As much as I love Chinese New Year banquets, the sheer amount of courses can sometimes be overwhelming. For my readers who have never been to one, the meal usually comprises up to ten ‘items’ – which means that a lot of food gets left over and wasted in the name of ‘abundance’. So when I went to JW Marriot KL’s Chinese restaurant, Shanghai, for a review of their CNY promotion, I could tell that everyone was relieved that there were only six courses to go through.
Traffic on Friday night heading into KL was crazy (the rain didn’t help!) – and I was nearly an hour late, by which the rest of the guests had already finished the Fresh Fruits Yee Sang, so I missed out on that. 😦
I did get to try their Double-Boiled Superior Fish Maw Soup with Fermented Garlic, Black Chicken and Cordyceps Flower. Just from that title alone you can guess that this is one nutritious bowl of soup! 🙂 Double-boiling is a Chinese cooking technique where the food is covered with water, placed in a covered ceramic jar and then steamed for several hours to minimize loss of moisture and essences.
The soup warmed my stomach in the cold, rainy weather, and left a sweetish aftertaste. Perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea (or bowl of soup in this case, haha!) because there was a decidedly herbal-like flavour to it.
Offering a unique twist on traditional cuisine, the Pan Fried Cod came with a touch of brandy, barely masked by sweet honey sauce drizzled over a generous chunk of fish. The cod was fresh, flaky and sweet, complemented by the slight bitterness of the brandy.
My favourite of the night: Shanghainese Seafood Noodle with Truffle Paste. Painstakingly handmade and pulled to perfection, the noodles were silky smooth and coated in a fragrant, slightly salty broth which allowed them to slip down the throat effortlessly. On top were shrimps, juicy scallops, mushrooms and a dollop of truffle paste which lent the dish an earthy, woody overtone.
The restaurant is apparently famous for their Shanghainese soup dumplings ! These were served in a wooden steamer piping hot and glistening with juices; the paper-thin wrapper enveloping the broth within. Eating this was suspenseful as I gingerly picked it up with my chopsticks, being careful not to rip the delicate skin.
How to properly eat a soup dumpling: poke a hole and sip the broth, before popping the whole thing in your mouth to be rewarded with a burst of juiciness and soft, tender meat.
Dessert of Chilled Cream of Sago with Seasonal Mango and Pomelo wasn’t very ‘authentic’ Chinese – but it was delicious so who cares?
Pan-fried Glutinous Rice Cake with Sesame Seed was sweet and chewy. I lament the fact that glutinous rice cakes are only available around CNY 😦 I wish they had it all year round.
JW Marriot has three CNY menus to choose from, starting from RM238++. Other dishes include Sauteed Freshwater Shrimps with Sesame Paste, Braised Wild Mediterranean Red Prawn with Brown Sauce, Braised Abalone with superior fish maw, dried scallop and mushroom in casserole, Deep fried bean curd skin stuffed with French goose liver and truffle paste, and more.
The Chinese New Year set menus are available through February 11, 2017.
For reservations, call +60 3 2719 8288 or email email@example.com.