There was no better way to celebrate the Chinese New Year than indulge in some Chinese gourmet and the Park Hyatt’s Oriental Bar & Kitchen offered quite the meal. For those who weren’t familiar with the cuisine, this turned out to be a good choice as the meal came in the form of a fixed menu, so, it saved us the trouble of clueless moments.
A four-course meal, the table had a selection of starters, soup, main course and dessert. Dished out by their in-house chef, the meal began with some Hong Kong crispy prawn and mixed fruit salad. Done just to near-perfection, the crunchy outer crust of the prawn went great with the tender inner meat. The fruit salad in creamy dressing was a good break in the palate with its slightly sweet and salty flavour.
Breaking tradition of serving spring roll as a roll, the Chicken moon spring roll came in the form of triangular pancakes. However, more than the other starters, the water chestnut and mushroom black pepper was what caught our attention. While the mushrooms took in the spice really well, it was the crunchy texture of the water chestnut coupled with the pepper that stole the dish.
A trolley with Peking duck with condiments then drew up next to the table. Watching the chef slice out careful portions of the meat is both fascinating and a little educational as well. Rolled with hoisin sauce, this is a traditional serving that accompanies most elaborate servings.
The meal then progressed to the soup. While vegetarians had a serving of bamboo mushroom in Chinese ginseng, non-vegetarians were treated to some village chicken in Chinese ginseng broth. As much as vegetarian food is great, the bamboo mushroom soup did lack flavour, and the pieces of tofu didn’t really help. However, both the soups did well to cleanse the palate for the main course, which included Loh hon chai – saute mix vegetables, braised tiger prawn with homemade X.O. sauce, drunken chicken stir fried with lager beer, steam whole sea bass fish with Hong Kong soya and ginger, steam noodles with BBQ and pork, and pak choy in Chinese red wine sauce with Lotus rice.
Loh hon chai is a classic that vegetarians and non-vegetarians appreciate, but the sea bass preparation was well done with the flavours just right, not masking the flavour of the fish.
The finale to the meal was the steamed sweet sticky rice with Chinese red dates, ginkgo in jasmine syrup.
What made the meal even more delectable was the careful pairing of beverage. The peaty lemongrass concoction of Glenlivet and the plant was a constant refreshment.