Chinese New Year at Celestial Court, Sheraton Imperial KL
Chinese New Year at Celestial Court, Sheraton Imperial KL
It’s a brand new year and Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur is proud to present a redefined imperial dining experience at Celestial Court!
“Step into an elevated royal dining affair with personalized au fait services, familiar Cantonese a la carte favourites and new delicious addition, represented in a modern twist.”
Executive Chinese Chef Ho Boon and Dim Sum Chef Ken are all geared up with new recipes and dishes that will certainly satisfy those tastebuds. Sinful classic dim sum and new fusion selections are available to further tantalise your tastebuds.
There’s a certain ‘regal’ feeling that comes over you as soon as you walk through the grand entrance to the restaurant. I found myself straightening my back, standing taller, and walking with purpose.
“Its palatial pagoda-style entrance features a giant Chinese vase, plush red carpeting, white banisters and columns, and polished dark marble steps. Displayed on the wall near the entrance are the various awards won by the restaurant over the years.”
The ambience is typically Chinese, with ornate decorations lining the walls and bright red chairs adding a festive touch.
Terry (Red FM Drive), Donovan (Photographer) and I sat down to an intimate dinner with our hosts Marketing Communications Coordinator Evelyn Koh and Restaurant Manager Ray Sim Seng Pu.
Ray offered us a taste of what he says is the ‘best tea in the world’.
Lovely and fragrant, it was a gentle Rose tea that was clear in colour and mild in rose flavour.
“Tastes a bit like Sirap,” pondered Terry. “Where’s in China is it from?” he asked.
“Actually,” replied Ray, “It’s from Germany!” We had a good laugh about this and learnt a bit more about the menu we would taste.
This Chinese New Year, Celestial Court will usher in the year of the rabbit with special set menus for tables of up to 10 pax. Guest Chefs, Chef Beal Chen and Li Wei of the Westin Beijing Chaoyang have been flown in to delight you with mouth-watering, authentic Beijing Cuisine.
Executive Chef, Chef Rajesh graced us with his presence and joked that they were serving a very special ‘baby rabbit’ ‘Yee Sang.
Terry and I looked at each other, unsure of whether to believe him or not! He wasn’t joking though, as we saw when the Yee Sang arrived.
Yee Sang with Norwegian Salmon and fish roe
The radish had been painstakingly arranged form the shape of a tiny rabbit! It was really cute, put a smile on our faces and added to the festive mood. The ‘Yee Sang’ itself was very traditional, with brightly coloured shredded vegetables, both pickled and fresh, crackers, sesame seeds, and a neat line of salmon roe.
On goes the salmon…
Add a squeeze of lime, drizzle on the oil and we were ready to ‘lou sang’!
The higher you toss, the more luck you bring!
A lovely, crunchy, sweet-sour start to the meal, wishing for luck, health, wealth and prosperity!
Morel Soup with assorted seafood
A lovely substitute to sharksfin soup, this seafood soup was abundant in fish, prawns and crabmeat that had been simmered to perfection. Rich in flavour and thick in texture, the Morel mushrooms added an subtle woody flavour that was delightful and the thinly sliced asparagus was a nice touch for colour.
Braised sea cucumber with scallion
Terry and I were a little surprised when we were served individual portions of the vegetable, as opposed to typical Chinese style of a sharing plate in the middle. I asked if this was done specially for us, and Chef Rajesh explained that some of Celestial Courts Chinese New Year menus would be served in individual portions, for ease of the customer and also to add a modern, western feel to the menu. One thing to note is that because of the individual plating, that I must say looks stunning, you can expect slightly longer intervals between courses, and the food may not be as hot as when served in a sharing portion.
The sea cucumber was slimy in texture, in a good way! The charred baby leek was aromatic, the bak choi beautifully crunchy, and it was all coated in a superb mild oyster sauce.
Beijing pan-fried beef dumpling
I have to say I really liked the creative presentation of the dumplings!
Served in a classic Martini glass, we felt like we were at a stylish cocktail party!
Sophisticated both in look and taste, the dumplings were a showcase of refined Beijing cooking. Juicy and succulent, bursting with meaty flavour, wrapped in a springy handmade skin. Delicious.
Double boiled spring chicken with mushroom
This dish is double boiled to retain the delicate flavour of the chicken and mushrooms. The broth was heady, dark and flavourful, lightly scented soya sauce, and emulating hints of mushrooms in every bite. Another example of a simple yet exotic Oriental dish using only the finest ingredients.
Dry-braised cod fish
The Cod is actually arrives dried and salted, and is returned to its full glory by with a gentle braising. Tasted as fresh as if it had come straight from the ocean! I really like the fact that the skin was really crispy, and slightly salty. We got the addition of a beautiful crunch with every bite from the perfectly steamed asparagus.
Braised bean curd with crab roe
The beancurd was soft and fluffy on the inside, with a firmer, textured skin on the outside. It was swimming in a substantial brown sauce with shredded crab meat and creamy crab roe. Wonderful flavours that tasted simply divine.
Our desserts arrived, two for the price of one!
Saqima – Deep fried crisp pastry with honey and sesame
Traditionally a Manchurian specialty, this delicacy has long since adapted itself into Beijing cuisine. Made from flour and egg, the strips of dough are fried, then mixed with honey and sesame, and put in moulds to form a block. From that, small pieces are cut and served. Little sweet, crisp squares of joy!
A refreshing mango ‘custard’, cool and fruity, served in a stemless martini glass that sits in a bowl of ice to keep it chilled.
Terry and I were so happy we got to celebrate Chinese New Year with dishes that are served amidst the court of an imperial royal dynasty. Yes, with Celestial Court’s Beijing Culinary Treasures and Celestial Harmony of the Senses, you will truly feel like royalty this Chinese New Year!
Thank you Evelyn, Ray and Chef Rajesh for your delightful company! And to Chef Ho Boon and the team for a scrumptious meal!
*Special thanks to Donovan (www.donovanchin.com) for the beautiful photos!
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