January 20, 2011

The Mutiara Palace Restaurant

Psst.. let me tell you a secret! Want to dine like royalty in a palace this coming holiday?

Mutiara Palace, located in the PJ triangle of The Curve, Ikea and Tesco, is a heavenly site yet to be discovered by much. It is located in Wisma Bentley where Courts Mammoth is and is also directly facing Tesco hypermarket. The restaurant belongs to the Palace group that owned other entities like Imbi Palace, Klang Palace, Jaya Palace and Grand Palace Pavilion.

So far, this place is only 2 months old, hence its not visible to a lot of people but I can vouched that once words get out, this place will be swamped with foodies and gluttons like me!

I had my very first Chinese New Year (CNY) “lou sang” there recently and words cannot even describe this royalty experience. (Ok, maybe I exaggerated but then I was really impressed with their quality of cuisine served.)

The restaurant was tastefully decorated in a modern contemporary design unlike the usual traditionalist Chinese restaurants. This palace is certainly designed to impress and I have to credit the designer and owner to modernize the whole food experience. Everything felt so right when you walked in as the room was well spaced (no hearing of your neighbor’s conversation is a good thing!), gorgeous lightings, sublime colours of deco and royalty table place settings! Mutiara Palace is certainly fit for royalty dining in my opinion.

The restaurant has quite a few private dining rooms that are designed with comfort, space and style in mind for diners. The room we had for our set meal had plush sofas and a plasma TV with a glass view of greenery shrubs to block out the condensed malls around the area.

Bronzed theme table place setting fit for a king!

I love the modern chandelier and just could not resist showing it off.

We had the CNY set meal for 10 persons at RM 898++.

Prosperity Goldfish Salmon ‘Yee Sang’
Traditional Superior Sharksfin with Crab Roe
Roasted Sucking Pig
Braised Abalone with HK Dried Oyster & Sea Cucumber
Sautéed Sexy Prawns & Clams with Vegetables
Steamed Coral Grouper with Ginger & Chilies
Steamed Rice with Assorted Wax Meat
Sweetened Red Bean & Tangerine Skin Dessert
Homemade Fortune Pastries

There are many other set meals ranging from RM288++ (4 pax) to RM1488++ (10 pax). Recomended to make early reservations to avoid any disappointment.
** Get ready to be in awe and drool…food of the Gods coming up next! This is going to be a long post, so be warned…

First up is a CNY delicacy called “Yee Sang”. Yee Sang is a raw fish salad available during this period to symbolize the abundance and prosperity for the Chinese. This was a traditional painstakingly prepared salad which consists of many finely shredded vegetables and thinly sliced raw fish. This dish used to reflect the skills of a chef on his knife work. Although the basic ingredients are commonly found, there are humongous variations of Yee Sang available today.

The divine Salmon Yee Sang set. Aren’t the colours a sight to behold? 

We had a modernized version with fresh thick slices of salmon and crispy salmon skin called Prosperity Goldfish Salmon Yee Sang. I was told that you can order a full order of this Yee Sang ala carte at RM 73.00

Fresh, creamy thick slices of salmon…sigh with happiness!

Chef is very generous with salmon slices unlike some other places where you cannot even find the pieces of fish after it’s mixed in the salad.

Crispy salmon skin added a crunchy touch to further enhance the salmon’s existence in the Yee Sang.

One more picture of the gorgeous hues of sunset coloured salmon slices and crunchy skins before it was “lou hei”!

I always look forward to this next dish which features soup; one of the most important Chinese household dish. Anyone can make a soup but to make a heavenly and nourishing soup to empower the soul, quality ingredients and patience are essential.

Traditional Superior Sharksfin Soup with Crab Roe was served. In the golden days, sharksfin was considered a status item, hence the creation of this soup. However, I find that shark fins do not really contribute much to the soup but in fact, a quality broth is the root to this soup.

The broth was light in flavour and beautifully enhanced by the fresh crab meat and its bits of orange hue crab roes floating effortlessly on top. If given the option, I don’t really mind having this without the shark fins.

In every set meal, there is one dish that gluttons like me would finish faster than a speeding bullet… Roasted Suckling Pig!

Mutiara Palace certainly did justice to the little one. Close your eyes and imagine.. a piece of gorgeously roasted crispy crackling, layered with a thin piece of melt in your mouth goodness… salty, crispy and a gentle hint of sweetness from the accompanied sauce. Perfectly roasted and simply divine….

