February 4, 2013

GAB Chinese New Year Media Gathering @ Grand Imperial, Bangsar Shopping Center

An Extravagance Feast by Guinness Anchor Berhad!

Talk about extravagance! Recently, Guinness Anchor Berhad (GAB) held a Chinese New Year Media Gathering for its guests and media at Grand Imperial Restaurant, Bangsar Shopping Center. And yes… everyone was truly pampered to their max at the Feast of Abundance of Poon Choi and more!

In addition to the indulgence feast, we also had the honor of Jason Yeoh aka Axian, the famous Malaysian food host who emceed the night’s event by providing his insight on our fabulous feast. No stranger to the Malaysian market, Axian plays host in several of his own food tv series where he goes around in search of Malaysia food. He also shares history on Malaysia food culture and traces back to those good old days of street food at its best.

My first time at Grand Imperial, the whole ambience reeked of elegance in the classic Chinese décor of wood and lots of gold and red. The private event kicked off with a casual speech by GAB Marketing Director, Ms. Yap Swee Leng. ‘Guinness is all about more taste, more look and more soul and the traditional Chinese dish Poon Choi shares very similar characteristics. It certainly has more taste and more look than any  other Chinese New Year dish and to give the dish more soul, a dash of gold was added, making it a worthy start for the Guinness Feast of Abundance.’ Said, Ms. Yap when asked why Guinness decided to make Poon Choi, out of all the other fine Chinese cuisine.

Axian took over and provided an insight history of Poon Choi and its meaning together with other dishes served that night.

Our banquet rolled off with Gold Bar Eggroll with Chicken Floss. Thin beancurd sheet is shaped into long cylindrical bars to resemble its namesake of wealth and filled with savory chicken floss with a sprinkling of pepper. The dish uses eggs to symbolized success and fertility while other ingredients like sugar signify sweetness in life and cornstarch for family togetherness. One gets a salty sweet sensation of comfort flavors of the much beloved chicken floss with the crispy thin beancurd sheet. The touch of heat from the pepper powder is a nice touch!

Yee Sang is almost obligatory during this season of festivity, and so we savored Salmon Yee Sang to ring in the festive season with prosperity. Salmon has become a famous choice in Yee Sang due to its availability and color. As we all gathered to ‘Lo Hei’ and shoutouts of our wish list of everything from everyone, the atmosphere was pure joy and filled with much laughter.

Then we got down to serious food business with the unveiling of the Golden Poon Choi masterpiece created specially by Chef Kenneth of Grand Imperial Restaurant. Using only the very best quality of lavish ingredients, the enormous treasure pot was a mind boggling!

A photo session with the GAB team and honorary guests together with Chef Kenneth Chai before we focus our lenses on the gargantuan Poon Choi.

Our star of the feast was gorgeously surrounded by the opulence sea ingredients and Guinness of course. Poon Choi has been gaining popularity stakes these days in many celebrations because of its association with prosperity and abundance. Layers of flavors and precious ingredients are carefully arranged and packed in a huge pot while the piece de resistance was crowned with a gold ‘Dragon Ball’.

In true Guinness style, the Poon Choi had to be ‘made of more’ and as such, luxurious ingredients such as abalone, dried scallop, prawn, sea cucumber, dried oyster, black moss, dried shrimp, goose web, real edible gold and more are present in the treasure pot. Each ingredient has its own significant festive meaning representing bountiful wealth, precious treasures, prosperity, liveliness, happiness, abundance of good things and more.

The specially catered Poon Choi is tailored to Guinness for more taste, more look and more soul. Jam packed with lots of flavor pieces, our top layer was an array of braised abalones, braised goose webs, soft gelatinous sea cucumber, sweet spicy prawns and a lion’s head meatball covered in edible gold. We ate our way down to another layer of braised pork knuckle, braised pork belly with yam, prawn balls, fish maw, roast duck and chicken, braised dried oysters, scallops and a few varieties of mushrooms. The very bottom layer had lots of soft radish that melts-in-the-mouth and sweet long cabbage. The rich gravy was well balanced and tasty echoing the Guinness flavors, robust and smooth and matching up perfectly with the black gold liquid. We ended the treasure pot with a scrumptious pork meatball.

Just like the soulful effort put into brewing Guinness, the Poon Choi also took a few days to prepare starting from the gathering of the precious ingredients and cooking them separately before being layered and allowing the flavors to meld together. It was certainly an abundance of everything!

Our finale of the evening ended with Chilled Mountain Snow See with Lily Bulb, Pan Fried Handmade Nian Gao and Baked Lotus Paste Pastries. Lightly sweet, the dessert broth provided much soothing feelings while the classic take on pan fried egg coated Nian Gao evoked memories of childhood days. The baked lotus pastry was still warm, making the pastry rich and buttery with sweet creamy lotus paste beautifully yummy.

More picture taking session with Axian took place after the meal ended. It was certainly an unforgettable night with the Feast of Abundance from GAB. Utterly pampered and loaded up with lots of prosperity from that feast, I already felt that my coming New Year was something to look forward too. Thank you GAB for an unforgettable feast!

This Chinese New Year, make GUINNESS a part of your celebration and usher in a year filled with an abundance of all good things. To find out about exciting promotions on GUINNESS this festive season, head on over to www.facebook.com/guinnessmalaysia for more information.

**More pictures in my Facebook: ChasingFoodDreams


  1. Do they deep fry the egg roll? The meat floss will not soak in the oil? Hmmm...the gold ball reminds me of Ferrero Rocher.

  2. wow...Axian was there! Such a huge bucket of 'Poon Choi'! The 'Dragon Ball' is made of what?

  3. I like the goose web, very soft and full of collagen!

  4. Such a sumptuous feast! Truly a grand start to your CNY!