With less than a month to go before we usher in the Year of the Goat, have you planned where to head to for pre-CNY “sau koong” feasts as well as during the Chinese New Year? For months, restaurant chefs have been busy drawing up special menus for the upcoming celebrations. To crank up the prosperity factor (which is all-important during this time!), GUINNESS® has teamed up with the Grand Imperial Group of restaurants to create a special GUINNESS® banquet menu, available at all 6 Grand Imperial restaurants across Malaysia.
Eight sumptuous courses are paired with GUINNESS® stout served in different ways to complement and bring out the full flavours of each dish. Of course, the first dish has got to be the Yee Sang and for a unique twist, deep-fried crunchy Silver Bait is paired with this traditional dish. Presented in a deep round lacquer dish, thick strips of fruits and vegetables are piled high, sprinkled with crushed nuts before tossing everything up with a lovely tangy citrusy sauce. I love the strong hints of sourness in the sauce as it blends very well with the silver bait.
Next on the menu is the Braised Bird’s Nest with fresh crabmeat. Done in the traditional seafood broth style, the soup is brimming with bird’s nest and sweet bouncy crabmeat and thickened with eggwhite.
A golden platter filled with golden-hued crunchy porky skin … what else can that be but a whole Roasted Suckling Pig. Definitely a crowd pleaser, this one.
In any CNY feast, fish and prawns are must-have’s. In this menu, a whole pomfret is steamed Cantonese-style in superior soya sauce and garnished simply with coriander leaves and spring onions. The simple presentation belies the fresh sweetness of the fish, enhanced by the premium-grade soya sauce.
The Freshwater King Prawns in Casserole are cooked in a sweet and slightly spicy sauce which I thought is a bit overwhelming. They would have been perfect with some white rice though.
Braised Sliced Abalone with Black Moss & Dried Oysters is a staple dish as far as Chinese New Year is concerned. The name in Cantonese sounds very similar to “good tidings & great prosperity” so despite the expensive ingredients, this dish is seldom left out.
Claypot Rice with Chinese Sausages & Dried Meats HK-style is another dish that only makes its appearance during the lunar new year celebration. It is no wonder then that almost every restaurant will feature it in their repertoire. Here, the plate of waxed meats and sausages are served separately from the claypot rice and this could be the reason for the compromised aroma in the rice.
Of the two items in the dessert combo, I prefer the Steamed Nian Gao & Sweet Potato Pastries to the Chilled Fresh Mango Puree with Sago & Pomelo. The pieces of soft nian gao coated in coconut shavings complement very well with the crumbly crunchy pastries with soft centres of mashed sweet potatoes.
Some may think that GUINNESS® is too strong a drink to go with a Chinese dinner. Initially I had the same misgivings too but surprisingly, as dinner progressed, I found the flavours of this malty beer pretty agreeable with most of the dishes served. Diners will experience GUINNESS® in ways in which they may not have tried before, unlocking the complex flavour profiles of the bold beer. Surprisingly refreshing when served at sub-zero temperatures, moving to full and rich when served warm, the GUINNESS® Master Brewers and team of Grand Imperial chefs have painstakingly matched each course and serving style to create a good pairing.
Priced at RM1,888 nett, this special GUINNESS® New Year banquet menu is available from 13 January until 5 March, includes 2 quarts of GUINNESS® stout, as well as 2 sets of exclusive GUINNESS® ang pow.
Here’s a chance for you to strike a gold bar or two. Between 5 January – 28 February 2015, you stand a chance to win one of the 100 pure gold bars with any big bottle of Guinness, Tiger, Heineken or Anchor. All you have to do is look out for the winning bottle cap liners and answer a few questions correctly to have a chance to win one of 100 bars of pure gold worth up to RM1 million.
To book any of the Grand Imperial Restaurants, more information can be obtained at their website here.