent many hours perfecting and refining the skin of the dumpling, and it shows. These little beauties are as tasty as they are pretty.
Each dish on a Chinese New Year table is symbolic -- fertility and good fortune is sure to come to those who enjoy the braised duck leg in abalone gravy. As we cut into the tender leg, we found it had been stuffed with glutinous rice, a pleasant, chewy surprise nestled in the dark and flavourful duck meat.
Topping off our sampling were pan-fried glutinous rice cakes with sesame seeds. I was immediately reminded of the sesame candy that I always loved as a child (okay, as an adult too). In America, they are sold in bulk from bins in the health food section. Anyway, these rice cakes were obviously so much better. Glutinous rice fried and slightly crispy on the outside with a chewy warm center – scrumptious!
A smiling Chef Won came to meet us toward the end of our meal, which we were told is common at Shanghai. Chef Won enjoys making personal connections and even goes so far as to modify his dishes for customers if he knows they are from China. Recognizing that Malaysian Chinese and Mainland Chinese food is slightly different, he goes the extra step to make sure everyone is served the taste they are accustomed to.
When asked his favourite dish to eat, Chef Won not only told us, but showed us! To our surprise, within minutes a new dish appeared in front of us – steamed bamboo fish in rice wine sauce with mushrooms. A very mild dish, the flavour was sublime as the rice wine complemented the earthiness of the mushroom. It’s easy to see why the simple dish is his favourite. (Available for RM88 on the a la carte menu.)
Reason to visit: Authentic Shanghainese cuisine, beautiful dining room and mouth-watering meat dumplings!
Shanghai Restaurant’s Chinese New Year Prosperity Menu features four set menus ranging in price from RM188 ++ per person to RM2888++ for a table of ten.
JW Marriott 183 Jalan Bukit Bintang
Kuala Lumpur, 55100 Malaysia
+6 03 2715 9000
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