Despite the little drama and tension over my old blogspot recently, I would say the Year of the Rabbit has been good, so far. In fact, I would say it got off on an excellent start as sometime over the 15-day feast, I had an opportunity to savour Matsusaka Beef at none other than Restaurant Chef Choi.
Some interesting facts about Matsusaka Beef:
It’s actually a form of wagyu beef (Kobe wagyu being one of the most well-known), specifically from Japanese Blacks, bred in Matsusaka (Mie prefecture), Japan. Traditionally, only the heifers are raised in this area and allowed to live until 3 years old, thus creating a much more distinctive beefy meat. These cows are fed a rich and varied diet (barley, wheat bran, grass) and drink natural spring water, which improves the marbling in their meat – should their appetite decline (for whatever reason), they are given beer to stimulate their appetite and given massages as well! Now all these pampering & superb breeding conditions do result in one of the best beef (and most expensive, I’m sure) from Japan, according to many enthusiasts.
Due to the excellent marbling of Matsusaka (grade A6, I was told), is it any wonder that this high fat content gives you one of the most tender cuts of beef? The characteristic marbling pattern of Matsusaka beef, bordering on fine art, gives it its rich flavour, while maintaining its melt-in-the-mouth tenderness.
So there you are… imagine me gazing lovingly at the plate of perfect beef served very simply – it was just lightly pan-seared to a perfect medium-rare to retain it’s superb flavours… this should be the only other way to serve Matsusaka beef (the other being sashimi-style, I was told). Anything more than “medium-rare” would be an insult to this cut of beef as the middle has to be still red for you to enjoy the full quality of Matsusaka. I could taste the pure unadulterated meaty flavours, very delicate and light … and so juicily tender! I practically had to close my eyes to savour the exquisite burst of sweet delicate flavours. I ate it as slowly as I could, prolonging the wondrous process as much as possible 😀 It was beef bliss. I wished there was more on the plate.
It being a CNY feast, of course we had other dishes as well…
Perfectly-roasted Goose – the skin so golden and crispy that it was really really difficult to stop at one… two… three pieces! Heck, I think I had more than 4 pieces (or more?!!) 😛
It was a deliciously meaty meal…
Braised Pork Knuckle with all the trimmings… among them, scallops! How much more decadently yummy can this dish get?
All you have to do is mop up the meat and gravy with these fried mantou…
When I thought I couldn’t possibly eat another bite, this was served…
… together with this pot of light fluffy basmati rice…
… and I ended up having this delicious bowl of Lap Mei Fan, Chef Choi-style… I loved how the meats were served separately and of course my favourite was the Yung Kee goose liver sausages! Chef Choi’s usage of basmati rice rendered this carbs dish less starchy but certainly did not compromise on the taste and flavours.
Oh, did I mention … we actually started off the meal with the traditional Lo Sang…with abalone slices… tossed together with the famed Chef Choi yee-sang dressing…
… followed by Double-Boiled Chicken with Bamboo Pith Soup…
For Dessert, what a treat we had! Just take a look…
A live show on how Cherries Jubliee is done!
Fresh succulent Black Cherries – yes, only those can be used for this dessert, nothing less.
What a perfect end to a perfect meal!
This meal at Chef Choi definitely set the bar high and such a superb start to my 2011! The wonderful food could only be rivalled by the great company that evening – I had the privilege of meeting the delightful CS through the kind introduction of the Fairy Godmother of Makan 😀 Of course, the rest of the dinner guests were nothing less than stellar – what a memorable dinner at Chef Choi.
Restaurant Chef Choi
159 Jalan Ampang
Open 12.00-2.30pm; 6.00-10.00pm
*The restaurant is located right between the Chinese temple and Restoran Pelita – you can’t miss it!
Yummy! Am licking my lips thinking of the beef and the wonderful old-school Cherries Jubilee dessert. Lovely pictures Chris. Everything makes me wanna lick the screen.
Boo: Oh yeah, those cherries were soooo good! And, the beef… outta this world!
Life for Beginners says
Wanna only? I’m practically licking the screen as I read this… Yums and Yums-mer! 😀
P.S. Lap Mei Fan Deconstructed? Hehe.
Baby Sumo says
Hi there, I like your new layout. Food pics look really yummy!
Hi Baby Sumo, thanks 🙂
Matsusaka beef!!! I’ve only managed to have that a couple of times in my life, but only at Japanese outlets, never at Chinese ones. Looks really good, I wonder if it’s available at chef choi all year round 😀
It’s really to-die-for, right? Hmm… I don’t think it’s available all the time at the restaurant – you have to call to ask 😉
J the chocoholic says
Everything looks so so good! 😀
(Darn. Feel so hungry now!)
J: Hehe, it makes ME hungry too!
so i guess u got down on your knees, kissed the floor and worshipped the bovine eh? hehe. GORGEOUS SHOTS you horrible woman.. make me so jealousssss 😛
Ciki: Oh yeah, i almost did all that – it was such divine bovine 😛
Marian Eu says
From the Matsusaka to the Cherry Jubilee — it was all so divine! Your gorgeous pictures make me want to have them again. Cherry Jubilee brings me back to the days of old-fashioned fine dining.
Thanks, Marian 😀 Oh yeah, that dessert was so old-school but oh-so-very-good!
Aiyo, I’m hungry already!
Hi there, first up, GREAT idea to move here; albeit from a very different circumstance. Chef Choi’s indeed a mark above the rest in terms of lavish Chinese dining.
I have had basmati rice for claypot chicken rice once, but in Singapore and the grains actually worked wonders.
J2kfm: Hey, thanks for dropping by 🙂 Oh yes, Chef Choi rocks – totally agree!
val brown says
After looking at all these pictures, i had to go make myself at least something to eat and am sitting with it here in my lap. only the black wormy looking noodles can shut my appetite down now. and they are probably delicious…