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February 28, 2011

Dim Sum Buffet @ Zuan Yuan, One World Hotel

Mike has always been my ideal buffet buddy because we get along very well and eat just as much. Since we were both not working one Friday, we decided to ‘eat like no tomorrow’ at Zuan Yuan, One World Hotel. They were having a dim sum buffet promotion for RM48++, which I thought was pretty good value for money. This visit was just before CNY this year, so you will have to check with Zuan Yuan if the offer is still available. Chinese tea was not provided in the buffet, so that’s a separate order. For RM48++, we got to choose between the Emperor Set or the Empress Set. The former came with one order of steamed seafood dumpling with superior stock and shark’s fin and for the latter, the braised shark’s fin soup with crab roe. Mike and I ordered a different set each, so we got to try both the soups. The set also came with one order of water prawn noodles.

Braised peanuts

Barbeque char siew chee cheong fun with sesame seeds

Scallop and shredded dried scallop chee cheong fun

Frankly, the char siew chee cheong fun was not worth ordering. The rice sheets were cold and paste-y, a far cry from the silky smooth versions I’ve had elsewhere. I also didn’t like the char siew, which was dry, stringy and bland. The scallop chee cheong fun tasted better, but it was still no where near decent.

Steamed minced squid ball with dried octopus and crab stick

Steamed Teo Chew siew mai

The squid ball was weirdly addictive — it had a firm and bouncy texture, but Mike didn’t care much for this. The Teo Chew siew mai was quite good, despite the filling being minced chicken and prawns. We ordered 3 baskets of this.

Steamed shark’s fin dumpling

Zuan Yuan style siew mai with flying fish roe

Steamed prawn dumpling

Steamed scallop dumpling

The dim sum were generally decent, but the steamed scallop dumpling was overcooked — the skin was mushy and sticky. We talked to the head waiter about it and he took it back into the kitchen. 5 minutes later, he came out and told us ‘it was how the dumpling was supposed to taste’.

Deep fried prawn dumpling & bean curd roll

We didn’t like the deep fried prawn dumpling — the skin was too thick and the prawns were rather small in size. The bean curd roll on the other hand, was moreish and warranted another order.

Braised shark’s fin soup with crab roe

Steamed seafood dumpling with superior stock and shark’s fin

Between the two, I like the steamed seafood dumpling better. The shark’s fin soup was rather ordinary, and the crab roe didn’t add much flavour and texture to the soup. The dumpling on the other hand had more bite and the broth was more flavourful from the dried scallops.

Pan-fried Shanghai dumpling — tasted alright, but nothing memorable.

Oven-baked cheese tart

These very surprisingly good. We ordered this dish many times. The cheese and minced chicken combination tasted very Western, but we loved it anyway.

Flaky barbeque char siew pastry — too much pastry, too little filling.

Taro dumpling wu kok style with scallop and miso sauce

I liked this. The filling was mildly savoury and light in colour; unlike the reddish or dark brown filling one would usually find in wu kok.

Stir-fried turnip cake with XO sauce

Water prawn noodles (Sang Har Mee) — adequately prepared,
the prawns were fresh and the noodles had a springy texture.

Deep-fried sesame ball with peanut paste — would have tasted quite good, but the filling was scant.

Oven-baked mini egg tart with caramel and cinnamon — the egg custard was a tad hard.
Not the melt-in-the-mouth experience I was hoping for.

Double boiled crystal pear with fresh ginseng — refreshing, after all the oily, fatty food we consumed earlier.

Chilled aloe vera infused with lemongrass

The dim sum buffet was good value for money. Tastewise, the dishes on a whole were average — some were good and some did not meet my expectations. That said, I wouldn’t mind going back if I feel like pigging out again.
Ambiance: 7/10
Price: 6/10
Food: 5/10 (pork free)
Verdict: Good value for money, but some of the dim sum were not up to par.

Zuan Yuan,
One World Hotel
Lebuh Bandar Utama
47800 Petaling Jaya

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February 25, 2011

Western Wedding Tradition

rif’s mother showed me this poem over dinner last night. Curious, I did some search on Google and found my discoveries too interesting not to share! Something old, something new Something borrowed, something blue And a silver sixpence in her shoe. Each item in this poem is said to represent a good-luck token for the […]

February 24, 2011

Canton Fare, Solaris Mon’t Kiara

Dining out at Chinese restaurants can sometimes be an expensive affair. Either that, or one would have to eat at “tai chow” restaurants. I fancy the latter, for obvious reasons — budget and taste. Of course, the ambiance is ‘rough around the edges’, and expect to see a few cockroaches or worse, rats scrambling around.

I’ve developed a knack for these open air, not-so-clean restaurants but my parents (especially my mum), aren’t very fond of such dining places. rif’s parents are pretty flexible with food places — they have eaten at food stalls next to the drain with me. Since both our parents were dining together, we decided Canton Fare was a good place. It has a decent ambiance (read: air conditioned), food is decent and prices are somewhat reasonable.

Between the Damansara Heights and Mon’t Kiara outlet, I like going to the latter. The Damansara outlet is rather small and tables are placed too closely to each other. The service at Mon’t Kiara seems better too. Among the 6 of us, we shared a large roast platter (RM55), kung po chicken (RM25), fish fillet with spring onion & ginger (RM25), stir fried kailan (RM18), braised tau kan (RM25) and cantonese fried kuay teow (RM15).

Portions were not very large, so we didn’t have a problem finishing the food. Canton Fare prides itself as the King of Roasts; the char siew was adequately tender and siew yuk has a nice, crispy skin. However, the duck was nothing to shout about — parts of the skin was soggy and the duck wasn’t as tender as I hoped it would be.

Kung po chicken was my dad’s favourite dish, and this was prepared quite well at Canton Fare. This dish comprised cashew nuts, chicken chunks, dried chilli and onion slices, cooked in sticky sweet sauce.

My mum enjoyed the fish fillet more than the rest of us. It was lightly seasoned and tasted very ‘clear’, as she asked the chef to reduce salt and oil for this dish.

Stir fried kailan was ordered to balance out all the meat dishes we had. I liked that the chef added a lot of garlic bits during the cooking process; this gave more fragrance to the dish.

Braised tau kan was not bad, but I generally don’t care much for tau kan as the texture is a lot firmer compared to the normal beancurd. I would much rather have Japanese beancurd.

The Cantonese fried kuay teow was pretty tasty, only because the gravy was rich and eggy. Some people might find the gravy a tad rich, but I love it that way. The kuay teow lacked wok hei, so the rich gravy was a saving grace.

Dinner came up to about RM190 for all the above. For the ambiance, service and food quality, I reckon it’s pretty good value for money.

Ambiance: 6.5/10
Price: 5.5/10
Food: 6.5/10 (non-halal)
Verdict: Decent food, fair portions and reasonable prices.

No. 5, Jalan Solaris 4,
Solaris Mont Kiara,
50480 Kuala Lumpur
03 6203 0223

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