Tai Zi Heen Chinese Restaurant,
Prince Hotel & Residence Kuala Lumpur,
4 Jalan Conlay, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2170 8888
RATHER than sauerkraut and bratwurst this Oktoberfest, Guiness Anchor Berhad (GAB) has teamed up with Prince Hotel and Residences Kuala Lumpur to pair its beers with fine Chinese cuisine.
Titled “For The Love Of Beer”, the three-course beer pairing promotion will run till Oct 31 at the Tai Zi Heen restaurant.
For a sneak preview of what diners can expect when ordering the special beer-pairing menu from Tai Zi Heen, media and bloggers were given the opportunity to pair four of GAB’s beer labels with six dishes prepared by Tai Zi Heen’s head chef Michael Wong.
GAB’s beer ambassador Keith Nair was also on hand to explain what diners could expect when sampling the dishes together with the different beers.
“Drinkers can already tell the difference when savouring the beers. But the unique flavours of each beer comes out when you pair it with the right type of dish, so this is a good opportunity for diners and beer enthusiasts to sample GAB’s beers with some of the dishes,” said Keith.
The appetiser is wok-seared foie gras Peking smoked duck wrap with a drizzle of passion fruit vinaigrette all around the dish and paired with Guinness.
According to both Keith and Chef Wong, the vinaigrette has been sweetened to offset the bittersweet aftertaste of the stout.
Cooked as it should, the foie gras is very lightly dusted with five-spice powder and melts almost instantly in one’s mouth.
It also goes well with the sweetened vinaigrette.
The duck wrap, which comes with Wong’s sweet hoisin sauce, offsets the initial bitterness of the Guinness.
Chef Wong also innovates on classics such as the basic Szechuan spicy and sour seafood soup, which now comes with a unagi-Parmesan cheese stick and paired with Strongbow cider.
The eel taste is evident, while the Parmesan is light and fresh with no odour.
More importantly, the soup itself is spicy and sour in equal proportions without making one perspire.
The acidity of both the soup and cider are offset by the fish-cheese accompaniment. Moreover, the cider’s zest sets off the spicy flavour of the soup.
The main course dishes started off with honey and soy-glazed oysters on asparagus with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds and garnished with dried seaweed.
Paired with Paulaner wheat beer, this makes for an excellent combination with the sweet undertones of the Paulaner boosted by the sweetness of the honey glaze.
The oysters are heavily covered with the sweet glaze but not to the point point of totally overwhelming the natural taste of the shellfish. Moreover, the asparagus are cooked nicely till tender.
The second main course dish sampled was baked cod fish with garlic crust, served on a bed of spinach and accompanied by a wolfberry sauce. Paired with Paulaner, the garlic taste was a little faint, but the light, sweet mayonnaise glaze goes well with the creaminess of the wheat beer.
The bed of lightly boiled spinach serves as a slightly bitter base to offset the wolfberry and sweet mayonnaise glaze.
The third main course is the classic Kung Pao chicken, complete with dried chilli and cashew nuts in a yam ring. However, this dish is paired with Tiger lager.
While suitably spicy, the sweetness of the sauce is brought out by the lager and the blandness of the yam bed.
A three-course meal would not be complete without dessert, and Chef Wong has concocted a purple sweet potato puree, with mango ice-cream swimming in the middle, with a rolled-up lotus paste Chinese pancake.
GAB and Wong have also opted to pair the last dish with Strongbow.
The cider presents a tart contrast to the bland sweetness of the potato puree and ice-cream, while the rolled-pancake presents an interesting take on a classic Chinese dessert.
Chef Wong, who has been cooking professionally for 26 years, said he had originally devised a more radical menu to pair off with GAB’s brews for the Oktoberfest promotion.
“But we are talking traditional Chinese fine dining here, so there must still be some semblance to what we understand as classic Chinese dishes here,” he said.
The “For Love of Beer” three-course menu at Tai Zi Heen Chinese Restaurant, Prince Hotel and Residence Kuala Lumpur is available throughout GAB’s Oktoberfest Celebrations from Oct 1 till 31, at RM150++ per pax.
Diners will also take home a limited edition GAB Oktoberfest one-litre ceramic mug.
This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.