Are You Ready for the Lunar Chinese New Year?
With only a few days away, everyone is scrambling into preparation of the coming New Year in the Chinese Lunar calendar. To be honest, I am still not quite ready but then every year, I never am! J
One thing I never had to worry was food! Instead of slaving over the stove during the festive seasons, there are plenty of options for dining nowadays. Another recent invitation had me checking out Checkers Café at Dorsett Regency Kuala Lumpur for their series of auspicious buffet spread.
Chinese New Year food is all about auspicious overtones… names of ingredients and dishes denoting prosperity, good luck, fortune and health. At Checkers Café, one can certainly feast on luscious dishes such as Yee Sang and an array of auspicious dishes in the Lunar Chinese New Year Buffets!
I like the interesting mix of décor at Checkers Café. A cross of retro and contemporary, the whole restaurant had bright colors contrasting against its wood panels and floor. In fact, I adored the purple chairs a lot… hehehe!
Buffet is an all-time favorite method of dining. It is also the easiest way to satisfy everyone because of its varieties available to cater to everyone’s taste bud. So for those of you with a big family or friends, Checkers Café is definitely one place to check out for an auspicious feast this Lunar Chinese New Year.
Here’s a Sneak Preview of what’s in store for the Chinese New Year Buffets at Checkers Café!
Do check out the drinks at Checkers Café as the one we sampled called Summer Splash was so refreshing and served in a whole pineapple completed with a cute umbrella. Another must have for its moniker of ‘Ong Lai’!!
The mandatory Yee Sang featuring a luscious Salmon Yee Sang with Crispy Salmon Skin presented in the form of a Dragon for that extra touch! As we had a huge crowd that night, the Yee Sang portion was then added to another huge plate for tossing.
These thickly sliced Norwegian Salmon is top quality! Ultra sweet and fresh, it was irresistible… J
Riding sky high with loads of tossing for Health, Wealth & Happiness!
The Salmon Yee Sang was a great burst of colors, especially with the addition of purple cabbages that not only brighten the dish but provided a good crunch and fresh factor to the Yee Sang. A brilliant idea to combine sweet salmon slices and the crispy salmon skin for a more distinctive salmon flavors.
In between our courses, we also had the honors to dine with the team from CQTV, an online television entertainment, Jack who interviewed Executive Chef KK Yau and some bloggers like Sidney, Xiang and Esther. Do check out the CQTV link for the video!
Our first dish of Pan-Fried Lamb Rack with Chef Special Sauce set the bar for my favorite dish that night! The succulent lamb rack was marinated over 24 hours with an oriental seasoning that was ultimately heaven on my taste bud.
Sweet and caramelized, the juicy lamb rack was so tender without any trace of lamb scent. A light sautéed mushroom and wolfberries with ‘Bok Choy’ stems added an elusive charm to the whole dish. Since it’s on the buffet, one can certainly have unlimited pieces of this heavenly rack!
Another familiar dish is Braised Shark’s Fin with Assorted Seafood. A sign of luxury, most course menus will showcase this lavish soup with many variations of additional ingredients.
The version here is quite extravagant with lots of dried scallop, shark’s fin and crab meat. Silky and fairly thick, the consistency is just nice while flavors exuded a broth of seafood flavors.
Steamed Chicken with Herbs is an unpretentious dish of a good bird flavored with light herbs and topped with greens and red dates. Light and gentle, some may find the flavors a bit too lacking but I quite enjoyed this for its simplicity.
For the fish course, I loved the Deep-Fried Cod Fish with Superior Soy Sauce of chunky pieces of cod fried to golden crisp, topped with crispy ginger and spring onions.
The fish was sweet and superb when contrasting against the supreme soy sauce lending a beautiful balance of savoring flavors in the flaky cod fish. It was so good; I had two pieces of this fabulous fish!!
In the ‘Laughter’ course, we savored Deep-Fried Prawns with Seafood Sauce. While I was photographing this dish, the aroma of the dish was intoxicating... hehehe! I believe the sauce of this dish is similar to the well-known XO sauce as it’s very aromatic and strong with intense flavors of dried seafood. The prawns were also sautéed with peppers and onions and served in a crispy edible shell.
Another traditional dish found especially during Chinese banquets is Braised Fish Maw, Sea Cucumber, Dried Oyster and Black Mushroom with Seasonal Vegetables. The dish is well-liked by most elder folks for its significance of good meanings and opulence of its ingredients. The flavors were gentle despite the amount of dried seafood presence; the dish was also well braised till all the ingredients absorb the medley of flavors harmoniously.
For the last savory course, Claypot Waxed Duck was featured in a lotus leaf to expose a sight of aromatic glutinous rice studded with preserved duck, mushrooms and conpoy while shreds of pale yellow egg and green onions completed the appearance of the dish.
For desserts, the choices available are mind-boggling! We savored a few desserts in the form of a thick Sweetened Red Bean, Deep-Fried Nian Gao, Sesame Balls and Deep-Fried Glutinous Rice Balls with Nian Gao!
My favorite of the selections was the crispy Deep-Fried Nian Gao and Red Bean Sesame Balls. A mishmash of textures and sweet flavors proved that sweet endings are the way to complete a prosperous meal this festive season.
Besides the main dishes featured, these are some of the buffet spread that one can enjoy during the Lunar Chinese New Year buffet feasts!
Feast on sumptuous yet traditional offerings of Yee Sang with Salmon, Roasted Duck and Chicken, Deep Blue Seafood on Ice, Salads, Cold Platter Selections, Appetizers, Soups and Hot Dishes from the buffet counters. There are also live stations offering Japanese sushi, Chicken Rice, Noodle station, Satay Corner and a mind-boggling array of sweet desserts, ice creams and chocolate fountains to fill up your tummies!
With all the choices available at Checker’s Café in their lunar buffet feasts, one can definitely be spoilt for choices this festive month! It’s also definitely a nice change from the usual sit down dinner courses which one can take advantage to mingle around while scouting for the widespread of dishes.
Lunar Chinese New Year Feasts
*50% discount for children between the ages of 4 to 12 and senior citizens of 55 years old and above
**Prices quoted are subject to 10% service charge and 6% government tax
Say My Name, Say My Name… ChasingFoodDreams!
Psst… mentioned my blog name when making table reservations by phone or online to enjoy an additional 38% discount on the feasts!! J
Catch the Lion Dance Performance at Dorsett Regency’s main lobby on 26th January 2012 at 9.30am!
For more information and reservations, please call the Checkers Café at 03 2716 1000 extension 188 or visit the hotel’s website at www.dorsettregency.com/kualalumpur.
Dorsett Regency Kuala Lumpur
First Floor, 172, Jalan Imbi,
55100 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 603 2716 1000
55100 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 603 2716 1000
Fax: 603 2715 5000
*Thanks to the Kosmopolito & Dorsett Regency Management for the invite!