China Treasure – Bringing Chinese Culinary Arts to New Heights
Words by Craig J Selby, Photos by The Yum List
Sometimes you just walk into a place and you simply know that you are going to love it. It was one of those rare moments when the “wow-factor” really takes you by surprise, and from that first step into the restaurant, you can feel something truly special. China Treasures at KLGCC gave me that rare moment recently, and I have got to say that the entire experience was one that not only ensures its place on the Yum List, but has already got me back for seconds (and thirds).
China Treasures is a restaurant with many surprises. Situated in the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club, that bastion of civilised outdoor sports which most think is members-only; let me tell you, it is a very public-friendly facility, welcoming members of the public (club members and non-members alike) to enjoy all of their restaurants and other facilities that are on-ground.
The restaurant itself is reminiscent of an old world Chinese Palatial dining Hall, what you might expect in a building of importance. High ceilings, traditional decoration reminiscent of the older Chinese palaces, along with the modern convenience of climate-controlled private rooms; this was a very comfortable venue to enjoy dinner with friends or family. The golf course vista through the extensive windows showered the restaurant with greenery, and tucked away in one of the private dining rooms, we were treated to a spectacular show from Mother Nature with thunder storms and lightening illuminating our night from a distance.
I was told that China Treasures was perhaps the closest thing I may get to Chinese fine dining. I asked myself, is there really such a thing? I’m beginning to realise, yes! The concepts of Chinese family eating and fine dining do not really sit well together; the sharing nature of the Chinese culture, especially at the dinner table, pretty much excludes the opportunity for fine dining, not to mention the potential presentation. But here, the convivial atmosphere, stunningly plated dishes, and the intimate environment certainly give us an air of fine dining, a taste of fine dining, but with all the comforts of a classic shared meal.
My friends and I were lucky enough to try the Father’s Day set menu this evening. Crafted by chef to celebrate with the family, but with the added allure of sophistication, the menu took us on a culinary journey through some of the best Chinese cuisine that I have been lucky enough to explore outside of Mainland China. OK, so good it was, that I went back with my team to further explore the culinary masterpieces at China Treasures and the other KLGCC offerings. Yes, I was impressed.
Our first dish was Stir Fried Crab Meat and Scallop Omelet Served in Crispy Cup with Wasabi Aioli Prawns with Mangoes. This delightful dish used perfectly cooked, tender, juicy jumbo prawns, drizzled with a very light wasabi mayonnaise, accompanied by a pie tee style creation. The crab meat was nice and flaky, with just that right amount of dryness. The balance between the two dishes was clearly evident, with flavour, texture and colour being the prime considerations.
|Stir Fried Crab Meat and Scallop Omelet Served in Crispy Cup with Wasabi Aioli Prawns with Mangoes|
In true Chinese style, our next dish was a soup - Eight Treasure Soup to be exact. This amazing dish has a thick, creamy broth and a delightful colour. Our discussion led us to analysing the soup trying to determine what gives the broth its glistening colour – Chef put us on track when he mentioned that he uses a pumpkin base to the soup. Not complicated in flavour, the soup was extremely well executed. Soft, distinct flavours of the 8 treasure seafood mix gave a perfect balance to the dish. Interestingly enough, it was presented in Western Style, but it was distinctively Chinese in nature and taste.
|Eight Treasure Soup|
It was funny that the actual highlight of my night (ok, it was all spectacular, but this left me with a lasting impression) was the crispy chicken. Fried Spiced Chicken in Mint Mango Dressing was an exceptional dish, but the piste-de-resistence was in the sauce. I think all of us at the table took a double take with this sauce, as it left a distinctive, long-lingering flavour. Don’t get me wrong, it was amazing, and I was grateful to Chef who actually bought us some out to take home (I actually used it in cooking the following night’s dinner – sublime). Our chicken was beautifully tender, the skin crispy, and the sauce the perfect bridge of flavour heightening the kick of the dish with taste as well as texture. I would have been happy with just this dish, all night long!
|Fried Spiced Chicken in Mint Mango Dressing|
It became evident that the China Treasures style, “cuisine is culinary art”, would filter through every dish. Believe me, the imagery that the presentation created was inspirational. Food transforms us into a world of art, but unlike art where we get to enjoy only visually; we get the tempting aromas and the divine taste to tempt our senses as well. Perfect art – we get to eat it, devour it, and come back for more as well.
|Braised ‘Loh Han’ Wrapped with Beancurd Skin and Garden Greens|
The Sautéed Garoupa Fillets with Honey Beans and Celery was certainly an art-form. But beyond the visual pleasing, this fish had delightfully firm flesh, with subtle clean flavours. The crunchy vegetables added diverse texture, enabling the overall enjoyment to be strong. Following close behind was the Braised ‘Loh Han’ Wrapped with Beancurd Skin and Garden Greens. Effectively, a tofu dumpling smothered in a delightfully light sauce. The added surprise was the use of ginko nuts – something I don’t see often, but definitely an item that adds texture and intrigue to a dish. The subtle flavours of this dumpling were matched by its lovely aromatics.
|Sautéed Garoupa Fillets with Honey Beans and Celery|
Traditional Chinese meals often come with fried rice or some form of rice dish. We were impressed with the Black Sesame Fried Rice with Seafood and Egg White. This was a first for me – black sesame fried rice – and it was one I well enjoyed. The black sesame added a mild seasoning to the rice, gave it an incredible looking colour and texture, but did not overwhelm the dish. It was a great in-between dish – taking us from the main courses into the desserts.
|Black Sesame Fried Rice with Seafood and Egg White|
Desserts were a special treat, a lovely way to finish off such a fun night of great food and conversation. We were treated to two delicious desserts – one sweet, one savoury. The sweet dessert was a scrumptious mango crème with pomelo. So, my friends were still chit-chatting while I gulped mine down – something irresistible. Creamy, mango flavour with a great sweetness balance, served chilled, with pieces of fresh pomelo – just divine. The savoury dessert reminded me of a traditional Turkish delight – a Dessert ‘Moa Chee’ and Pancake. The pancake was brimming with soft lotus paste, giving the dish an overall mild sweetness. As much as I loved the mango pudding, I have to say that this is a not to be missed dessert.
|Dessert ‘Moa Chee’ and Pancake|
So, I am asked why China Treasures deserves to be on The Yum List. So many reasons to list – but let’s sum it up in three. Taste. Presentation. Service.
Taste was second to none, and at the prices KLGCC charge (extremely budget friendly given the wonderful environs in which we enjoyed ourselves), this is a must-go restaurant. Presentation was artful and inspirational. Chinese cuisine turned into stunning works of art, and then the opportunity to devour the dish and savour the taste. And service – attentive, polite, and knowledgeable. Bringing all this together, we had a wonderful time, and we would love for our readers to enjoy China Treasures as much as we did. If you can’t make it for Father’s Day, believe me, any day of the week would still be something special.
China Treasures Restaurant
10 Jalan 1/70D off Jalan Bukit Kiara
60000 Kuala Lumpur
+6 03 2093 1111
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