Monday, 2 February 2015

Chinese New Year, Celestial Court, Sheraton Imperial, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Celestial Court at the Sheraton Imperial, Kuala Lumpur

Chinese New Year at Celestial Court, Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur

By Louise Miller



The year of the goat came a little early for The Yum List when we sampled a range of delicious dishes that will be on offer at The Sheraton Imperial’s Celestial Court over Chinese New Year. The opening course was as one would expect, Yee Sang or Prosperity Salad. In addition to the exceptional flavour of this dish (more on this later) it is the ritualistic preparation of the salad, the convivial tossing and symbolism of its ingredients that make it so very special and the Sheraton Imperial’s Signature Yee Sang with New Zealand Swordfish and Netherland Arctic Char Fish was no exception.

Since Yee Sang or Yusheng literally means raw fish, this is the staple ingredient of any Prosperity Toss and since its homophone means an increase in abundance, this is what the fish represents in the dish. Our waitress began proceedings by liberally squeezing lime juice over the swordfish and arctic char, thereby adding luck and auspicious value as well as a delicious citrus zing! Red and green sachets of pepper and five spice were then opened and sprinkled over the ingredients in the hope of attracting more money and valuables. Sesame oil and plum sauce were drizzled over all of the ingredients, to attract flourishing business and a sweet life throughout the coming year. Finally, the deep fried flour crisps that represent treasure, money and business opportunities were added and the tossing began. It is believed that the height of the toss reflects the height of the diners’ growth in fortune so, with the specially long chopsticks, we tossed the ingredients as high as we could with great enthusiasm before finally tasting this incredibly flavoursome dish.

It’s the combination of truly delicious tastes and textures that make this dish such a delight: the crunchy vegetables, the silky smoothness of the fish, the crispiness of the crackers all amalgamated in a sweet tangy dressing. I knew that there were a further four dishes to try but I couldn’t resist a second and third helping!


Chinese New Year, Kuala lumpur
Signature Yee Sang with New Zealand Swordfish and Netherland Arctic Char Fish
The Yee Sang was a very tough act to follow but what came next was Celestial Court’s Premium Treasure Pot and the dish lived up to its name. This was the dish that kept on giving as each serving seemed to bring something different to the surface of this rustic stew: sweet dried sun scallops, baby abalones, mussels, sea cucumbers, Chinese and Japanese mushrooms, roasted duck and chicken to name only half of the ingredients amongst those ladled into our rice bowls with the rich, hearty and meaty broth.


Chinese New Year, Kuala Lumpur
Celestial Court's Premium Treasure Pot

Next at our table and providing another highlight of the meal were the Wok-heated Prawns with Nutmeg, Asparagus and Smoked Chicken. the prawns were sweet, tender and perfectly cooked in a light and delicate batter, crowning a mound of al dente asparagus atop a bed of succulent slices of smoked chicken.
    Chinese New Year, Kuala Lumpur
    Wok-heated Prawns with Nutmeg, Asparagus and Smoked Chicken
I was delighted to see more of the delicious asparagus feature in the following dish: Stir-fried Scallops with Pumpkin, Asparagus and Celery served with Macadamia Nuts and once again the marriage of textures and tastes worked to create a really memorable dish in which the crunchiness of the nuts and vegetables perfectly complimented the sweetness and smoothness of the scallops.

Chinese New Year, Kuala Lumpur
Stir-fried Scallops with Pumpkin, Asparagus and Celery served with Macadamia Nuts
The biggest surprise of the menu, for me, was the dessert as I was unfamiliar with most of its ingredients. An initial taste of the Chilled Earl Grey Syrup with Hasma, Snow Fungus and Black Dates revealed smoky flavours more reminiscent of Lapsang Souchong than Earl Grey. The snow fungus resembled little clumps of fluffy seaweed and were gelatinous in texture but I was even more intrigued by the Hasma since I’d never heard of this before and was completely unfamiliar with the mild flavour and not unpleasant glutinous texture of this delicacy. My request for clarification from my local dinner companions prompted conspiratorial smiles from those in the know until they revealed that this is a Chinese dessert ingredient made from the dried fatty tissue found near the fallopian tubes of frogs and is used for medicinal purposes since among other benefits, it’s reported to have anti-ageing properties due to its high collagen content. And whilst this information clearly deterred other non Chinese guests from taking another spoonful, I simply thought of my crow’s feet and downed a few more mouthfuls bringing my meal to a satisfying conclusion.


Chinese New Year, Kuala Lumpur
Chilled Earl Grey Syrup with Hasma, Snow Fungus and Black Dates
The dishes that we tried represented merely a small sample of The Sheraton Imperial’s Celestial Court’s Chinese New Year offerings. The restaurant is proposing a choice of three 9 course set menus ranging from 2288 RM to 2688 RM net for a table of 10 people and a Premium set menu which includes a bottle of Hennessy Cognac at 3388 RM net per table of 10. Both à la carte options and all of the set menus will be available for lunch and dinner from January 19th to March 5th.

Reasons to visit: The incredibly tasty Yee Sang, Wok-heated Prawns with Nutmeg, Asparagus and Smoked Chicken, and the extensive choice of menus and à la carte options.

Celestial Court

Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Sultan Ismail
50250, Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
+603 2717 9900
reservations.imperial@sheraton.com
www.sheratonimperialkualalumpur.com

Monday to Friday - 12:00pm - 2:30pm
Daily - 6:30pm - 10:30pm
Saturday – 11.30am – 2.30pm
Sunday and Public Holidays: 10:00am - 2:30pm

2 comments:

  1. That prawn platter sure looks intriguing and very nice. Never had anything like that before.

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  2. The desert sounded positively gross but everything else looks and is described beautifully. I love the explanation of the salad and what it's ingredients represent. Yum indeed!

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