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2 February 2009
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Saturday, 24th January 2009

Yee sang for vegetarians

By SALINA KHALID
YEE Sang is usually available in several options. One can choose to have salmon, jellyfish, abalone or lobster.
But, at the Xuang Xi Chinese Restaurant in Best Western Premier Seri Pacific Hotel Kuala Lumpur, guests can also opt for mixed fruit or seaweed yee sang.

“The mixed fruit and seaweed yee sang are specially prepared for vegetarians who do not take seafood,” said the hotel’s sous chef, Leong Keng Kit.

He said the mixed fruit yee sang used fruits such as Japanese pear, Fuji apple and green mango together with radish, pickled papaya, carrot, baby cucumber and ginger.

“We use only olive oil for the yee sang for health reasons,” he said.

According to him, yee sang is traditionally prepared on the seventh day of the Chinese New Year, which is believed to be the birthday of mankind.

But, at the hotel, customers can enjoy the dish anytime during its Chinese New Year promotion at Xuang Xi Chinese Restaurant.

Bounty of the sea: Chef Leong with baked freshwater prawn with garlic (left) and steamed garoupa.

Bounty of the sea: Chef Leong with baked freshwater prawn with garlic (left) and steamed garoupa.

Chef Leong and chef Tan Lai Tong, the hotel’s assistant Chinese chef, have prepared smoked salmon, Thai-style jellyfish, sliced abalone and lobster yee sang for the Chinese New Year. The promotion runs until Feb 8.

The yee sang is priced from RM45++ for a half portion of the vegetarian yee sang to RM250++ for a whole portion of sliced abalone yee sang.

Chef Leong said those who wished to order the lobster yee sang would have to place an advance order. The lobster yee sang is priced at RM38 per 100g.

In addition to the yee sang, guests can also order the restaurant’s signature dishes during the promotion. The baked freshwater prawn with garlic is a must-try.

The prawns, which are split lengthwise and smothered with butter, sesame oil and freshly chopped garlic, are baked in a wok until they are cooked.

As the crustaceans are seasoned only with garlic and butter, one can taste their freshness. According to chef Leong, the secret to making the dish lies in the time it is cooked. Cooking it too long would result in the prawns becoming tough, while most diners did not like prawns that were undercooked. It only needs about 10 minutes in the wok before it is ready to serve, the chef revealed. Another must-have for the Chinese New Year meal is fish, and chef Leong recommends the steamed garoupa.

The fish is served with slices of Japanese black mushroom, bamboo shoot and cured turkey meat. For those who prefer to have meat instead, the baked lamb rack is a good choice. The special gold medal lamb rack from New Zealand is baked to one’s liking and served with home-made black pepper sauce. The sauce was not too overpowering and went well with the tender meat. “This is one of our signature dishes and, to date, we have never had anyone who was not happy with the dish,” he said.

The lamb is served with pasta and vegetables. During the review, Chef Leong also served a variety of dim sum, deep-fried pei pah bean curd and fried rice with crab meat and scallop. Our meal was brought to a close with vanilla ice cream with mango puree and sago.

XUANG XI CHINESE RES­TAURANT
Best Western Premier Seri Pacific Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Putra, Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 03-4042 5555

Business hours: Monday to Friday, 10am-2.30pm (lunch) and 6.30pm-10.30pm (dinner); Saturday, 10am-2.30 (lunch) and 6.30pm-10.30pm (buffet dim sum). Closed for dinner on Sunday.

Originally appeared in The Star.