Embark on a journey of authentic Taiwanese Cuisine at Tai Zi Heen, Prince Hotel & Residence Kuala Lumpur by Taiwan’s Taipei Garden Hotel, Executive Chef Wang!
One of my favorite Chinese cuisine restaurants, Tai Zi Heen is helmed by a creative management and kitchen team to bring numerous promotions to its customers each month. For the month of November, Prince Hotel & Residences Kuala Lumpur has launched the Taiwanese Food Promotion at Tai Zi Heen, available from 18th to 30th November, with set menu starting from RM78 nett to RM88 nett per person.
Executive Chef Wang is known for his expertise in creating dishes that preserves the original essence of Taiwanese traditions. A truly talented chef who wears many skills from creating Taiwanese snacks to mains and desserts, Chef Wang is in town for two weeks to share a taste of his Taiwan specialties with us! Read more about Taiwanese specialties here.
I started off my epicure journey that night with a warm cup of tea to sooth our palate.
A sneak peak at the pretty staff performing the art of making tea with all the interesting teapots, cups and tea leaves.
There was also a very gorgeous display of teas and its adornment of tea accessories at Tai Zi Heen. I adored the tea canisters with its embossed motifs of Chinese art!
First dish up of Dried Daikon Radish Omelet was pan-fried thick wedges of egg omelet studded with nibbles of chopped three-month old dried daikon radish (‘Choy Poh’). The omelet was savory and aromatic from the dried daikon radish and would have gone superbly with a bowl of hot porridge!
After our omelet, then came huge claypot of sizzling Traditional Three-Cup Chicken or ‘San Bei Ji’. This dish represents the true essence of Taiwan in all its glory. The dish is named simply as its ingredients which measures a cup each of rice wine (‘Mei Qiu’), black sesame oil and soya sauce. The aroma was heady and glorious as I inhaled in the fragrant sauce against the hint of basil. Chef Wang advised that the trick to a fabulous three-cup chicken is the control of the sauce and the doneness of the chicken. One must ensure that the pieces of chook are cut to bite size and the meat is cooked just done. This is my favorite dish of the night!! A Must Order… J
Once again, a Chinese meal is never complete without a sip of broth and ours that night was a Thick Vegetable and Seafood Soup that was utterly warming and soothing to my tummy since it was a rainy weather evening. Chef Wang advised that the soup is famous in Taiwan as it showcases Taiwan’s abundance of Chinese Napa cabbage of ‘Wong Ah Pak’. One can be sure to see this soup is every corner of Taiwan cafes and restaurants utilizing this vegetable in a home-style soup.
The broth was very light in flavors and amped up with sliced Chinese Napa cabbage, shreds of bean curd sheets, mushrooms, fish cake, prawns, clams and dried shrimps. The natural sweetness of the broth derived from the vegetables and seafood was very delightful and I finished my bowl wholeheartedly.
The superior dish of Steamed Glutinous Rice with Crab came looking like a glorious basket of pure crustacean ecstasy! A huge red crab sat proudly on steamed glutinous rice awaiting its destiny in our stomach… J. We dug in and found the freshness of the sweet crab flavors is absorbed into the soft glutinous rice, making the rice really delectable in its own way. A dish that shows off straight unadulterated crab it is original flavor!
Check out the sweet fresh crab roes guaranteed to increase your cholesterol! However, I still find foodies fighting for bits of this luscious ecstasy despite its richness… muahahaha!! J
Our last savory dish is an exquisite mountain of Stir-Fried Shark’s Fin with Whipped Eggs! The golden sunshine yellow of egg coating bits of vegetables, mushrooms and fish cake topped with shark fins was fairly decent in textures and taste. The dish had a good aroma of egg flavors and was lightly seasoned to portray original flavors of the ingredients.
We were then treated to Chef Wang’s demonstration on the makings of Taiwanese Pineapple Cakes before dessert. Chef Wang was deft and precised in his demo and showed his skills well as he completed the demo fast and smoothly throughout. He explained that Taiwanese pineapple cakes are square or rectangle and is stuffed with a dark and aromatic pineapple filling which takes time to dry out to achieve its aroma and texture.
We then proceed to sample a plate of fresh and warm pieces of Pineapple Cakes which in my humble opinion was truly fabulous!
The dense and buttery richness of golden pastry was scrumptious while the dark caramelized pineapple filling was bursting with sourness and sweetness at the same time. I could taste the fibers of the pineapples and I love how it textured the whole piece of dessert. A very decadent dessert for indulgence!!
We also sampled two other authentic Taiwanese desserts in the form of a loosely translated name of Sun Cake and Beef Tongue Cake! J
No, it’s not made from sunning the cake but rather it was named after a pastry shops that sell this snack in the early days! Famously popular in the city of Taichung in Taiwan, Sun Cake or ‘Taiyang Bing’ has a flaky pastry enveloping a filling of sticky maltose as its signature trademark. The version here is pretty good as the sweetness is well balanced and the pastry is very flaky and crumbles at first bite.
Beef Tongue Cake or Ox Tongue Cake is another popular pastry representing Taiwan but it does NOT contain any beef or ox tongue! The pastry is named apparently as it bears a resemblance to the animal tongue and nothing more. I thought the pastry is a bit chewier compared to the Sun Cake and the version here has a filling of malt as well. Apparently, this pastry also has many other fillings available in Taiwan and is famous in the city of Yilan.
What an eye opener for a foodie like me! I have never been to Taiwan but after this delectable experience, Taiwan is on my list of travels in the coming year! The culture and heritage are truly as seen in its costume of colors and intricate art of representation. Prince Hotel & Residences Kuala Lumpur has even brought in a few staffs from Taiwan dressed in the Taiwan costume just for this event!
The menu for the Taiwanese Food Promotion is not limited to the above but there are set menus and special a la carte offerings such as Poached Squid with Five Spice Sauce, Stir-Fried Oysters with Preserved Black Beans, Thick Amaranth and Baby Sardine Soup, Deep-Fried Shrimp with Salt and Pepper, Braised Clams and Baby Sardines with White Bean Paste, Wok-Fried Morning Glory with Beef and so much more.
Although two weeks is not enough to satisfy everyone’s glimpse and tasting of Taiwanese fare, I concurred that it only whets the appetite for more Taiwan flavors to come. Do check out Tai Zi Heen promotion for the Taiwanese Food Promotion in November before it ends as one can savor true authentic Taiwanese classics from Executive Chef Wang right here at Prince Hotel & Residences Kuala Lumpur!
Tai Zi Heen
Prince Hotel & Residence Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Conlay, 59459 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Tel: 603-2170 8888
Fax: 603-2170 8808
*Thanks to Sabri & team for the lovely invite!
**Pictures without my watermark are courtesy of Prince Hotel & Residences KL