I just could not resist inserting another scrumptious pic of this suckling delight! I also love the fact that there was a bit of meat with the skin to add a bite to this. Garnished with artfully cut scallions and served with a side of floury pancake, I would eat this as my last meal on earth.

If there was a dish fit only for a emperor, this would be it…Braised Abalone with Hong Kong Dried Oyster & Sea Cucumber.

One can actually feel the effort and tenderness put into this dish by the chef. Whole abalones nestled comfortably on black fatt choy and juicy dried oysters, all carefully tucked into a thick luscious huge sea cucumber, laced with quality broth and pieces of green bok choy.

Close up look at the highly prized baby abalones!

Abalones were perfectly cooked to tenderness. Oysters were juicy and well braised without the fishy smell of dried seafood. Sea cucumber was another masterpiece that united the whole dish. These are top notch ingredients and the chef was certainly generous in using the best for his dishes. This dish was like a beautifully synchronized orchestra, where everyone sang in harmony to enhance each other!

Check out my portion. ;0)

See how luscious the thick piece of sea cucumber was? I was told that sea cucumber is good for beautifying as it contains fatty acids that supplement our skin tissue, hence giving us a more youthful complexion. (I guess I should start saving up to buy more sea cucumbers! Hehehe)

In every auspicious CNY meal, there will usually be a fish course. We were served Steamed Coral Grouper with Ginger & Chilies.

At first glance, I thought that this dish was going to be spicy with the amount of red chilies on the fish. First bite, I was surprised at the smoothness of the fish and its subtle flavour of chilies and a stronger bite of ginger. The chef has skillfully controlled the spicyness of the chilies by adding the minced ginger and soya sauce.

Sauteed Sexy Prawns & Clams with vegetables. Sounds exotic but it was really a simple dish of stir fried prawns with crunchy clams, peas and cashew nuts.

Freshness is key ingredient to this dish. All ingredients are lightly fried with good hint of wok hei and seasoned well to leave the prawns to showcase its freshness and sweetness followed by the nutty flavours of cashews.

Just when I thought the meal could not get any better, Steamed Rice with Assorted Wax Meat arrived.

Rice cooked in a claypot, topped with a great variety of waxed meats such as waxed duck, waxed pork belly, waxed sausages and wine liver sausages. This certainly hit my quota of waxed meats for the year…wink wink! This is one dish that I had wish the flavours were a bit stronger as it was quite bland despite the amount of waxed meat.

I was stuffed!! I thought desserts would be impossible but then I was served a steaming hot bowl of Sweetened Red Bean & Tangerine Skin Dessert.

Simple and not sweet at all, the broth was heavily scented with tangerine (kam pei) and there were small pieces of mochi in it. Creamy and not sweet at all with a slight texture of the coarsely pureed red beans, I thought it could use a little more sweetness since this is a dessert after all.

Homemade Fortune Pastries were simple desserts of sticky rice cakes or nian gao and sesame balls of lotus. Nian Gao is glutinous rice cakes steamed till caramel colored and soft gooey goodness. It is considered good luck to have nian gao for the new year to symbolized the raising of oneself higher in each coming year.

This is homemade 100%. I do not like nian gao as they are usually super sweet and super sticky, The nian gao here is steamed and lightly coated with fresh grated coconuts. Very lightly sweet and soft, this was perfect for me. Dainty bite size sesame balls stuffed with lotus was another hit. Crispy and not oily at all, one bite lead me to a soft center filled with delicate lotus paste.

As the meal was incredible, we asked to meet up with the chef responsible for the outstanding creations!

Chef John Kew, aged 36 years old, was surprising young with such great skills. Shy and smiley, he actually opened up when describing his passion for food and his creations! He was really pleased we enjoyed his dishes.

Conclusion, this set meal is valued for money as the portions and qualities are top notch. Mutiara Palace certainly knows how to treat their diners like royalty. I have had other set meals around this price range but never experience such a satisfaction of being fed like a royalty! Make sure to experience this to celebrate the upcoming CNY holidays...

This is one unforgettable experience that will leave a long lasting memory in my journey of gastronomical cuisine.

The Mutiara Palace Restaurant
Ground Floor, Wisma Bentley Music
No. 3, Jalan PJU 7/2
Mutiara Damansara,
47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Tel: 03 7726 6676 (Hunting Line)
Fax: 03 7726 6171

Disclaimer: The opinions and experiences articulated on this blog is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may be at odds for other foodies.

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