Organic melon, golden pumpkin, fruits Yee Sang

I’m horrified. (tap tap)  Somewhere between Typing Tutor (a DOS based program in the 80s) and now, someone changed the 2-space rule after the period. (tap tap)  My friend, Chet, posted an article on Facebook which cited the AP Stylebook as one of its sources, and as I understand it, most of the youth of today, or those who started typing after circa 1989 (don’t quote me) have been adding one space instead of two after the period. (tap tap) I felt like a failure for all of 2 minutes, then realised that I should not let my feelings be affected by a body that is bent on saving space by leaving out alphabets (eg. color, flavor, aluminum). (tap tap) Of course, we can’t blame the Americans for everything, and the 1-space rule after the period probably surfaced due to some green movement (imagine how many trees are saved by the Americans/1-space rule advocates/young punks), but it’s hard for me to embrace change now.


A public service announcement.  If you love steaks and want to win a 4 day/3 night trip to the land down under, do take part in the Las Vacas Steak Challenge.  Details are available on their Facebook page.  The closing date is 13 February 2011 and participants are limited to 60, so hurry.


It’s still Chinese New Year, so until the 15th day is up, you’ll be seeing only Chinese New Year posts in line with the festive cheer.  Today’s entry is Chynna, a pork-free restaurant which I love to frequent thanks to the Hilton card which offers me loads of discounts.  Discounts aside, the food’s pretty good, and the decor, opulent.  Be ready to be greeted by a long-neck-teapot-wielding-kungfu-man (i.e. a man holding a long-necked teapot as opposed to a long-necked man holding a teapot) as he performs some impressive stunts before pouring you a cup of 8-treasures tea sans spills.  The tableware is gorgeous while the entire place is awash in saturated hues.   Simply beautiful.

The Extravagant 8 Set Menu at Chynna is premised on a healthy concept, or at least, as healthy as it possibly can be.  The vegetarian yee sang was a delight to eat despite the lack of fish or seafood primarily because it felt less oily and sweet thanks to the restrained use of olive oil and plum sauce. One of the key ingredients used was organic “sharks fin” melon, a kind of squash where the flesh resembled shredded sharks fin with none of the guilt.  Golden pumpkin and fruits completed the picture.

I love a hot and sour soup, so Chynna’s version with kimchi, fish maw and bamboo pith was a pleasure to consume.  With all these creative ways of presenting soup, it’s quite possible to see the easy demise of sharks fin dishes.  Kudos to Standard Chartered Bank and the participating restaurants for paving the way.

My favourite dish that evening was the steamed Canadian cod, a fresh (as is possible for imported fish), firm piece of fish served in a slightly spicy sauce made with dried shrimps, onions, chilli, coriander and fermented black beans.  The cod was the small scaled variety which, according to Chef Lam Hock Hin, was sweeter than the regular type.  Actually, half the battle is won when fresh ingredients are used, and yet, there are still restaurants out there that deem it fit to serve substandard items.  Blame it on price levels, consumer habits, etc, but if we’re expected to be a force to be reckoned with in the food universe, we should start with the freshest local produce possible.

Hilton Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur Sentral

Tel: 03-2264 2264

In conjunction with the Chinese New Year celebration this year, the best chefs from 8 top Chinese restaurants in the Klang Valley have customised special Extravagant 8 menus, priced at RM888++ for a table of 8, exclusively for Standard Chartered credit card holders. The menus are available from January 20 to February 17, 2011. More details on the restaurants, their offerings and T&Cs are available at the Standard Chartered website.

Thank you, Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia and Hilton Kuala Lumpur for kindly hosting this dinner.

Note: This is the fourth of five reviews under the Standard Chartered Extravagant 8 campaign. Earlier reviews:

Shanghai, JW Marriott

Li Yen, Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur

Gu Yue Tien, Chulan Square

“Sharks fin” melon used in yee sang

The beautiful Bangsar-Babe holding up the beautiful and intricately designed plate

Hot and sour soup with kimchi, fish maw and bamboo pith

Steamed Canadian cod in fisherman sauce

Stewed sun dried oysters with fatt choy, braised peanuts and chicken

Wok fried nian gao with Chinese cabbage and mushrooms

Ginger syrup with glutinous dumplings

Chef Lam Hock Hin