A taste of Teochew cuisine

ZUAN YUAN CHINESE RES-TAURANT,
Lobby Level, One World Hotel First Avenue,
Bandar Utama City Centre , 47800 Petaling Jaya.
Tel: 03-7681 1159
Business Hours: Daily lunch, 11.00am – 2.30pm;
Dinner, 6.30pm -10.30pm.

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ACCORDING to chef Chew Chee Ming, Teochew dishes are cooked in a healthy and simple manner.

“Most of the dishes you see in an authentic Teochew restaurant are steamed and do not have a strong taste. Some people think it is a bit bland when compared to Cantonese or Szechuan-styled dishes,” said the Chew during the interview at Zuan Yuan Chinese Restaurant in One World Hotel.

He added that in the old days, Teochew people may have opted for a healthier way of life, thus their food preparation looked simpler and easier to follow.

Chew explained that most people knew Teochew cuisine for its vegetarian and seafood dishes, hence when it came to preparing a menu for the restaurant’s Teochew promotion, he made sure everything he knew was incorporated in it.

The month-long promotion, which will end on Nov 30, is a set menu of six dishes starting with the Duo Combination Teochew Style Steamed and Deep-Fried Fen Guo.

The dish, which is a simple starter, features two different types of dumplings with dried shrimp, carrot, turnip, local chives, peanut and chestnut wrapped in thin rice paper and steamed while the other was deep fried.

“As much as I would like to present an authentic Teochew menu, not many of our guests would be able to adapt to the steamed dishes so I have tweaked the style a bit to suit local tastebuds which is why I provide a choice of steamed and deep fried items on the menu. However, I made sure I used only healthy ingredients,” said Chew.

8B23AEA997484CA3B66E989A28427E7CSweet treat: The Sweetened Yam Paste topped with Pumpkin Cubes and Gingko makes for a delightful ending to a meal.

The dish was followed by a lightly-flavoured Braised Shark’s Fin with Crab Claw and Scallop soup. For this dish, Chew went with what a Teochew would do, using fish sauce to prepare the base of the soup instead of the more flavourful oyster-based sauce.

Guests will then be treated to a different type of dumpling, this time the Deep-Fried Teochew Shi Liu Guo, which is wrapped in beancurd skin and has carefully cooked ingredients such as mushrooms, minced chicken, water chestnut and parsley in it.

It is then followed by the Steamed Leather Jacket Fish with Garlic, Ginger and Teochew sauce, which was my favourite for the afternoon as it was slightly spicy with a generous topping of chopped garlic cooked with bird’s eye chilli.

F4E5FCCF17A146DAA8D5FF4FFFB31769Fried delights: The various fried items on the menu. The Deep-Fried Teochew Shi Luo Go (bottom) is an interesting combination of mushrooms, minced chicken,water chestnut and parsley wrapped in beancurd skin.

For the fifth dish, guests can choose from either the Fried Rice with Olive Vegetable or Braised Rice Noodle with Assorted Seafood.

To end the meal, Chew presented us with a dessert which was new to us, Sweetened Yam Paste.

Do not just judge it by how large the portion is but take your time to savour it as the steamed yam is a must-have dessert in any self-respecting Teochew eatery.

The dessert, which had been mashed and steamed, is topped with cubes of pumpkin and gingko seeds and is eaten with orange peel sugar water.

This set menu is available for both lunch and dinner and is priced at RM68++ per person.

This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.


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