Noble Mansion, the latest addition to the Oriental Group of Restaurants, is setting the dining index several notches up since its opening in January this year. This classy restaurant, located in Plaza 33, right next to its sister flagship restaurant, Oriental Pavilion in Jaya 33, showcases Executive Chef Justin Hor’s forte in Shunde cuisine.
Shunde is a renowned food province in Guangzhou, China and Executive Chef Justin draws his inspirations from this land, famed for its fertile soils that produce quality vegetables, poultry and river fish. It is believed that Shunde is the birthplace of Cantonese cuisine. Chef Justin and his team travelled extensively to this province to gain insights, ideas and inspiration and eventually the menus for Noble Mansion are created from this experience.
The spacious Noble Mansion is a modern interpretation of a Chinese traditional mansion, hence the name. It is divided into several sections: the Bamboo Courtyard, the Lantern, the Terracotta Rooms and the Grand Hall. Some of the private rooms come with plush karaoke facilities where you can dine and sing all night long!
Within the fine and luxuriously appointed walls of one of the terracotta rooms, we had an opportunity to sample some of Chef Justin’s Shunde-style dishes.
*Where “portions” are mentioned in the pricing, each portion is good for 3-4 pax.
For appetizers, we tried 5 dishes: Liver Sausage Char Siew Roll (RM16/pax); Smoked Vegetarian Spring Roll (RM8/portion); Zucchini with Minced Ginger (RM8/portion); Premium Anchovies & Starfruit with The Oriental’s Cincalok Sauce (RM14/portion) and BBQ Pork Meat in Skewer (RM12/portion).
Liver Sausage Char Siew Roll
Smoked Vegetarian Spring Roll
From that selection, we got to taste various flavours, ranging from the mild and refreshing to the spunkier and spicier stuff. The Zucchini with Minced Ginger may seem like a very simple dish but the flavours from the ginger paste, dotted with chopped spring onions, have to be delicately flavoured so as not to overwhelm the zucchini.
Zucchini with Minced Ginger
Premium Anchovies & Starfruit with The Oriental’s Cincalok Sauce
Heavier flavours in the Premium Anchovies & Starfruit as well as the smokey Liver Sausage Char Siew Roll stirred up the palate very well. The chopped chillies in the cincalok sauce adds some delicate heat to the dish which is somewhat mitigated by the chunks of tangy starfruit. We love the skewered BBQ Pork Meat which looks like satay minus the sauce. Chef Justin tells us that only pork neck meat is used as this particular cut yields springy meat when bbq’ed and of course he’s right.
BBQ Pork Meat in Skewer
The freshest seafood should only be steamed – this is the preferred cooking method, especially for Chinese cuisine, as this method brings out the best in the seafood. Steamed Freshwater Prawns (RM28/pax) and Steamed Ocean Garoupa Shunde-style (RM330/fish) exemplify this.
Steamed Freshwater Prawns
The magnificent-looking prawns are steamed in a thick sauce made from organic eggyolks and enhanced with lashings of 8-year-old Siao Xing wine. Garnished simply with tendrils of coriander leaves and spring onions, the sweet succulent prawns, with heads full of roe, disappear quickly.
Steamed Ocean Garoupa Shunde-style
My favourite dish that evening is the gorgeous Steamed Ocean Garoupa done in Shunde style with the addition of fermented black beans, pickled chillies and radish. Chef Justin has also added strips of special transparent Shunde noodles to soak up the flavoursome sauce. I always enjoy steamed fresh fish and this ocean garoupa certainly does not disappoint – its sweet firm flesh is springy and flaky at the same time. The prized head also gets served on my plate and I promptly reduce it to a pile of sucked-clean bones.
The Lobster with Chicken & Pig Stomach (RM80/portion) is a traditional rendition of a tossed-up dish. The steamed golden-skinned chicken, lobster and boiled pig stomach are given a good toss with a special spicy sauce enhanced with scallion slivers. I enjoy the chicken the most, the lobster fillets are sweet and springy but the pig stomach falls a bit flat.
Lobster with Chicken & Pig Stomach
Dining in the company of pig lovers sometimes does have an added advantage, especially when you have Chef Justin there as well. We get to savour not one, but two suckling pigs! There’s the Macau Roasted Suckling Pig (RM330) – a royal porcine specimen indeed – its glistening golden skin is so shiny that when hit by the flashbulbs, the blinding effect is just… blinding. When a slice of this porcine heaven is served on my plate, looking at it is already a gratification on its own. It’s almost too painful to bite into that perfectly roasted piece of piggy because I just don’t want it to disappear.
Macau Roasted Suckling Pig
The recipe of the marinade for this sublime pig is a closely guarded secret. Only Chef Justin knows it and he alone makes the concoction; his assistants merely get to rub it in the pig before roasting it.
Roasted Suckling Pig with Glutinuous Rice
The Roasted Suckling Pig with Glutinuous Rice (RM330) is a different version from the Macau piggy. This one comes with a layer of steamed savoury glutinuous rice at the bottom – a perfect layer to absorb the lardy juices from the roasted pig. The skin of this pig is slightly thinner; the marination is lighter as it is all done in good balance with the savoury rice served with it.
My preference is for the Macau piggy – just give me my porcine indulgence in all its solo glory – no distraction needed.
Braised Wolfberry Shoots with Eggs (RM28/portion) is served “wat tan” style – you know, the Cantonese noodles with eggy gravy style. I’m not sure if it is a Shunde thing but personally I prefer my greens lightly saute’ed with just plain old garlic. Nevertheless, the thick eggy gravy is aromatic and tasty as organic eggs are used
The Rice Noodles with Abalone Sauce (RM28/portion) is prepared tableside – those who love thick sauces with their noodles would enjoy this.
The Chilled Sweetened Fuji Apple with snow jelly, gingko, fresh lily and red dates (RM13/pax) is delicately refreshing and light on the tummy. Oh, we also tried the Longevity Piglet Buns (RM28/4 pieces) which are just too darn cute to eat.
1st Floor, The Plaza @ Jaya 33
No.1, Jalan Semangat, Section 13
46100 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-7932 3288
Fax: 03-7932 3988
Mondays – Sundays and Public Holidays
11.00 am – 3.00 pm
6.00 pm – 11.00 pm