Shanghai @ JW Marriott, KL – Stylishly OrientalJanuary 18, 2011 | 2,877 views
Shanghai @ JW Marriott – Opulent dining environment, a touch of class and elegance reminiscent of scenes from movies filmed with influences from Shanghai during the pre-war days.
Thus, folks … tis the season to be eat, drink and be merry again. The Lunar New Year is dawning upon us; approximately half month to go before the firecrackers got unleashed from all illegal sources, the Shandy’s and the beers got guzzled like as if that’s the right thing parents should do to educate the next generations to drink responsibly (hehe) and open palms all around coupled with an indestructible ego asking for red packets to minimize the inflation blues ……
Standard Chartered is offering their credit card holders an irresistible deal to divert them from their strict diet regimes, and instead go all out by choosing from not one, not two, not even five, but EIGHT renowned dining establishments all around Kuala Lumpur to sample the limited time only, customized Extravagant 8 Menus for RM888+ per table for 8 pax.
If y our mouth’s agape and you wonder why the premium price for the special deals, bear in mind that these restaurants are in a class of their own; Li Yen @ Ritz Carlton, Shanghai @ JW Marriott, Elegant Inn @ Menara Hap Seng, Tai Zi Heen @ Prince Hotel & Residence, Zing @ Grand Millennium, Gu Yu Tien @ Chulan Square, Chynna @ Hilton KL and Celestial Court @ Sheraton Imperial.
Felt like you’re being ‘stork-ed’? 🙂
My first official ‘Lou Sang/Yee Sang‘ experience this year was at Shanghai @ JW Marriott Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. A total of 8 mouthwatering creations; some ONLY available during this festive season, were presented to us.
Read on to see just what authentic Shanghainese cuisine epitomes, and how extravagant exactly was this Extravagant 8 fiesta …..
Pickled crunchy cucumber, carrot and turnip to jump start that jaded tastebud. I mean, after a whole day of slugging it out in the office; it’s about time to kick back, relax and soak in the serene atmosphere at Shanghai.
#1 Salmon Yee Sang – The compulsory starter of various meticulously julienned vegetables tossed with fresh salmon slices, scallops and fritters and nuts for that extra crunch. They incorporated a plethora of influences into this traditional Chinese New Year salad. The three different sauces encompassed a range from nutty peanut sauce, slight tinge from the wasabi (horseradish mustard) and the tangy elements from a fruity source.
And they say, you should toss as high as possible; punctuated with gloriously/flowery words of gratitude, wishes for the coming year, and hopes/aspirations (usually wealth and prosperity … ahem, Chinese ma!) Good thing was that Shanghai provided those ULTRA long wooden chopsticks; so you don’t have to risk back pain at the end of the LOU HEI (!!) ceremony.
#2 – Double-Boiled Superior Wanton Soup with Dried Scallop and Bamboo Pith – Here’s the difference between a ‘Ching Thong’ (clear broth), ‘Siong Thong’ (superior soup) and ‘Gou Thong’ (EXTRA superior soup). The process of extracting the sweet/umami essence from the chicken and pork used in making the soup was a laborious one; hence this extremely hearty broth of a “Gou Thong” was sumptuous enough to be slurped on its own. Bamboo pith is also known as bamboo fungus, and you can see the chewy, almost gelatinous layers of the fungi in the picture above.
#3 – Deep Fried Goose Liver wrapped in Bean Curd – Somewhat a cross between a deep fried bean curd (tau fu pok) and a yam puff (woo kok), the skin of the fritters was made from an overturned fried beancurd skin. Hence, you get a crispy, uneven layer of pastry on the exterior, filled with a decadent mash of goose liver (foie gras). This dish however, was a miss for me. The puffs though imaginatively done; lacked flavours.
#3 – Deep Fried Grouper with Sweet and Sour Sauce – Batter coated deep fried slices of boneless grouper; the immense heat shaped the fillets into a floral pattern; drizzled with a sweet and sour sauce on top with crunchy bites of pine nuts. Sharing the same platter with the goose liver puffs; the fish was okay but not too memorable.
#4 – A shrine of a mystery; this Braised Shanghainese Pork with Vegetables was a sight to behold. Not to mention offering a sumptuous bite almost unlike any pork dishes I have eaten.
And if there was ONE dish you MUST try at Shanghai during this festive season only; go for the Braised Shanghainese Pork served with blanched broccoli and hidden within would be slices of delicious and crunchy wild bamboo shoots (mou sun). The sight of the towering pyramid almost a replica of a shrine had us bemused and gratification came even before the tasting session. Cameras were clicking non-stop, for this was a splendid model to be photographed.
Bear in mind that the stacked up layers of pork belly pictured above was still UNcooked. The braising/stewing part would render the pyramid too soft and mushy to be photographed, hence Chef Wong Wing Yeuk decided to show us the raw materials before the consumable ones arrived piping hot on the table.
Hidden beneath the beautiful facade; you find thin slices of crunchy forest bamboo shoots (mou sun) that tasted uncannily like preserved mustard greens (char choy).
#5 – Imperial fried rice with shrimps and diced chicken – Succulent, almost transluscent with a crystal like texture shrimps seated atop the pile of fragrant fried rice, loaded with hues of red (wolfberries or ‘gei zhi’), golden (egg omelette) and green (chopped scallions) – I could not resist having seconds and thirds. Being a fried rice lover myself, I had no qualms digesting extra carbohydrates for the feast.
#6 – Steamed Shanghainese Meat Dumplings – And if you’re wondering what’s the SIGNATURE of Shanghainese cuisine; look no further than the world famous Xiao Long Bao’s. Not even La Mian (ramen, Chinese style) comes close, according to Chef Wong. And by the way, the 32 folds myth does not necessarily rings true. Debunked.
#7 – Pan-fried Glutinous Rice Cakes with Sesame Seeds – Another CNY only sensation; go for some Nian Gao (Wanna know the full MONSTROSITY of a story behind Nian Gao, or sweetened glutinous rice cakes? Hehe) to end the meal and appease the sweet tooth. Should appeal to both the adults (not as sweet) and the children (snacky, sweet and slightly crispy). A good alternative to “Woh Peng” or Chinese pancake.
#8 – Sweetened Glutinous Rice Cakes with red dates and dried longan – A potpourri of sweet delights; for that extra sweet finish to usher in the year of the Rabbit. And no, though Shanghai is a NON-halal restaurant, rabbit meat is not in the menu. So don’t push your luck.
The Chef in his most animation self. Pity barely half of us understood Mandarin. Hehe … thankful for the translators-cum-bloggers at work. Chef Wong Wing Yeuk hails from Shanghai and spent his days honing his culinary mastery in Hong Kong. And then Shanghai started in 1999 at JW Marriott, and the rest was history in the making ….
Save for some minor misses, the feast was a splendid fare, coupled with great company and an epic dining environment to boot. Celebrating the festivity at Shanghai could be just what you need to usher in the year of the rabbit; in a most stylish fashion.
*The Extravagant 8 Menu is priced at RM888+ for a table of 8 pax, additional diner will have to pay RM111+ each. Subject to 10% service charge and 6% government tax.
*The Standard Chartered Extravagant 8 Menu is available for a limited time only – 20th January 2011 until 17th February 2011.
*For reservations please call Shanghai @ 603-2719 8288.
*Shanghai is located on the first floor of JW Marriott Hotel (www), sharing the same premise with Starhill Gallery on Jalan Bukit Bintang in the heart of KL city centre.
*Thanks to Shanghai @ JW Marriott, and Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia for the invitation.