Is there an art to eating Poon Choi? At least to me there is… J
I recently joined a group of foodies from Table for Eight! The brilliance of the owner from Table for Eight had passionately set up a dining experience to all food lovers out there to be able to take pleasure in seeking out-of-the-ordinary dining fantasy! After reading this post, you may concur why I was on cloud nine last weekend!!
‘Poon Choi’, ‘Phùn-tshoi’, ‘Pun Choy’, Big Bowl Feast and etc, whatever you may want to call it, is one magnificent meal fit for royalty despite its humble origins. Yes, it has been blogged-to-death, so I will not make you suffer to hear me go through what it is but I rather make you swoon with my pictures of the kaleidoscope dishes in LYJ’s Poon Choi…
The day arrived and I introduced myself to the other foodies who had also joined this dining experience before settling in eagerly (like a bunny!) to wait for the arrival of the star. In every concert or movie, there will be an opening act to further stimulate the senses of waiting in eagerness to the peak of the show and our dining banquet was no different!
Lo and behold, our opening dish of the night…
The Standing Roast Chicken
Chef Paul Lee certainly deserves a standing ovation in my opinion for presenting his specialty, The Standing Roast Chicken or ‘Dong Tuk Kai’ (RM38). This one had everyone’s tongue wagging as soon as the dish was presented. The hush hush whispers of ‘How to eat this?’, ‘This dish looks hilarious!’, ‘Why is the chicken standing?’ and etc… had my curiosity level peaked to its max.
Apparently there is a technique to devouring this chook as we were also presented with a pair of scissors and a box of gloves. Go figure on the next course of action as I have never snip a chook’s meat before! J
Operation Standing Chicken... Scissors? Checked! Gloves? Checked! J
The silent of the whole table of guests while we all zoomed in intensely into a few foodies kind enough to dissect the chicken into pieces was beginning to bring back memories of me standing in my school hall paying homage to our national anthem with intense focus and silent till it was over… hehehe!
The bird was gorgeous, perfectly roasted all round with a beautiful auburn tan and nicely perfumed with herbs and lemon, stuffed into the chook. Skin was crisp and meat was moist. Even though the chicken was simple and delicious, the genius chef already invoked our visual sense with his creativity of presentation. Our opening act certainly deserves a standing ovation… hahaha! (We also spied other tables having this, some with two chooks as one is just not enough I guess.J)
Our “Cinderella” moment came when we were presented with this pumpkin. Luckily we didn’t have to wait till midnight to find out the surprise hidden in the pumpkin! :P
Golden Pumpkin with Glutinous Rice
This golden squash (RM38) encased moist and fluffy glutinous rice baked in all its glory. Pumpkin was soft and fluffy as well and added a nice dimension to the dish. My partner thought the rice could do with more seasoning. I like this dish a lot but then I happen to love pumpkin, so I maybe a bit biased on this dish! (Don’t blame me if you don’t like it… hehehe)
LYJ’s Poon Choi ~ Extravagance Version
Life is short; we must indulge ourselves once in a while, wink wink! Our pièce de résistance had everyone ‘oo-ing’ and ‘ah-ing’ in glee… all eyes was zoomed into the opulence of the Poon Choi. We had the lavish version from LYJ priced at RM500 for this dish alone. I am told that there is cheaper version around RM258 minus the abalones, scallops and pork ribs! Served on a portable stove to keep the whole dish warm, the sauce was bubbling gently till overflowing, which had us gasping to save the precious sauce… J
Let’s deep dive on what we feasted on in this luxury version. First top layer was filled to the brim with luxury crustaceans, meat and poultry.
Let me show you a 360 degree view of this layer… hehehe!
Prized Crustacean, two glorious Australian Abalones in chunks! Tasteless with a slightly chewy sensation till you dipped it in the simmering sauce…ahh…
Fresh Scallops nestled in a vermicelli basket filled with ‘Kwai Fa Chi’ or Scrambled Egg with Crab Meat, Dried Scallop and Shark Fins. Yummy!!! The owner should know that Shark Fins does not contribute to the taste, hence let’s be more considerate and save the cruelty of the shark fins from extinction! For me, more scallops would be better than shark fins… J
Pan fried Salt and Pepper Prawns snuggly arranged in the metal dish had me salivating. Firm and fresh, the prawns were quite standard and good.
Nam Yue Pork Ribs was delicious! Tender and full flavored, enough said…
Yellow skin Steamed Kampung Chicken, apparently LYJ is famous for this chook as they served a mean ginger sauce to go with this dish! The chook can be ordered on daily basis as long as they don’t run out of it.
Roast Duck was one of my favorite dishes! Love the almost perfectly roasted duck as it was tender and super scrumptious.
Stuffed Fish Paste was a bit salty to my likings. Although the texture was bouncy, I thought the salt was too strongly seasoned in this.
Second layer was full of gems like Braised Pork Knuckle, Pork Belly, Mushrooms, Fish Maw, Chicken Feet, Chestnuts, Beancurd Sheets, Stuffed Whole ‘Ma Yau’ Fish, Dried Mussels, Broccoli and Cauliflower. All the ingredients were nicely soaking up the rich and heavily flavored sauce still simmering gently beneath the stove. The rich sauce is heavenly but this needs to be savored hot else it could be a bit cloying on the taste bud.
I think everyone unanimously agreed that we have met our cholesterol quota for the week… hahaha! However, that didn’t deter us from ordering ‘Man Tou’ or Steamed Bread to mop up the deliciously rich sauce from the Poon Choi. See how we paid homage to the glorified sauce? Rest assured, not one bit of this sauce was wasted!
Blanched Kai Lan
I was glad that the Poon Choi came with a serving of veggies after our carnivorous fare. Simple blanched Kai Lan in Soy Sauce was nicely cooked and seasoned.
Paku Salad with Lemon Dressing
We had to add another popular vegetable dish (RM18) to justify our carnivorous meal, hence we ordered what we saw almost present on everyone’s table. I am in love with this veggie! This is so refreshing and what surprises me was that it is served cold. Paku was lightly blanched and dressed with a sour dressing and had a good deal of fried shallot crunch in it. Highly recommended as it’s only available at LYJ!!
Fresh Cold Fruits
This platter came with the order of Poon Choi and was cold and refreshing… a great palate cleanser!
Location Map of Restaurant LYJ
I cannot wait to go back to LYJ to try out other dishes such as Ten Brothers, Smiling Buddha Chicken Pot Soup, Big Small Prawns and many more creative dishes.
Chef Paul Lee is truly a master chef and has won many acclaimed awards in competitions. Famous Hong Kong Gourmet Food Critic Hugo Leong (Toto) and other famous stars have been seen dining in this humble and no frill restaurant for its creative dishes and simply delicious food!
Table for Eight, thank you for organizing this amazing dining experience! To all the diners I met that night, it was a great pleasure to dine with you and I look forward to more coming feast with all of you! Total dining cost RM605.80 for 12 foodies.
Poon Choi Indulgence cost RM50 per pax,
Dining Experience and Company, Priceless!!
For more details on Table For Eight, please check out their facebook as there are more amazing feasts coming up:
PT 11, Jalan Perkhidmatan Kampung Baru
47000 Sungai Buloh, Selangor
Business Hour: 11am - 2.30pm, 6pm - 10pm
Closed on Monday
* Poon Choi needs to be ordered at least two days in advance. Do ask for other specialty dishes as well.