Elegant Inn, unlike the slightly more famed Holiday Inn, is a pretty high class restaurant serving Hong Kong cuisine and not a hotel chain. This is among the things I learn from the invitation to the said restaurant at Menara Hup Seng a couple Saturdays ago.
classy indoor as and alfresco dining areas at Elegant Inn
The invitation was extended by Millennium Associates, on behalf of Jeanette of Elegant Inn. Mellissa and I were joined by Jasmine (epicuriousgirl) and her friend Jess in this review session. The four of us were seated in a private room as the host insists that we be treated to a full dining experience.
Elegant Inn first started at Taman Connaught before opening this outlet at the heart of KL, explained Jeanette as she suggests what we should have for lunch.
yee sang with all natural ingredients
Naturally, we started off with yee sang, the unique Malaysian Chinese New Year tradition. This was my 4th yee sang session and I was more than happy to find out that the yee sang here is slightly different. All natural and most importantly, fresh ingredients are used. Pamelo, raddish, cucumber, smoked salmon, crackers, jellyfish, etc. Auspiciousness in a slightly healthier style.
Appetizer: soft shell crab, fried calamari, seared scallop on tofu
A huge plate of nicely presented dish was then served as the appetizer. There’s the slightly spicy soft shell crab with plenty of onion, a portion of salt and pepper calamari (椒盐鲜鱿)，and four lightly seared scallops sitting on tofu.
Scallop is always one of my favorites. The combination of soft tofu and succulent scallop provided the perfect start for this meal. I had the calamari followed by soft shell crabs and they were both very good as well, one salty and crunch while the other spicy and fragrant. By now I was convinced we’re into something pretty special.
double boiled soup
Next came the pretty impressive double boiled soup. Pork, ribs, tripe, shell chunks, phoenix claws, kampung chicken, scallops, and preserved vegetable boiled for 4-6 hours, the traditional way. End result is a bowl of very rich tasting soup with a hint of pepper and a mixture of sweetness from all the ingredients.
This soup reminds me of the one I had at Sheraton, they’re both at the same high level while not exactly similar in taste or ingredients.
steamed Australian Jade Perch and stuffed chicken wings
Like any proper Chinese meal, we have fish next. Live Australian Jade Perch is not a fish commonly found in Malaysian restaurant unless frozen, Jeanette told us about one of her many expeditions in sourcing ingredients. The steamed fish was done just right with it’s smooth texture and sweet seafood taste preserved in a very light seasoning. I particularly love the fatty belly portion the waitress expertly boned.
Jeanette insisted that we should try their stuffed chicken wing, and so we did. The wings came out looking like what you would expect, and it wasn’t until cutting it open do you see the wonder of their culinary skills. Gone were the bones and replaced with a mixture of ham, water chestnuts, prawns, and more. Eight ingredients in total. The wings were rather delicious and probably makes for perfect beer tidbits.
fried rice, bitter gourd with salted vegetable (ham choy), choy sum with waxed goose liver
Bitter gourd with salted vegetable is one Elegant Inn’s signature dishes, and that suits me just fine since I love bitter gourd. The very subtle salted vegetable taste blends with the spiciness of chili and the rather strong version of bitter gourd was very addictive to me, but I hazard it is not a dish for everyone.
The choy sum with waxed goose liver (腊鸸肝) was a very sinful dish. The wax meat tasted something in between dried meat and foie gras, with that sliver of liver bitterness and very rich texture and taste. You could almost feel your arteries contracting but it was impossible to stop having “just another piece”. To me, the choy sum was almost just an excuse to have this sinful ingredient.
Jeanette went into a long and elaborated speech on their dancing fried rice, explaining how they use 2 grades of rice kept in 2 different temperatures, and how the eggs had to be fried first, the wok washed and then top grade dried shrimps from HK fried next, wash the work again and finally add everything in while tossing the rice non stop till it’s cooked.
That just seems like too much work for good old fashion fried rice, and I didn’t see the point until I actually tasted the dish myself. It was simply the best fried rice I’ve had, you can literally taste the individual grain and the distinct flavor added by crab meat and bits of dried shrimps, eggs, and green onion. This is a must-orderdish.
steamed brown sugar cake, mini egg tarts
As we start to wind down, Jeanette brought out some very tasty mini egg tarts and steamed brown sugar cake (malai kou in Cantonese 馬拉糕). They were both very delicious and properly made traditional Chinese pastries I wish I could have more. We finished them despite the already rather full stomach.
mango pudding with milk, tong sui (糖水）with mochi
The lunch session was ended on a sweet note. We were served a couple bowls of tong sui (糖水), sweet ginger soup with mochi and the sea coconut with fungus and logan soup. In addition to that, we also had the mango pudding with milk that had chunks of mango in every scoop, just like the way it is supposed to be.
Mellissa, Jeanette, and Yours Truly
I was as overly stuffed as I was impressed with Elegant Inn at this point. It was one of the best lunch experience I’ve ever had in a Chinese restaurant. Quality of food as well as the ambiance were both excellent. I had no idea how much the meal costs and yes, the prices would be on the higher side but considering the experience and quality provided here, it will be well worth it.
Elegant Inn is located at Menara Hup Seng.
2.01, 2nd Floor, Podium Block,
Menara Hap Seng,
50250 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2070 9399