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A Western alternative to the Chinese New Year reunion dinner.

CHINESE New Year meals usually bring to mind a boisterous family gathering where relatives chatter excitedly among themselves while loud festive music blares over the speakers.

The Limestone’s Fine Dining Restaurant at Regalodge Hotel hopes to offer a quieter, Western alternative to these celebrations with its prosperity reunion set dinner.

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Tucked away at the classy restaurant, diners can enjoy a peaceful dinner with loved ones in a fine dining setting that offers more privacy than most restaurants that are filled to the brim during the festive season.

The ambiance is not the restaurant’s only selling point, as it is known to be one of the few places in Ipoh that serves authentic fine dining for the discerning food connoisseur.

The rich, smooth creme brulee topped with a cherry. The homemade lychee parfait it is served with is not pictured.

The rich, smooth creme brulee topped with a cherry. The home made lychee parfait it is served with is not pictured here.

Sous chef Mahani Jalaludin has come up with a six-course set dinner for this year’s Chinese New Year, which will be served from Jan 30 to Feb 8.

No Chinese New Year dinner is complete without a serving of yee sang and the restaurant adds an interesting twist to the tradition by serving raw salmon salad instead.

The ingredients, comprising various fruits, vegetables, raw and smoked salmon, are arranged neatly on a plate and dressed with white truffle balsamic sauce and brown butter sauce before diners toss the salad themselves as they would with yee sang.

Purple cabbage, mangoes, grapefruits, onions, cherries, kiwis and fried potatoes are just some of the ingredients that give the dish a fresh, unique taste compared to the traditional yee sang while preserving the fun and symbolic gesture of tossing the ingredients.

Next on the list is the leek and king scallops soup, a hearty bowl of seafood consommé with grated leeks, a large king scallop and fatt choy (black moss) for that tinge of Chinese New Year.

The raw salmon salad is an interesting twist on yee sang and allows diners to partake in the tradition of tossing the dish while enjoying a fresh, new taste.

The raw salmon salad is an interesting twist on yee sang and allows diners to partake in the tradition of tossing the dish while enjoying a fresh new taste.

This is followed by three main dishes, starting with a whole roasted spring chicken doused with brown butter cheese sauce and served with carrots, golden dried apricots and red chillies.

As to be expected of The Limestone’s quality, the chicken meat is tender and succulent to the bite, while the thick, flavourful sauce went so well with the chicken that an extra serving from the kitchen was requested.

Then came the Mediterranean baked fish, which is baked black cod served with homemade golden honeydew sauce, blanched herb butter broccoli and spices.

The cod’s texture is flawlessly smooth and the crispy skin is soaked with flavour from the sauce during the baking process, elevating the dish to the highlight of the set dinner.

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The baked black cod is heavenly- smooth and the crispy skin is bursting with flavours absorbed during the careful baking process.

This does not mean the prawn paella that follows is in any way lacklustre, as the dish of Spanish Bomba rice cooked with shrimp broth and served with tiger prawns and vegetables lends a feisty and filling end to the mains.

As for dessert, a crème brulee parfait is served, where the traditional rich custard dessert topped with hard caramel is served with a scoop of homemade lychee parfait.

The smooth, melt-in-your-mouth custard is accentuated perfectly with the cold ice cream and the caramelised sugar adds a sweet crunch to close the meal.

The portions served are for six pax and priced at RM538 nett, while smaller groups of diners can opt for the restaurant’s ala carte dinner menu.

For reservations, call 05-242 3241.

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