NOT a food blog
I could wax lyrical about Chef Choi all day and night.
Chef Choi serves Cantonese cuisine, although some of the dishes may come across as fusion. My enthusiasm stems largely from the quality of the food; you can’t go wrong with top notch ingredients. For instance, one can get matsusaka beef here. Matsusaka beef is a form of wagyu from the Matsusaka region of Japan, and interestingly enough, the meat comes from heifers. Similar to Kobe beef, the cows receive the usual pampering – massages, soothing music and a rich diet. A cow’s life, indeed. And so, our dining experience began – with a serving of matsusaka beef, vietnamese spring roll and a foie gras on bread. An excellent beginning – the beef was well marbled and tender and the foie gras was good enough to be eaten alone. Chinese cuisine, you say?
Think of the aromatic duck as a value-for-money-meal. Even the bones are edible. You get your protein AND your calcium. Honestly, I was amazed at how brittle the bones were. A dog’s life isn’t so bad, either. The duck skin was crisp and tasty. I’d even go to the extent of calling it the perfect duck. Da duck didn’t die in vain. An alliterating tongue twister. Wait, not quite. Da duck didn’t die in dain. (Definition of dain: Colloquial Scots, particularly North East Scotland meaning “doing” . A typical example may be “Fit i Ye Dain?'” = “What are you Doing?” Can also be “Dein”.)
If you think that’s indulgence, let me tell you that I had a most amazing suckling pig as well. Fatboybakes described it well: “Crisp skin, not too fatty, cos the slicing of the skin was expertly done, so the fat was on the meat, not on the skin.”
In an earlier post, I mentioned that I was not a fan of fried fish. We were served a fried soon hock (marbled goby), which left us aghast – I mean, the very thought of frying a soon hock (expensive) and slathering a sweet and spicy sauce couldn’t possibly be good – what were they thinking? But you know what? It was good. The fish was fresh, the flesh was firm, and we had absolutely no complaints. Be open to possibilities and new experiences.
I liked the prawns in superior soy sauce, sticky and sweet, although the one served in Oversea in Imbi wins my vote for this kind of preparation. The steamed chicken served with young ginger paste is one dish I’d order again. Don’t skip the ginger sauce. In appearance, it looks just like any other ginger paste, like what is served with chicken rice, but one mouthful is enough to convince you that this is a far superior sauce to any other, primarily because young ginger is used, and it is freshly ground.
The noodles deserved a pedestal of their own. Yee mee with lobster. How luxurious is that? Fan pei noodles (made of soy bean) was something I was trying for the first time – translucent in appearance with a bite to it. My absolute favourite was the sang mee with prawn roe – a simple dish that was bursting in flavour. Sometimes, limiting the number of ingredients in a dish to three or four is enough. The tomato noodles was zingy thanks to the vinegar in the sauce, but the flavours mellowed after being kept overnight (yes, I did the test).
For desserts, the almond milk with papaya was brilliantly presented in an environmental-friendly receptacle. They don’t have just typical Chinese desserts here; in fact, one of their popular desserts is the molten chocolate cake.
Until the end of August 2009, Chef Choi is offering a 25% discount for dine-ins.
Thanks very much, Marian Eu, for arranging this amazing dinner, and Cheng Sim, for hosting it. I dedicate my additional 2kg near my belly to you.
159 Jalan Ampang
Tel: 03-2163 5866
Food, for me, is a means to an end and not an end in itself.
Food, for me, represents the love of family, the fellowship of friends, and the community and communality it brings.