Free-range chicken (known as “choi yuen kai” in Cantonese) has always been my preference where chicken is concerned. I use this in all my home-cooking as the texture is firmer and tastier compared to the usual white farmed chicken. Of course its price is much higher too.
The lovely interior of Imperial Garden
There are various breeds of free-range chicken and I’m told certain areas in the country also yield better quality cooks. Semenyih is one of those and it is from here that the Tai Thong Restaurants get their supply of free-range chicken. Each of the matured chicken weighs about 2kg and this stringent control is necessary to ensure the quality of the meat is always maintained.
Starting from 15 March 2016, you can savour these delicious free-range chicken in the Tai Thong restaurants. Two of the most popular methods to cook these fowls are by just poaching or baking them. As their natural flavours are already tasty, very little other ingredients are needed. In fact, Executive Chef Lee Wee Hong is mindful not to overwhelm his free-range chicken dishes with too many things and instead, let the natural flavours shine.
The Poached Chicken with Scallion Oil is a perfect example of his philosophy. Poached till just the right level of done-ness, the golden skin of the chicken was fragrant and slightly chewy while the meat remained moist and utterly scrumptious. A splash of aromatic scallion oil and premium soya sauce was all that’s needed to enhance this simple dish.
The unmistakable aroma of “tang kwei” (Chinese angelica) wafted through the air when the Salt-baked Chicken was served. Basically that was all that’s needed, besides salt of course, for this baked free-range chicken.
Both these chicken dishes have been marked in my makan calendar for repeat visits to the restaurant.
For this Free-range Chicken promotion, it’s RM48++ for Half Chicken and RM88++ for a Whole Chicken. Hurry over to catch these fowl dishes if you are a chicken fan, like me.
While we were at Imperial Garden, we also checked out some of Executive Chef Lee’s signature dishes.
The Crispy Beancurd with Fish Paste (RM13++) was an excellent appetiser. The delicate fish paste was lightly smeared on the soft silky cubes of beancurd, lending just sufficient taste, always never overwhelming.
I love yong tau fu so the Home-style Kwangxi Yong Tau Fu (RM20++) hit all the right notes with me. The tofu puffs and bitter gourd rings stuffed with fish paste were braised in a light flavoursome broth, accompanied by some bok choy. Another serving of Stuffed Chillies were pan-fried and doused with a piquant sauce made with fermented black beans and chopped chillies.
Strong robust flavours came in the Claypot Lamb Stew with Fu Yue (fermented beancurd). This definitely called for white rice and lots of it, too. The dish came with a lot of bubbling sauce and when the lamb pieces were consumed, Chef Lee dunked in bunches of water spinach (aka “kangkung”). Soaked and cooked in the boiling sauce, the vegetables were a firm favourite with everyone.
Flaming Drunken Tiger Prawns (RM45++) was a dramatic dish as Chef Lee cooked the fresh live prawns at table-side. Pouring in a good amount of Chinese wine, the prawns were sautéed to a bright crimson hue. The delightfully sweet prawns were polished off immediately.
Our meal ended off with a serving of Chef Lee’s divine Hokkien Mee (RM20++) slathered with lardy croutons.
We first tasted Tai Thong’s Baked Oyster Tarts (RM8.80++) before the Chinese New Year and they were so good we had to request for some this time round. Flaky buttery pastry and fragrant dried oysters mixed with minced meat remained a great combination and I’m glad to note this item is available on their dim sum menu.
The Free Range Chicken promotion is available at all Tai Thong restaurants except Spring Garden Putrajaya and Spring Garden KLCC. Do visit Tai Thong Group’s website for more information on all its outlets and promotions.
7th Floor, Intan Square
No.3 Lorong Utara C
46200 Petaling Jaya
Tel: +603-7956 6868