Chef Leong whips up Chinese delights
LAI CHING YUEN,
Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur,
160 Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2117 4180/4181
Business hours: Noon to 3.00pm on weekdays
and 11.00am to 3.00pm on weekends for lunch;
and 6.30pm to 10.30pm for dinner.
COCONUTS are fragrant fruits on its own and a lot of the flavours and fragrance are infused into a dish when used as an ingredient.
Chef Leong Weng Heng from Grand Millenium’s Lai Ching Yuen used the fresh fruit shell as the container for his Double Boiled Sea Treasures in Whole Coconut creation for the outlet’s Malaysia International Gourmet Festival (MIGF) 2011 menu.
Filled with ingredients like mushroom, dried scallops, fish maw and sea cucumber, the broth is steamed inside the coconut shell for at least two hours.
“The longer you steam it, the more fragrant the soup will turn out. I use the shell of a young coconut so the flesh can also be eaten,” said Leong, 45.
The flesh of the coconut takes on a savoury taste with a soft texture after being cooked with the broth and ingredients.
The six-course MIGF menu starts out with a Special Duo Seafood Combination which comprises a Crispy Seafood Spring Roll and Scallop Salad with Assorted Fruit Served in Golden Cup.
“I used freshly chopped fruits like honey dew, apples, rock melon and strawberries because they have a tangy taste that would whet your appetite for the following dishes,” said Leong.
The spring roll has a seafood filling and wrapped with a Vietnamese rice paper just before it goes into the frying pan.
“If we wrap it in advance, the skin will dry out and will not have the crispy texture when fried,” he said.
The main dish was the Baked Fillet of Sea Perch with Wild Mushrooms Wrapped with Crispy Filo, served with broccoli at the side.
The fish was cooked inside the thin filo pastry, resulting in a combination of a crispy shell with a savoury soft fish meat.
The Steamed Homemade Spinach Bean Curd with Chinese Wine that followed was a change from the traditional tofu usually served in Chinese cuisine.
Leong said that the bean curd was made with fresh soy beans and blended Chinese spinach, which gives it the rich green colour.
“The tofu is lightly deep fried to give it a firmer texture.
“The gravy is made with fresh crab meat to give it a fuller flavour,” he said.
The final savoury dish on the menu was the Fried Rice with Minced Goose Liver and Pine Nuts before dessert was served.
Leong created the Avocado Puree with Durian Custard Rabbit Dumpling for a cool and sweet finale to the festival menu.
“The puree is made with blended avocado cooked in a sugar and pandan mixture that is then chilled before being served,” he said.
The dumpling was made with a durian custard and was surprisingly mellow, without the strong taste and smell of the fresh fruit.
“Even people who don’t like durian can try this. The skin is similar to that of the snow skin mooncakes which I’ve shaped into a rabbit,” he said.
The six-course menu is available throughout October and priced at RM158++ per person without wine and RM268++ per person with wine pairing.
This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.