Have you stepped into Toh Yuen, the Chinese restaurant in Hilton Petaling Jaya recently? If you have, then you would appreciate how much better it looks now. It looks less cluttered, brighter and has a classier contemporary elegance about it now. Having undergone quite an extensive renovation, I love the elegant hues of celadon paired with muted cream accents. The whole ambience breathes “renewal” and “rejuvenation” the moment you enter through the elegant doors flanked by intricately patterned metal frames.
Impressive and elegant entrance
Chinese Executive Chef Sam Lu and his team have crafted some special pork-free Cantonese dishes to welcome the Year of the Goat. The sumptuous set meals – four celebratory banquet menus are priced from RM1,288++ for the Everlasting Happiness Set to RM1,988++ for the Sea of Prosperity Set, all for tables of 10 persons. Some of the special festive dishes available are Braised Stuffed Dried Oysters with Broccoli, Braised Top Shells, Stir-fried Crab Meat with Egg White and Shanghainese Wok-fried Tiger Prawns.
Of course every one of the auspicious festive menu starts with a Yee Sang. There are several choices available at Toh Yuen – choose from the Fresh Salmon & Baby Abalone Yee Sang, or the Geoduck & Jellyfish Yee Sang or Fresh Salmon & Jellyfish Yee Sang. We had the Salmon and Chinese Pear Yee Sang which was very refreshing – the crunch of the sweet pear added on a lovely texture to the prosperity salad.
Black moss is a must-have item in Chinese New Year dishes and I had plenty of this in the Braised Fatt Choy Crab Meat Soup. Full of umami goodness, every spoonful of the thick sweet soup yielded murmurs of approval all round the table.
Can’t have a festive meal without fish as it’s a symbol of abundance. The Steamed Garoupa just needed some simple embellishments like onion oil and light soya sauce to enhance its natural sweetness.
Simmered Chicken with Cantonese Galangal Sauce would be good for those who prefer light flavours in a gently poached chicken. The galangal here turned out to be the milder sand ginger and this was used in the dipping sauce. This dish was very homely both in taste and presentation – it reminded me of the way my mother used to prepare poached chicken at home.
The Tiger Prawns poached in Chinese Herbs were lovely and tasty in their simplicity. Naturally, live or very fresh prawns were used as their natural marine sweetness was the highlight of the dish.
It’s quite traditional to have a seafood dish in a festive banquet, so we had the Braised Top Shells with Stuffed Oysters and Mushrooms in very umami Abalone Sauce. I didn’t care much for the spongy top shells but the stuffed oysters were delicious.
Crispy Fried Rice Noodles with Seafood was the deluxe version of Cantonese Noodles (“wat tan hor”). Half of the flat rice noodles (kway teow) had been fried till puffed-up and crispy and these had to be eaten immediately otherwise once they absorbed the gravy, they became rather gooey and chewy.
Lemongrass Jelly has always been my favourite so I was happy with the Osmanthus Olive pairing with the jelly. Toh Yuen also has Steamed Nian Gao with Shredded Coconut on the festive desserts list. While I love nian gao, I didn’t care for the desiccated coconut used to coat them. Fresh coconut shavings would have been far much better as here in Malaysia, we really don’t have a good excuse not to use fresh coconuts.
The festive “Fatt Choy” sets are available for both lunch and dinner until 5 March 2015. Toh Yuen Restaurant remains open on Chinese New Year Eve and throughout the 15-day celebration.
For reservations, please call 03-7955-9122 ext.4073.
Toh Yuen Restaurant
Hilton Petaling Jaya
No.2 Jalan Barat
46200 Petaling Jaya