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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / poon choi

Paradise Group, originally started in Singapore, has been making inroads to the local Chinese restaurant scene as a worthy competitor to the likes of Dragon-i and Din Tai Fung. Definitely a good thing if you ask me.

Last week, I had the chance to sample their Hakka Poon Choi (盆菜), a limited-time CNY special at Paradise Dynasty, Bangsar Village II. The session was organized by HungryGoWhere Malaysia.

Paradise Dynasty at Bangsar Village 2
Paradise Dynasty at Bangsar Village 2

My previous experience with Paradise group was at Paradise Inn, Sunway Pyramid. While Paradise Inn serves some of the best double boiled soup, classic tea, and desserts along side Chinese dishes, Paradise Dynasty concentrates on northern and southern Chinese cuisine with an innovative touch. There are dishes you find in one but not the other, though there are certainly many that overlaps.

The kitchen is only separated by a few pane of glasses from the public, where you can observe the crafty chefs preparing xiao long bao (小龙包).

modern interpretation of xiao long bao, hot and sour soup
modern interpretation of xiao long bao, hot and sour soup

We started the night with their signature 8-flavor xiao long bao (RM 24++). They come in multitude of colors with each consisting different ingredients in them.

  • original (translucent white)
  • foie gras (orange)
  • black truffle (black)
  • crab roe (light orange)
  • cheese (yellow)
  • ginseng (green)
  • minced garlic (grey)
  • Szechuan (pink)

I tried the black truffle, foie gras, and ginseng variety and found them to be pretty unique and rather well made. While the foie gras/truffle tastes weren’t particularly strong, you can still tell what they are even if eating with your eyes closed. A little gimmicky, yes, but one that works for me.

The hot and soup soup was thick and quite flavorful, though I’d prefer it to be slightly more spicy. I’m glad that this soup that was impossible to find just a few years ago is now quite common in Malaysia, it was one of the dishes I missed from US.

Hakka poon choi, this is what we're here for
Hakka poon choi, this is what we’re here for

Then came the poon choi, (RM 388++ for 4-6 pax, RM 688++ for 8-10 pax) and what a handsome dish it was. The dish is served in a clay pot to retain heat, and we were explained that since the dish comes with thick abalone broth, having a heat source underneath the pot would burn the dish, which isn’t going to be a good thing.

how many ingredients can you spot here? there are 16 in total
how many ingredients can you spot here? there are 16 in total

There were 16 different ingredients in all, including abalone, goose feet, fish maw, sea cucumber, fresh scallop, prawns, dried oysters, mushroom, brocolli, and more.

We really enjoyed the dish, and my only minor complain was that the goose feet could perhaps be made just a bit softer, but I finished it nonetheless, it was positively wholesome.

By the way, they are also available for take-away.

crab meat with egg white, crystal prawn with salted egg, spicy chicken with dried chili
crab meat with egg white, crystal prawn with salted egg, spicy chicken with dried chili

We also tried their crab meat with egg white and yolk, a pretty unique dish that is made from egg white, yolk, and some seafood but without any crab. However, it ends up tasting a bit like crab meat, which is rather interesting. As explained by the PR person, this dish was invented because the empress wanted to have crab but it was not in season, hence the chefs came up with this to avoid a head/neck separation incident. I don’t know how true is this but it does make a good story.

The other two dishes we sampled were crystal prawn with salted egg that was good enough to eat with shells and all, and a spicy chicken with dried chili dish (辣子鸡) that I can’t seem to stop putting in my mouth (only I wish there was beer).

KY & May Ying, with HungryGoWhere users and more
KY & May Ying, with HungryGoWhere users and more

map to Bangsar Village 2

Address:
Paradise Dynasty
Lot 2F-17, Level 2
Bangsar Village 2
Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.13071, 101.67146
Tel03-2201 7022

Last night the infamous #porkgang had our first ever annual dinner at restaurant LYJ. Even though we’ve been having lunches, dinners, and activities like go-karting and such for quite a number of months, it was actually the first time all of us showed up all at the same time.

A little bit of background.

It all started on Twitter, we were organizing dinners and had too many people’s twitter nickname to include on every replies, in a flash of epiphany, I came up with the #porkgang hastag since we love to eat pork, and the group name was formed.

The members are: Kim, Gareth, Suan, Kerol, Eric, Jac, Cheesie, Horng, Ruby, Terence, Haze, FA, and of course, yours truly.


at restaurant LYJ, they serve pork lard with rice, as Kim pointed out

Anyway, for the dinner, Jac and Kim came up with the idea of Poon Choi. Poon Choi (盆菜) is basically a whole lot of top dishes served in a basin (traditionally wooden) to be shared with a bunch of hungry souls.It was said that the origin of Poon Choi came from the people serving their best delicacies to the Song Dynastic’s young emperor and his soldiers who fled from Mongol troops.

Though we’re not fleeing from anything, we felt like we deserved to eat like an emperor at all time, so Poon Choi it is then.

When it comes to Poon Choi, the one place that consistently came up from search result (and recommendations) is Restaurant LYJ at Sungai Buloh. Naturally, we went there.


yee sang is a must, the first one for #porkgang

The restaurant is located at a pretty old school part of Sg. Buloh, parking isn’t the easiest, nor finding the place without the help of GPS assistance, but it is one place that is definitely worth a visit or three.

Since it was still Chinese New Year, (the thirteen day, with thirteen members, how apt) we started off with yee sang (RM 28) – for prosperity, health, and wealth!


glorious poon choi, what you see is only the top layer

Everyone arrived at the dinner table at around 7:30pm, and by 7:40pm the glorious Poon Choi is served!

The RM 238 package comes with 1/2 boiled kampung chicken, 1/2 crispy roast duck, 12 salt & pepper prawn, brewed ma-yao fish, sea cucumber, stewed pork, fish maw, abalone, pork knuckle, chicken legs, and mushroom; while the RM 480 package adds brewed oyster and pork ribs, a whole can of Australian abalone, 12 scallops, and shark’s fin. A plate of vegetable (in this case, kai lan) is served with the Poon Choi.

Naturally we went for the RM 480 package for the 13+2 of us.


kai lan, the glorious pork lard rice, and the second layer of poon choi

The dish is separated into two layers, with the dry ingredients (scallop, chicken, duck, prawn, ribs, abalone, oyster) on top and the soupy stuff at the bottom layer (mushroom, chicken feet, pork knuckle, fish, fish maw, stewed pork). The entire thing were rather delicious, the only criticism, if any, were that there were a bit too much arrowroots for my liking.

As we called ourself the #porkgang, we naturally ordered their pork lard rice (RM 3) to go with everything. It was probably the most impressive rice that I’ve ever had, just very very flavorful. Cheesie said she’s already missing the pork lard rice even as we were having it, I certainly could use a bowl now!


the whole porkgang, all 13 members showed up for the first time

With the yee sang, 10 bowls of pork lard rice, six beer, and that basin of goodness, total bill came to RM 620 for the 15 of us, or just short of RM 42 per pax. It was an awesome feast and I couldn’t wait to go back there again!


restaurant LYJ isn’t too difficult to get to

Address:
PT 11, Jalan Perkhidmatan,
Kg Baru, 47000 Sungai Buloh
Selangor

GPS: 3.196949, 101.569118
Tel: 03-6140 2698
Operating Hour: 11.30 am to 2.30 pm, 6 to 10 pm, closed on Mondays