I remember the first time I dined at an Oriental restaurant was at the old Jaya Shopping Centre and yes, of course, that easily must have been more than 15 years ago! And that was actually the very first restaurant opened by The Oriental Group. Therefore, to say that I have been associated with this group of restaurants since they started, is a “true story”! That Oriental restaurant was a regular dining place for us, simply because we loved the food there. We loved it then and we still love it now – after 16 years!
The old Jaya Shopping Centre has since been torn down and a brand new building now holds place of pride in that corner of Section 14 in Petaling Jaya. And the Oriental? Well, it has spread its wing, became bigger and better as Oriental Pavilion holding court over at Jaya 33 now while its sister restaurant, Noble Mansion has taken up residence next door in Plaza 33.
Synonymous with fine Cantonese cuisine, this year the Oriental Group celebrates 16 years of Chinese culinary excellence. For years now, the Group’s Executive Chef, Chef Justin Hor and his team have been keeping diners happy and satiated with their exquisite creations. Their annual Grand Dinner series have been something their loyal diners look forward to since it started in 2008. Each year, a new theme is conceptualized with memorable dishes to showcase the rich and vibrant culinary heritage of the Cantonese.
Executive Chef Justin Hor
In preparation for this year’s theme (which started as early as September 2015!) which focuses on evergreen favourites from timeless recipes, Chef Justin Hor spent a great deal of time with his old sifu, retired Master Chef Fok You Wing from Hong Kong. Over numerous yum-cha sessions, the old sifu shared and imparted trade secrets, advice and recipes with Chef Justin, thus enabling him to come up with the exquisite dishes in the 16th Anniversary Special Set Menu. This special menu is available until 30 September 2016.
Recently, we sampled these delectable dishes and suffice to say, there wasn’t one which we didn’t rave about. The feast started with 5 memorable appetizers, each one more interesting and creative than the dish before.
Baby Pomfret with Chili Padi & Crispy Minced Garlic (RM28++/6 pieces)
Crispy Clam Roll Marinated with 5 Spices (RM28++/8 pieces)
Sea Grass with Shredded Yam tossed with Chef’s Special Sauce (RM18++)
Squid Ink Ball coated with Sesame Seeds (RM28++/6 pieces)
Pork Ears with Baby Black Fungus (RM18++)
Imperial Rejuvenation Soup (RM258++ per pax)
There’s a reason why this soup was labeled “imperial” – a soup like this is truly fit for royalty. 14 main premium ingredients had been double-boiled for 6 hours. This exquisitely flavourful soup was extracted from 4-head abalone, superior sharksfin, sea cucumber, Japanese dried scallops, fresh fish maw from giant patin, Yunnan ham, superior “tong sum”, ginseng, conch and wolfberries. Chef Justin also added pork tendons into the soup for that extra collagen goodness. The portion was more-than-generous as Chef Justin had to source for special tureens for the serving. These tureens were much bigger than the regular ones used to serve soups in most restaurants and were made from bone china. The compact porosity of the bone china was vital to seal in the flavours of the premium ingredients during the double-boiling process.
Roast Baby HK Pigeon (RM45++ each)
Each of the 250g pigeons were brined for 24 hours in a concoction of selected herbs and spices before being glazed with a special sauce and doused with hot oil for that perfect glistening crispy skin. The meaty pigeons were very tasty and tender. A squeeze of lime on the breast meat took care of the slight gamey tinge.
Traditional Stuffed Whole Chinese Cabbage (RM138++ per portion for 10 pax)
A dish popular back in the 1950-60’s, the stuffed cabbage had to be steamed for more than 2 hours for that smooth soft texture. The stuffing of crabmeat, minced pork and dried scallops exuded an incredible aroma and was full of umami deliciousness. Served with stuffed broccoli and dried scallop sauce.
Steamed Freshwater Prawns on Glutinous Rice (RM33++ per pax, min. 2 pax)
Topped with lots of chopped ginger, spring onions and coriander leaves, the appetizing aroma enhanced the sweet flavours of the prawns which had seeped into the succulent glutinous rice below. Every mouthful of rice and prawns was just totally satisfying.
Sweetened Red Bean Paste (RM12++ per pax)
Don’t let this bowl of plain-looking red bean paste mislead you. The thick bean broth had been double-boiled with prestigious Old Guangzhou Orange Peel which lent a delicate citrusy fragrance to every spoonful.
Peony White Lotus Paste & Crystal Pumpkin Dumplings (RM12++ per pax)
The dishes can be ordered individually a la carte or, if you have a bigger dining group, it’s better to go for the entire repertoire at RM2,888 nett per table of 10 pax. It’s definitely more value-for-money to have the entire set. Furthermore, for the 16th Anniversary celebrations, all the participating Oriental restaurants will be giving their diners a complimentary dish from the set menu (for 10 pax) with every set menu purchase.
For reservations and enquiries, please contact the respective restaurants:
- Oriental Pavilion (03-7956-9288)
- Oriental Banquet (03-7957-8488)
- Noble House (03-2145-8822)
- Noble Mansion (03-7932-3288)
- The Ming Room (03-2284-8822)
- The Han Room (03-2284-8833)
- Oriental Viva (03-9283-8833)
- Maju Palace (03-2691-8822) : Pork-free
As some of the dishes require long hours of preparation, reservations are a must. So, hurry over to any of the above restaurants before 30 September 2016 to get a taste of these “golden oldies” – timeless age-old quality dishes which have stood the test of time and still remain well-loved with special spots in our hearts, and tummies, of course.
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