Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Mandarin Oriental's Nanjing Food Promotion at Lai Po Heen

Lai Po Heen
First Floor, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur City Centre
Business hours: Lunch, Monday to Saturday (noon to 2.30pm) and Sunday and public holidays (11am to 3pm); dinner, Monday to Sunday (7pm to 10.30pm)
Reservations: 03-21798885

Nanjing chefs have been flown in especially for the promotion at Mandarin Oriental Hotel’s Lai Po Heen restaurant.

The duo of head chef Luo Yong Hui, 40, and his assistant chef Ji Liang, 34, from Nanjing’s Noveau Cuisine restaurant take the guests on a gastronomic journey of Nanjing cuisine at Lai Po Heen until Sunday.

Nanjing speciality: (Clockwise from top left) Scallops with Crabmeat and Celery, Roasted Duck with Bean Curd Broth, Fried Chicken Nanjing style, Wok-fried Lamb Slices, and Braised Rice with Abalone.
According to Ji Liang, duck meat is a prominent feature in Nanjing cuisine because it is commonly reared there.

For appetisers, the chefs recommended Nanjing’s famous salt-flavoured duck that is served as a cold cut and lotus root with honey sauce.

Signature dish: Fried chicken Nanjing style.
In ancient times, people in Nanjing used salt to preserve the duck meat and later boil the meat to eat. The dish is still popular with the Nanjing people today.

The lotus root is sliced very thinly and the raw roots are soaked for at least two hours in a sauce, which comprised rice vinegar and ginger juice.

For those who would rather have hot starters to warm their stomachs, there is the braised duck with bean curd broth.

“Like the famous Peking duck, people also only eat the skin and top layer of a roast duck in Nanjing cuisine. So we usually use the rest of the meat to make this dish,” Ji Liang said.

The roasted duck meat is finely diced and cooked in duck stock with bean curd, black mushrooms, bamboo shoots and spring onions.

Delectable: Luo (left) holding the Scallops with Crabmeat and Celery dish while Ji Liang is with the wok-fried lamb slices. On the table are (clockwise from top left) Roasted Duck with Bean Curd Broth, Braised Rice with Abalone, Fried Chicken Nanjing style, and Green Tea Pancake.
According to Ji Liang, the dish has been served in Nanjing for over a thousand years.

Unlike Cantonese cuisine where meat is typically stir-fried in gravy, some of the Nanjing dishes have meat pieces that are deep fried before being stir-fried with other ingredients.

One of Luo’s signature dishes is the fried chicken Nanjing style. Small pieces of chicken wing is deep-fried and then tossed in the wok with black beans and a generous amount of chopped garlic that had been deep-fried separately.

Another dish that features deep-fried meat is the wok fried lamb slices. Thin slices of lamb is coated with flour and deep-fried. The meat is then sautéed in light gravy with cumin seeds and bamboo shoots.

“We adapted this dish from the Mongolian style of cooking lamb. Instead of grilling the meat which makes the meat tough, we deep fry the meat instead so that it remains tender,” Luo said.

The braised rice with abalone is unlike other fried rice. Steamed fragrant rice is fried with eggs and set aside. Thick gravy cooked with chicken broth, prawns, scallops, abalone and cuttlefish is then poured on top of the plain fried rice.

For dessert, the chefs suggest the savoury green tea pancake with peanuts, onions and shallots, something different from the usual sweets for afters.

Source : STAR
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