Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel,
Jalan Sultan Ismail,
Tel: 03-2717 9988
Business hours: Lunch, noon-2.30pm (Mon-Fri),
10.30am-3pm (Sat, Sun and public holidays),
CHEF Ho Boon continues to tempt the palates and senses of diners with his new range of a la carte dishes at Celestial Court, Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel.
The dishes, which include seafood and meat, will be available for lunch and dinner at the Chinese restaurant from the third quarter of this year onwards.
Of the four dishes served during a media preview, my colleague and I gave the highest score to the Pan-Fried Marinated Cod Fish with Spicy Mandarin Orange Sauce and Thai-Style Onions.
The cod fish was crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.
Ho complemented this dish with a tart and spicy sauce, which he said was made from mandarin orange, apricot jam and bird’s eye chilli.
“The fish is cooked using a mix of pan- and deep-frying methods. The wok has to be really hot to make it crispy,” said the Chinese restaurant chef.
Another dish that was well received was the Sautéed Fresh Scallops with Apricots and Chef’s Honey Barbecue Sauce, served in Salted Egg Yolk Ring (top pic).
“The scallop is stir-fried with dried apricot, celery, carrot and bay leaves to make it more fragrant. Dried apricot is also used in the sauce, along with Lea and Perrins sauce and brown sugar, to give it a sweet and salty taste,” said Ho.
What my colleague and I enjoyed was the salted egg yolk ring, which is the 51-year-old chef’s version of the typical yam ring.
The crispy ring was addictive without being cloying.
Those who like red meat may want to try the Roast Marinated Rack of Lamb in Chef’s Special Bean Sauce, served with Wok-Fried Minced Fish in Crispy Golden Pie Tee Cups.
Ho shared that the lamb was marinated with over 20 ingredients for at least four hours. The flavourful marinade included Japanese soy sauce, honey, celery, carrot and five-spice powder.
The pie tee filling featured minced garoupa fish, celery, carrot and mushroom. This bite-sized treat was tasty, though the pie tee cup would have been nicer had it been more crispy.
The Steamed Egg White topped with Jumbo Prawns, Crab Roe and Green Vegetables offered a contrast in taste, with the saltiness of the crab roe balanced with the sweetness of the egg white.
“The egg white is cling-wrapped and steamed in individual bowls to retain its texture,” said Ho.
Ho, who has been with the hotel for more than two decades, joined Celestial Court as a first cutter before working his way up to his present post.
The restaurant also showcased its collection of mooncakes during the preview, all prepared by chef Ken Liew for the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Liew, 51, revealed that Celestial Court had resumed production of mooncakes this year after a hiatus.
“We wanted to restart production this year because I felt that homemade mooncakes are now more difficult to find in the market.
“Our mooncakes are made in limited quantities to ensure their quality,” he said.
Liew said it took him almost eight months to develop and finalise the mooncake flavours.
“I did a lot of tasting, experimenting and training to ensure the final products are the best,” he said.
“The baked mooncakes incorporate traditional flavours with a slight twist, while the snow skin mooncakes feature modern flavours based on current market trends.”
The dim sum chef personally recommended the Mini Snow Skin Gold Dust Premium Musang King Durian and Pandan Lotus Paste Single Yolk with Pumpkin Seed.
“The Snow Skin Musang King is our highlight, made using edible bamboo charcoal powder for the skin,” said Liew.
“It is one of the most challenging to make, as it needs to be made a la minute to maintain the freshness of the durian filling.”
My personal favourites were the Mini Snow Skin Teh Tarik Yam Paste with Macadamia Nuts, which had a crunchy texture yet wasn’t overly sweet, and the Mini Snow Skin Salted Caramel Azuki Bean that had a nice balance of savoury and sweet flavours.
Other flavours available include Mini Snow Skin Strawberry Lotus Paste with Chocolate Berries Truffle (snow skin mooncake), as well as Celestial Court Assorted Nuts, Pure Lotus Paste Single Yolk with Dried Longan and Melon Seed, and Low Sugar Osmanthus White Lotus and Black Sesame with Melon Seed (baked mooncake).
Celestial Court’s mooncakes are available until Sept 15. Prices range from RM20 to RM33 per piece, and RM120 to RM132 per box.
This is the writer’s observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.