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ZUAN YUAN CHINESE RESTAURANT,
One World Hotel, First Avenue,
Bandar Utama City Centre,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Tel. 03-7681 1159 / 1300-88-7888
Business hours: Noon to 2.30pm (Mondays to Fridays),
11am to 2.30pm (Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays),
6pm to 10.30pm daily.
Pork-free.

FAMILY and food are the two prevailing themes in many fond Chinese New Year memories.

At the Zuan Yuan Chinese Restaurant, these two themes are brought together as the restaurant is offering three “Blossoms of Fortune” Chinese New Year set menus.

The set meals, priced at RM1,488++, RM1,688++ and RM1,888++, come with two complimentary bottles of wine.

All three menus were specially put together by Zuan Yuan assistant Chinese chef Heng Sze Hooi, a veteran with 20 years of experience under his belt, who uses only fresh ingredients in his cooking.

Roasted to perfection: The Roasted ‘Pi Pa’ Duck Traditional Style was crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.

Roasted to perfection: The Roasted ‘Pi Pa’ Duck Traditional Style was crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.

At a recent review, we had the opportunity to sample several dishes that Zuan Yuan will be offering during the festive season.

Starting things off was the crunchy Yee Sang with Crispy Soft Shell Crab, an interesting treat as the flavourful crab had a savoury note to the otherwise semi-sweet dish.

Following that was the Roasted “Pi Pa” Duck Traditional style, roasted to a beautiful golden brown, with a crispy layer of skin protecting the juicy tender goodness of the duck meat.

The Steamed Dragon Garoupa with Bean Curd and Black Fungus in King Soy Sauce, signifying abundance and topped with coriander was served soon after, which was a treat to our taste buds.

Plump and juicy: Wok-Fried Jumbo Tiger Prawns with Superior Soy Sauce.

Plump and juicy: Wok-Fried Jumbo Tiger Prawns with Superior Soy Sauce.

The fish steamed to mouth-watering perfection was incredibly fresh and along with the bean curd and black fungus, had absorbed a good amount of the soy sauce’s delightful savoury goodness.

We were also treated to the Braised Abalone, Dried Oyster, Sea Moss and Mushroom in Superior Oyster Sauce served with Broccoli to symbolise prosperity and good tidings .

Otherwise a soft-textured dish, the sea moss provided some of the much needed crunchiness and was a joy to eat when chewed together with the mushroom and oyster.

The Steamed Rice with Preserved Meat and Diced Duck wrapped in Lotus Leaves arrived at the table, served like a blooming flower with the lotus leaves peeled back and garnished with spring onions.

Slightly different: The Yee Sang with Crispy Soft Shell Crabs is an interesting treat.

Slightly different: The Yee Sang with Crispy Soft Shell Crabs is an interesting treat.

The rice, while adequately seasoned and well steamed was somewhat marred by the more salty preserved meat and diced duck, causing the overall dish to be a tad too salty.

Rounding up the main course was the dish with a “sense of humour”, the Wok-Fried Jumbo Tiger Prawns with Superior Soy Sauce, which signifies laughter and happiness.

Shrimp is one of Heng’s favourite ingredients to work with and while his signature dish is the Fresh Water Prawns in King Soy Sauce and the chef showed that he knew how to best serve tiger prawns too as the large crustaceans were well lathered in an appetising soy sauce, even after the shell was peeled off.

Sweet appeal: Fried Nian Gao with Yam and Sweet Potatoes.

Sweet appeal: Fried Nian Gao with Yam and Sweet Potatoes.

Two desserts — the Fried Nian Gao with Yam and Sweet Potatoes as well as the Double-Boiled Sea Coconut, Snow Lotus Pear, Red Dates and Snow Lotus Seeds — wrapped up the meal on a sweet note.

However, those who prefer something lighter can opt for the restaurant’s Chinese New Year dim sum menu, prepared by Zuan Yuan dim sum chef Jordan Chin Chee Hong, who has been with the restaurant since it opened eight years ago.

The Lunar New Year promotion is available until March 5.

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

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