You really can’t help holding your breath in awe the moment you step into Xin. I mean, just look at this gorgeous Grand Old Dame of Chinese Dining …
Xin – the Chinese restaurant in Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur preserves its old-world charm of oriental grandeur in the form of its two centre-stage majestic dragon pillars rising up to the ceiling. The 2 dragons are named “Golden Dragon” and “Forever Dragon”. The story goes that many years ago, after holding court for some time in the restaurant, these two mythical creatures had to be shielded from public view due to certain circumstances… until about 5 years ago when the sun, moon and stars were aligned in the right manner. At exactly the right moment, the veils were stripped and the dragons once again rule Xin.
Red lanterns and ornate chandeliers dangle from the same ceiling, casting warm glows onto tables clad splendidly with chinoserie-designed table cloths and red fan-shaped table napkins. The flamboyant settings are certainly impressive and I could see their staff took great pride in pampering their guests, right down to the specially prepared menu in the form of a Chinese scroll.
The talented trio heading the culinary team – Chef Wong Pak Seng, Chef Ng Meng Loong and Chef Lok Meng Pak, have come up with a selection of not only Yee Sang but also special Dim Sum items that are only available during the Chinese New Year period, until 25 February 2013.
While we waited for dinner proper to start, we were kept busy with Chinese New Year tidbits served in a typical lacquer platter and plates of melt-in-the-mouth Walnut Cookies, aka “Hap Tho Soe” in Cantonese. While these were pretty addictive, we were careful not to over-indulge as we knew a grand meal was coming up.
Fancy some Hap Tho Soe?
Sure enough, dinner rocked off with us tossing (for the umpteenth time!) the Prosperity Mini Octopus Yee Sang with Traditional Condiments. Well, not really traditional as this yee sang had slivers of pretty strawberries crowning it and what really stood out in this Yee Sang was their special seaweed crackers! These were so good that I found myself furtively digging into more of it at the display table! Xin’s yee sang comes in several variations like abalone, salmon, prosperity duck meat and wolf herring and they are available in regular or large portions, priced between RM58.00++ to RM188.00++ per order.
Then the plates of special Chinese New Year dim sum appeared on the table, one after another in quick succession. Looking like some alien eggs which were about to hatch, the Prosperity Egg Dumplings were served on a nest of spinach. Visually they certainly caught our attention and when we bit into the springy pork & shrimp mince inside, cradled by the quail egg, we knew this would be a great hit. They disappeared fast.
I love fish maw… so you can imagine my delight when the next dim sum came in the form of Dried Oysters Fish Maw Rolls. Firm bouncy fish & shrimp paste mixed with chopped vegetables encased by fish maw, served piping hot… we wasted no time in devouring these scrumptious morsels.
What looked like deep-fried yam puffs came next but then we were told that these were actually made from sweet potatoes mashed with salted eggyolk – Salted Egg Puffs! The golden hue of the crispy skin explained that unique combination… the filling was minced pork and prawns… quite a divine blend!
Salted Egg Puffs
The last dim sum hit the right notes with all my fellow diners that night. The Topshell Dumplings turned out to be almost everyone’s favourite… and well, you can’t blame us for loving this succulent dumpling full of umami goodness, wrapped lusciously with a piece of silky smooth topshell. The dumplings boasted a refreshing bite in their texture, thanks to the addition of chopped mushrooms and diced sea cucumber as well.
Once the dim sum dishes were cleared, we were served a resplendent-looking Steamed Sea Garoupa with Soya Sauce. However, the poor fish was a bit over-steamed which was sad because it tasted coarse.
Stuffed Oysters with Mushrooms, Fatt Choy and Broccoli was next. This seems to be a favourite combo among chefs in most Chinese New Year feasts. The names of the items “Hoe See Fatt Choy” indicate prosperity and good tidings – and that’s good reason enough to ensure this is a must-order!
I love the generous portions of Chinese sausages in their Wok-fried Rice but I wasn’t too keen on the corn kernels. I was happy just to munch on the liver sausage cubes and egg-laden rice.
Xin’s Nian Gao’s are the best I have tasted so far and in 3 varieties too! Everyone went gaga over the huge platter of durian-topped chilled rounds, pineapple-filled white nian gao and the slices with sweet potatoes rolled in crushed macadamia. All 3 types were equally good, I’d say. Each order is priced at RM9.80++ to RM12.00++ per order.
To clear the sticky sweetness from our palates, we had the Chilled Seaweed Jelly with Osmanthus & Wolfberries. The lovely aroma of osmanthus was just right to clear off any durian aftertaste and the seaweed jelly was excellent… silky smooth spoonfuls that glide effortlessly down the throat.
Xin’s Prosperity Menus are priced at RM1,088++, RM1,288++ and RM1,488++ per table of 10 persons. Fortune Pots or Poon Choy are also available, priced at RM368++ (small) and RM648++ (large).
Chef Ng Meng Loong, Chef Wong Pak Seng & Chef Lok Meng Pak
It’s best to call up and place advance orders. Please call Xin Cuisine at 03-2144-8750 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Do note that Xin Cuisine is closed on the 1st Day of Chinese New Year only.
Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur
2 Jalan Sultan Ismail
50250 Kuala Lumpur
Hotel website here