Chattering Kitchen

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Guest Post Series Part 3: Enter the Dragon – Food to Celebrate Chinese New Year by Alice Young

January 23, 2012 will mark the dawn of the Year of the Dragon according to the new Chinese lunar calendar. Chinese communities around the world will celebrate Chinese New Year which is also known as the Spring Festival or Lunar New Year.

In Malaysia, it is a time to eat, drink and be merry, as thousands of Malaysian-born Chinese make their way home to enjoy a reunion meal with their near and dear ones. However, urbanisation is slowly changing this annual mass exodus from Kuala Lumpur as more city folks opt to stay put and revel in the festivities here instead of back in their respective hometowns in neighbouring states.

Once the Chinese New Year (CNY) celebration is in full swing, Chinese restaurants are the ones laughing all the way to the bank. If you don’t fancy fighting the crowds for customary servings of Yee Sang (raw fish salad) and dishes that reputedly guarantee abundant fortune, good health and eternal happiness, why not try indulging in a buffet instead.

Yee Sang

You can sample Salmon Yee Sang and selected Chinese specialities as well as a wide array of local and international delights at the daily buffet of Dorsett Regency Kuala Lumpur’s Checker’s Cafe. We enjoyed the blend of sweet and tangy flavours from the platter of finely shredded vegetables, fruits, pickles, nuts and crackers with sliced salmon laid out for us after our dining party mixed and tossed everything up with much gusto.

Another tempting offering to look out for is the Fried Cod in Soya Sauce. Crisp on the outside yet rich and smooth inside, the fish barely needs further dressing up to seduce our palate.

Fried Cod Fillets

Happiness, abundance and good tidings are symbolically reflected in the dish of Braised Vegetable with Fish Maw, Sea Cucumber and Mushroom. The intermingling spongy, chewy and succulent textures left indelible impressions as did the rich, deeply rustic nuances with hints of the sea and wood.

Braised Vegetables with Fish Maw Sea Cucumber and Mushroom

The Cantonese word for prawns, har sounds like happy laughter so when the Deep-fried Prawns with Oats appeared at our table we couldn’t help but break out into much merriment. Springy to the bite with a slight crunch due to them being encrusted with oats, the ultra-fresh crustaceans were devoured in a jiffy.

Fried Prawns with Oats

Though we barely have tummy space left to fit in the Fried Glutinous Rice in Lotus Leaf, I was bowled over by the fragrant and flavoursome grains; wrapped and steamed in layers of aromatic lotus leaves with a topping with golden yellow omelette strands. Who could forget the appetisingly earthy accent of the dried oysters in the rice?

Fried Glutinous Rice in Lotus Leaf

The waitstaff then served us with Deep-fried Nian Gao, a sticky glutinous rice flour cake that is sliced and sandwiched with sweet potato and yam before it is deep-fried, covered in a light egg and flour batter. A traditional staple for the CNY celebrations, this sweet treat is believed to ensure one’s rising progress and yearly ascent to the peaks of success. A sweet, almost creamy broth of Red Bean Paste with Lily Buds ensured our meal concluded on a high note.

Nian Gao

Checker’s Cafe will lay out its Reunion Buffet Dinner priced at RM108++ per person on 22 January 2012 while a special brunch spread will be available at RM75++ per person on 23 and 24 Jan, 25 – 31 Jan and from 2-5 Feb. A Prosperity Dinner buffet at RM85++ per person will be served from 23 – 31 Jan.

Call +603 2716 1000 x 188 for reservations. Dorsett-Regency Kuala Lumpur hotel is located at 172, Jalan Imbi, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

You can visit Alice’s blog at the address below:





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  • everything is making me melt, I am drooling and I am getting a huge appetite especialy for the yee sang. first time I heard about this dish. thank u very much for sharing Meheeren! =)

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