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Toh Yuen,

Hilton Petaling Jaya,
2 Jalan Barat,
Petaling Jaya.
Tel: 03-7955 9122
Business hours: Noon to 2.30pm
and 7.00pm to 10.30pm daily
from January 21 to February 24.
Pork-free.

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CHINESE New Year is synonymous with family reunions and the team at Hilton Petaling Jaya’s Toh Yuen Chinese restaurant has prepared timeless traditional dishes for a heart warming meal with family and friends.

“We sometimes introduce fusion dishes or special cuisine from various Chinese provinces to keep it interesting but this year we will be featuring more traditional Chinese dishes for the New Year. There’s always something comforting about having these traditional dishes and it appeals to everyone,” said Toh Yuen master chef Lee Kook Siong.

Preferring not to use artificial flavouring in his cooking, Lee whipped up his own sauce for the must-have Yee Sang dish with lemon juice for some added zest.

“I also cut down on the sugar in the sauce. Some Yee Sang is served with fresh fruits so you get some of the natural sweetness of the fruits in the dish. To make sure the fruits are fresh, we only cut them up before the dish is served and not dried up,” said Lee.

This year, he said they were not including the fatt choi, or sea moss, that has become a staple during the festive season because the Chinese name for the delicacy sounds similar to the word for “prosperity”.

“A lot of the fatt choi in the market now are synthetic ones so I prefer not to use it. You can differentiate the real sea moss because it does not break easily when cooked,” he explained.

During a recent tasting session, Lee prepared some of the dishes that would be included in the restaurant’s Prosperity Menu (RM1,688).

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Sticky: The Steamed Glutinous Rice with Sun-dried Oyster, Salted Egg Yolk and Chicken Paste is served as individually-wrapped portions.

After a serving of Delux Salmon and Seaweed with Mixed Fruit Yee Sang, the set starts with a Braised Baby Abalone with Dried Seafood Soup followed by the Roasted Chicken and Smoked Duck with Dragon Fruit Sauce and Vegetable Crackers.

Lee said the smoked duck was one of the few Western-style items that he had included in the menu this year and that the savoury slices of duck breast was a refreshing change to the traditional roasted duck.

“We marinate the meat overnight and then it is smoked with ingredients like glutinous rice and tea leaves. After the smoking process, we vacuum-pack the meat and slow-cook it in warm water for about an hour. The moisture and taste will still be retained in the meat,” he said.

For the Braised Sea Cucumber with Mixed Mushrooms and Sun-dried Scallop dish, Lee said he chose to use a high-grade sea cucumber that is cooked with a bit of crunchy texture in it.

“Some of the sea cucumber in the market are soaked in chemicals so that it expands more and so we avoid those. The delicacy is traditionally cooked until very soft but now customers actually prefer it with a bit of crunch. If it is too soft, some people think it has chemicals in it,” he said.

Lee also spiced up the prawn dish with a slight Japanese infusion and created the Sauteed Fresh Sea Prawn with Wasabi Mayo and Sakura Denbu.

“I use bigger prawns so that the wasabi mayo will not overpower the natural taste of the prawns. The sakura denbu is actually made with minced fish that is steamed and then roasted. It adds a bit of colour to the dish and a bit of seasoning to the mayonnaise,” he said.

For dessert, Lee has created a crispy version of the glutinous rice cake with the Deep Fried Chinese New Year Cake with Yam. The Prosperity Menu also includes the Hilton Ice Cream Cake.

When enjoyed together, the cake with three layers of strawberry, vanilla and chocolate ice-cream actually transforms the fried creation into an enjoyable ala mode serving.

The other set menus available from Jan 21 to Feb 24 for a table of 10 persons are Fortune Menu (RM988++), Happiness Menu (RM1,188++) and Longevity Menu (RM1,388++).

Priced between RM100++ and RM380++ in a choice of three sizes, the selection of Yee Sang available are Seaweed with Abalone; Hokkigai and Fresh Fruit; Salmon; Vegetable and Chinese Pear; and Jellyfish and Octopus.

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

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