As early as 1 January 2013, Di Wei Chinese Cuisine Restaurant in the Empire Hotel has already started serving Yee Sang (a must-have for Chinese New Year) as well as “Treasure Pot” aka “Poon Choy”.
Poon Choy originated from Hong Kong and it’s a traditional Hakka dish, composed of several layers of different ingredients cooked in a big pot. Back in the olden days, the pots were made of wood but now mostly porcelain or metal pots are used.
White radish, Chinese cabbage, yam, lotus roots, dried mushrooms line the pot at the bottom. On top of this, the meats such as pork knuckles, steamed chicken and roast duck are placed. Piled above this are more savoury ingredients like roast pork, king prawns, dried scallops, sea cucumbers, fish maw, bamboo pith and abalones! All these heavenly stuff are braised together for about 6 hours and by then, the flavours and juices from those ingredients on the top layer would have seeped downwards rendering everything into a big happy mesh of tasty goodness. Eating Poon Choy is very communal and the spirit of sharing a huge pot of goodies is akin to sharing of prosperity and abundance… something very apt to practise, especially during Chinese New Year, don’t you think? Yes, a feast in a pot indeed!
I was told of different ways to best eat Poon Choy. There are 2 schools of thoughts actually. Some say we should not mix the layers, that each layer should be eaten from the order of top to down. Another version is that we should throw good manners to the wind and mix everything together in order to even out the flavours. Well, I guess whichever style is practised, ultimately everything still goes in…so take your pick.
The price of Poon Choy in Di Wei ranges from RM388++ for 5 persons and RM688++ for 10 persons. Please order this at least one day in advance.
Jellyfish Yee Sang
No Chinese New Year feast is complete without the Yee Sang and in Di Wei, we tried their Jellyfish Yee Sang. Using the freshest fruits and vegetables, the crunchiness was unmistakable and blended well with the slithery chewy jellyfish. The pricing is very decent: RM68++ for a full portion and RM48++ for half portion. If jellyfish is not your preference, you can choose either sliced abalones or salmon at different pricing, of course.
Chef Thian Taik Yong, one of the most youthful-looking chefs I’ve ever met, helms Di Wei but don’t let his demeanour and shy grins fool you as he comes with 13 years of culinary experience. His Lap Mei Fan has all the right elements… fluffy rice with just the right touch of savoury lightness from the superior soy sauce drizzled over slices of waxed duck, pork and Chinese sausages.
Eveything comes together in the right mix and despite being very stuffed from the Poon Choy and Yee Sang, we still managed to finish a bowl of the aromatic Lap Mei Fan.
For a sweet ending to your meal, try their Nian Gou…pan-fried with sesame seeds or lightly steamed and rolled in crushed peanuts.
Red Bean Soup with Tong Yuen is also a good choice if you prefer something sweet and soupy …
All the above festive dishes are available at Di Wei until 24 February 2013.
Chef Thian Taik Yong
For reservations and more information on Di Wei, please call 03-5565-1388 or log onto www.empirehotel.com.my
Di Wei Chinese Cuisine Restaurant
Empire Hotel Subang
47500 Subang Jaya