Oriental Pavilion,Tel: PJ (03-7956 9288);
Oriental Banquet,PJ (03-7957 8488);
Oriental Classic,KL (03-2143 9966);
Oriental Viva,KL ( 03-9283 8833);
Noble House,KL (03-2145 8822);
Noble Banquet,KL (03-2145 8822);
The Ming Room,KL (03-2284 8822);
The Han Room, KL (03-2284 9933);
Maju Palace, KL (03-2691 8822).

THE Year of the Dragon is an extra auspicious year for the Oriental Group of Restaurants as the chain was established under the Chinese zodiac sign 12 years ago.

To commemorate the special occasion, the chain will be celebrating its Chinese New Year with “classic” delicacies.

“Twelve years is a full cycle in the Chinese calendar, it is an achievement for us, so we feel it is the right time to bring back some of the timeless dishes to usher in the Year of the Dragon,” said group executive chef Justin Hor.

E6456F45F62248209F4920190F8E9074Old delights: The Giant Salt and Pepper Prawn Ball.

“Dishes from the olden days, some no longer in existence, pique the imagination. Besides, it stirs up a nice, nostalgic sentiment during this festive season,” said the 40-year-old from Ipoh.

Hor said bringing back these classic dishes required a good understanding of the Chinese culinary history, thus a lot of research and brainstorming had taken place among the chefs in the group to come out with the menu.

The timeless delights will sport a modern presentation.

“It will be a new dining experience derived from the interaction between an olden culture and modern trends,” he said.

F05EF53ED9FF4ADCAA735E03E88D9D01Food to welcome the dragon: Hor posing with his Chinese New Year creations.

There are nine Chinese restaurants under the group.

Even though they are offering similar set menus for Chinese New Year, each restaurant will feature a selection of their specialities to highlight their uniqueness.

The Giant Salt and Pepper Prawn Ball, according to Hor, is to bring back the fond memories when prawn balls were a popular snack among the Chinese.

Presented delicately with sculptured figurines, the prawn balls reminiscent of quaint charm are now fit for a grand occasion. The giant balls are added with chunks of prawn for improved texture, while salt and pepper are sprinkled on in just the perfect ratio to enhance the prawn balls’ crispy coat.

DC2A7B6B949940D990ACF10896DC6363New addition: Baked Rice with large Meat Crab and waxed meat in Lotus Leaf offer a new twist and taste.

The Eight Treasure Duck has always been a classic delicacy.

Hor has decided to make it special this year by replacing poultry with pork trotter.

The pork trotter is deboned and filled with eight nutritious ingredients, including gingko nuts, chestnuts and water chestnuts.

The pork is tender after hours of braising and thoroughly infused with the rich flavours of homemade sauce.

The tastes and textures of the stuffed-in ingredients are also well combined.

The Chinese New Year must-haves such as dried oyster and black moss — ingredients with auspicious names — are bundled up together with scallop and roast pork in dainty “bags” made of Japanese tofu.

They are served alongside lingzhi mushroom and broccoli in light oyster sauce, in the special dish called Stuffed Treasures.

Hong Kong roast pigeon is also in the limelight this Chinese New Year.

Hor offers diners two ways to savour the bird. First, you savour the bird’s original goodness, crispy skin and juicy meat. Then you can enjoy a mouthful of the meat, diced and tossed with mushroom and dried oyster, wrapped in a slice of bun.

Chinese New Year is not complete without waxed meat, usually baked with rice if not savoured on their own.

Hor has tried something new this year, introducing Baked Rice with Large Meat Crab and Waxed Meat in Lotus Leaf.

It is a pleasant surprise that the crab’s flavour blends well with that of waxed meat. The crab’s flavour has seeped into the rice, making it flavourful and fluffy. The dish offers a variety of tastes that do not clash with each other. The crab can be savoured with a dash of vinegar, while the waxed meat leaves a nice lingering taste.

The restaurants feature a variety of Chinese New Year set menus, with prices ranging from RM698++ to RM4,688++ per table of 10, from RM168++ to RM588++ for four to eight pax, and from RM76++ to RM 388++ per diner (minimum dining of two pax).

The Yee Sang varieties include jelly fish, salmon, salmon and fresh prawns, assorted seafood, vegetables and salmon, soft shell crab and abalone.

These are priced from RM33++ onwards.

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

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