Monday, June 2, 2008

Eat dim sum to your heart’s content without breaking the bank

The Star - Jun 2, 2008 By THO XIN YI

THE trick in making dim sum is to be innovative and creative, yet not losing the traditional touches.

Chef Yau Kim Yew of Golden Phoenix Restaurant in Hotel Equatorial Kuala Lumpur takes great pleasure in inventing unique dim sum.

“I love to create and improve on different types of dim sum, and I enjoy the wonderful sense of accomplishment when my customers like what I have made,” he said.

Innovative chef: Chef Yau with the dim sum he created.

Possibly the youngest dim sum chef working in the Kuala Lumpur hotels, Yau started to learn the tricks of the trade at the age of 19.

“I entered this line of work out of my passion for indulging in dim sum. I worked in restaurants before I joined hotels, and became a chef at 27,” said the 29-year-old.

Yau has introduced some new dishes in the recently revamped dim sum menu and topping the list are Deep Fried Seafood Banana Rolls with Wasabi Sauce and Deep Fried Prawns with Cheese.

The Deep Fried dim sum: (From top) Deep Fried Prawns with Cheese, Pan Fried Minced Pork Meat Buns with Vegetables and Deep Fried Seafood Banana Rolls with Wasabi Sauce.

As its name suggests, the first item contains seafood, banana and wasabi – an unusual combination indeed.

“When fried, the banana is very aromatic and the wasabi adds a mild spicy flavour,” said Yau.

He assured diners that the Deep Fried Prawns with Cheese was not too cheesy as only a small portion of mozzarella cheese was added to the paste, before it was coated with cubed breadcrumbs and deep-fried in hot oil until the dim sum was crispy.

Meanwhile, the Pan Fried Minced Pork Meat Buns with Vegetables is a Shanghai-style dim sum item with pork, spring onion, ginger and pok choy.

Natural colour: Shredded red cabbage is visible in this Steamed Prawn Dumpling, adding some colour to the otherwise plain dim sum.

“It is steamed before being pan-fried to bring out its aroma,” Yau said, adding that all flour used in making dim sum was imported from Hong Kong to ensure the smooth texture of the buns.

Diners who do not fancy fried dim sum can opt for the 14 types of steamed dim sum available in the menu.

“In other restaurants, the prawn dumpling often contains mushrooms, but I add vegetables in our Steamed Prawn Dumplings with Red Cabbage. The appealing colour of this dim sum is natural, coming from the vegetables,” said Yau.

Another unique creation by Yau is the Steamed Sand Buns of Golden Phoenix.

The paste in the bun is made of salted egg yolk, milk powder and milk. When served, the paste that oozes from the soft bun is smooth and piping hot.

The Steamed Octopus and Prawn Dumpling is a fusion of Japanese and Chinese fare.

Fusion fare: The Japanese-inspired Steamed Octopus and Prawn Dumpling.

“I feel that the Japanese and the Chinese share a similar eating culture and thus the ingredients can be mixed and matched to bring about optimum results,” he said.

For dessert, Yau recommends Chilled Aloe with Butter Paste and Chilled Mango Pancakes.

“The former features aloe vera cubes served in blended avocado. We do not add sugar to it so the sweetness is all natural, from the fruits in this dessert,” he said.

As for the Chilled Mango Pancakes, the choice of mango is important.

“We import the mangoes from either India or Sri Lanka as these mangoes are very aromatic,” Yau explained.

Currently, there is a Yum Ley Sek (eat all you can) dim sum promotion until year-end.

Diners can order any steamed and deep-fried dim sum, congee and rice flour rolls. The promotion also includes three types of dessert chosen by the restaurant.

Priced at RM48++ per adult and RM24++ per child, the promotion is only available on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.

Reservations are preferred.

GOLDEN PHOENIX, Hotel Equatorial, Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur (Tel: 03-2161 7777 ext 8223). Dim sum is available from noon to 2.30pm on weekdays and Saturdays, and from 11am to 2.30pm on Sundays and public holidays. Non-halal.

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