I was fortunate to be invited to a food tasting session at Checkers Cafe Dorsett Regency Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.
Check out Checkers Café’s fabulous spread of New Year specialities specially put together by their team of talented chefs for an unforgettable Lunar New Year celebration together with family and friends.
2012 is the Year of the Dragon, the mightiest of signs in the Chinese zodiac. The Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year, occurs every year on the new moon of the first lunar month, about four to eight weeks before spring. This year, the Lunar New Year celebration falls on 23rd January 2012 and to usher in the auspicious Year of the Dragon, the hotels owned and managed by Kosmopolito Hotels International namely Dorsett Regency Kuala Lumpur, Grand Dorsett Subang, Grand Dorsett Labuan, Maytower Hotels & Serviced Apartments and Silka Johor Hotel have come up with a series of feasting and staying options for the occasion.
Feast on sumptuous yet traditional offerings of Yee Sang with crispy salmon skin, braised sea cucumber with mushroom and dried scallops, glutinous rice balls featured alongside with other equally mouth-watering offerings such as Seafood On Ice; a-ala-minute dishes; homemade soup and irresistible selection of desserts that will definitely leave one craving for more.
We started our course with a mocktail called "Prosperity Splash" concocted with pineapple, dragon fruit, mandarin orange and a tinge of honey. Very refreshing indeed. Apparently, this was not actually on the menu, accordingly it was whipped up by the Chef at the eleventh hour. Respect!
Crispy salmon skin and other condiments for the Yee Sang
Our first dish was Salmon Yee Sang with Crispy Salmon Skin
Crispy salmon skin made the Yee Sang experience a truly unique and different.
The Pan-fried Lamb Rack with Chef Special Sauce. This is THE one of my favourite of the night! The lamb was tender and marinated with the Chef's secret sauce. It as pan-fried to perfection!
Rating: 9.5/10 (Must try)
Next came the Braised Shark's Fin with Assorted Seafood like dried scallops, mince crab meat and fish maw. The stock has the right texture and the shark's fin is acceptable and the taste was neither overwhelming nor lack of.
One of the Chinese New Year must have dish is the Steamed Chicken with Herbs. The chicken is tender and not overcooked. It is not "Kampung Chicken" but the herbs sauce still managed to seep into the meat.
Deep-fried Cod Fish With Superior Soya Sauce. Not overcooked. The skin was crispy whilst the flesh was still succulent and juicy and with the superior sauce, a delectable for the taste buds!
A staple seafood dish to usher in the lunar New Year. This is the Deep-fried Prawns with Seafood Sauce. The prawns could have been a little bigger (and this will make it more presentable). Somehow I tasted the meat a tad overcooked.
This is also one my favourite dishes and an essential dish for Chinese New Year. Braised Fish Maw, Sea Cucumber, Dried Oysters and Black Mushroom with Seasonal Vegetable. This time broccoli was used. The fish maw and sea cucumber is cooked to perfection with the sauce percolating the seafood. The oysters surprisingly is big. Not those minute ones you see at some restaurants but this one is fairly big and fresh.
Fried rice with Ginger and Salted Egg was next on the menu. The colour was a tad bland and honestly it lacked the savoury "wok" flavour. However, the salted egg coated every grain of rice and it was not salty and the flavour was just right.
The ever favourite Fried Sesame Seed Ball with Red Bean Paste filling. Very nice.
Sweetened Red Bean Paste. This paste is really good with mandarin orange zest. You can only taste the zest only if you swivel the paste in your mouth for a moment to enjoy the taste (not gulping down like drinking medicine). The paste is thick enough but not to the extent of lumpy and gooey. I think an immersion blender was used to pureed the paste, not the normal blender.
What's Chinese New Year without the traditional "nian gao" or simply called the Chinese New Year cake made of glutinous rice and sugar and steamed to the perfect brown colour. This dish is the very essence of a Chinese New Year delicateseen.
The Junior Sous Chef Lai Chan Meng, the man behind all the wonderful dishes whipped up for the review. Thank you.
To end the evening we were each given a box and what a surprise we found in the box. I call it the Prosperity Muffins! I simply cannot take enough pictures of these intricately created muffins from the pastry section of the restaurant. The muffin is as big as the box (no illusion photography was used as I am only using a Nikon Coolpix 8MP and not a SLR, there is so much one can do with a camera costing less than RM300.) The muffin is of butter with some orange zest and is sinfully delicious. The topping is made of marzipan and there is gold coin and a traditional rice jar with words of good fortune and prosperity for the lunar New Year!
Overall dining experience: 9/10. (Highly Recommended)
22nd January 2012
Price: RM108.00++ per person
‘Gong Xi Fa Cai’ New Year Brunch
23rd & 24th January 2012. 12.00 noon to 4.00 pm
Price: RM75.00++ per person
Joy & Luck Buffet Lunch
Monday to Friday
25th to 31st January 2012
2nd to 5th February 2012
Price: RM75.00++ per person
Prosperity Buffet Dinner
Monday to Friday
23rd to 31st January 2012
1st February to 6th February 2012
Price: RM85.00++ per person
· Prices quoted are subject to 10% service charge and 6% government tax.
· 38% discount for blog readers (referral blog name must be quoted when making table reservation).
For reservations, call Checkers Café @ Dorsett Regency Kuala Lumpur at +603 2716 1000 extension 188 or log onto dorsettregency.com/kualalumpur
Lion Dance Performance
For a rousing start to the Chinese New Year celebration, don’t miss out on the lion dance performance on 26 January 2012 at 9.30am at Dorsett Regency Kuala Lumpur’s Main Lobby.