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My unwritten policy on food review is that I usually don’t review the same place twice, but when Elegant Inn came calling, there was no doubt that an exception had to be made.

The experience I had at Elegant Inn on the last review was so good I couldn’t possibly pass up another chance. Thank you Meena!

Elegant Inn's chef Wesley Ng & Timothy Johnson of Standard Chartered
Elegant Inn’s chef Wesley Ng & Timothy Johnson of Standard Chartered

As with the previous two posts, this review is  about the Extravagant 8 menu with  Standard Chartered. Basically credit card member from the bank can enjoy this 8 course dinner for 8 person at the price of RM 888++ during the duration of the promotion that runs from 20th Jan till 17th Feb, 2011.

fresh yee sang to welcome the year of Rabbit
fresh yee sang to welcome the year of Rabbit

We started off with yee sang.

While Gu Yue Tien‘s version with its strawberry sauce is pretty new age and Li Yen’s prototypically traditional, Elegant Inn’s yee sang’s philosophy is something in the middle. Every ingredient is freshly prepared on the same day, there’s crushed nuts, plum sauce, oil, and also fresh raw salmon and jelly fish too.

The taste is a little more subtle, but you can feel the freshness. I like it.

double boiled village chicken soup w cordyceps flowers & US top shell
double boiled village chicken soup w cordyceps flowers & US top shell

Then came the double boiled village chicken soup, A whole kampung chicken double boiled with cordyceps flower, US top shell, dried scallops, oysters, cutter fish, and a few other ingredients.

The owner Jeanette leave no secrets as to what goes into the soup for the effort of making one  yourself would worth way more trouble (and cost in ingredients flown from HK & other places) than simply going to Elegant Inn and order a bowl (even if it costs RM 128 on the menu).

The soup of course, was superb. The server separates the ingredients and then presents us the soup as is. I of course, still picks up the chicken, scallops and such and send them to my mouth while enjoying the liquid. No wastage ok.

golden fried estuary grouper with chinese leeks, crystal prawns - signature salted egg yolk style
golden fried estuary grouper with chinese leeks
crystal prawns – signature salted egg yolk style

Next up was a big slice of “long dan”, or estuary grouper (giant grouper). The difference between deep fried and “golden fried” is that the fish is prepared by pouring hot oil over and over again until cooked. This method ensures that minimal amount of oil absorbed by the fish, thus the natural flavor is sealed in.

A deceptively simple looking dish that is really yummy. I’m still dreaming of the grouper’s skin.

Then it was the crystal prawns with signature salted egg yolk style. “Signature egg yolk” style because the chef painstakingly prepare and melt the egg yolks into the prawns instead of leaving them on the shells. This way you don’t have to lick the prawn’s shell for egg yolk and then eat the prawn meat pretty much separately afterwards.

The extra effort obviously paid off, it was delicious.

Haze, golden boneless stuffed chicken with chicken tomato salad
Haze, golden boneless stuffed chicken with chicken tomato salad

Then there’s this golden boneless stuffed chicken, a dish that is so unique I couldn’t have imagined it in a thousand years.

The chicken is basically stripped completely, leaving only the skin. A layer of prawn is then “stuffed” under the skin, and everything is roasted till it looks almost like the skin of suckling pig. The end result? It tasted as good as it is fancy. Crispy chicken skin with succulent prawns makes a very good combination, who would have thought?

The left over chicken meat is served on top of little slices of tomato at the side.

braised sea cucumber with dried oyster, fatt choy & mushroom, KY
braised sea cucumber with dried oyster, fatt choy & mushroom, KY

We had braised sea cucumber with dried oyster next, a classic Chinese dish for CNY. The dried oyster’s imported from Hong Kong, fat and juicy. I’ve always enjoyed sea cucumber, and this one did not disappoint at all.

braised seafood rice w australian scallop, desserts
braised seafood rice w australian scallop, desserts

Instead of fried rice, we had braised seafood rice instead. The rice is wrapped with lotus leaf and cooked with Australian scallop, fresh crab meat, and abalone sauce. At Elegant Inn, abalone sauce really does mean that they made the sauce with real abalone.

I’m usually not a big fan with the rice at the end of an 8 course meal, but I couldn’t help it, I finished my portion this time despite being pretty much full to the brim already.

We wind things down with some desserts – pan fried traditional rice cake & hazelnut cookie and chilled Japanese pumpkin sago with green bean. The two desserts, just like everything we had at Elegant Inn, were pretty good too, but by then I was pretty much deep in food coma already.

map to Elegant Inn, KL
Address:
2.01, 2nd Floor, Podium Block,
Menara Hap Seng,
Jalan P.Ramlee,
50250 Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.153034,101.70752
Tel: 03-2070 9399

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.

Elegant Inn Hong Kong Cuisine
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
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.

Elegant Inn Hong Kong Cuisine
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.

Elegant Inn Hong Kong Cuisine
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.

Elegant Inn Hong Kong Cuisine
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.

Elegant Inn Hong Kong Cuisine
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.

Elegant Inn Hong Kong Cuisine
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.

Elegant Inn Hong Kong Cuisine
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.

Elegant Inn Hong Kong Cuisine
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.

Map to Elegant Inn at Menara Hup Seng
Elegant Inn is located at Menara Hup Seng.

Address:
2.01, 2nd Floor, Podium Block,
Menara Hap Seng,
Jalan P.Ramlee,
50250 Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.153034,101.70752
Tel: 03-2070 9399