Friday, January 25, 2013

EPIC EATS

Salmon rosettes to grace the ubiquitous CNY salad
"Sou Gong" which means 'finishing work' is a tradition that many Chinese businesses observe as in the olden days, work and business are conducted year-long. No such thing as public holidays and sometimes even weekends off.

Don't be surprised that this practice remains alive and kicking in some industries especially for menial and blue collar workers. As a reward some bosses would treat their staff to a good meal before they "sou gong" and take a break during Chinese New Year (CNY).
Messy merriment...looks like a tornado just hit the plate huh?
For smaller companies that don't have annual staff dinner, the "Sou Gong" meal is considered a sufficient treat and reward for work carried out. In recent years, some hotels like Eastin Hotel in Petaling Jaya have offered special menus so that corporate companies can book tables to capitalise on the festive merriment in the run-up to CNY.

Available from now until February 8, 2013, Ee Cuisine's "Sou Gong" set dinner (RM1388++ for 10 persons) is already being snapped up like hot cakes. You'd understand why after you sample Chef Yong Kam Wah's stupendous offerings!

Great ball of fin and fine textures...a dish worth its weight in gold!
Our rousing Yee Sang opener stood out for its inclusion of "bee chang" or Chinese rice crispies which lent extra crunch to the usual array of vegs, fruits, pickles and whatnots.

But we were truly blown out of the water by the amazing creation of Braised Superior Shark's Fin Ball in Superior Broth. Hats off to Chef Yong (no relation with moi ok?) for his creative efforts...He actually devoted time and effort into mouldng the little bundles of shark's fin mixed with egg into a ball and gently poaching the whole thing; rendering it into a soft, custardy ball.

Placed into a moat of golden hued carrot puree, I thought I had died and gone to heaven at the taste of every unctuous spoonful! The secret lies in the flavourful stock base which had chicken feet, pork and duck bones, old chicken carcass and other ingredients as much as that luxurious sphere.

Smoke gets into our chicken bites
Not contented with serving up ho-hum fare, the chef again surprised us with his ingenuity by smoking the Steamed Chicken with Chinese Wine for a few minutes. The result? A succulent, toothsome and muscly chicken bursting with seductive liquorish nuance and a fleeting 'sometimes you taste it sometimes you don't' smoky tinge. It scored a perfect ten in my book!

Wrap and roll...this chef's creation really rocked
The next dish that rocked us was an eye-catching platter of Stir-fried Prawns with Macadamia Nuts and Bacon Rolls. A clever interplay of clear, uncomplicated and stronger, deep-seated flavours as well as varying textures, I suggest sampling the prawns' inherent sweetness first before diving for the bacon wrapped fish paste rolls coated in a sticky tangy honeyed sauce.

Swimming in a sublime sea of flavours
It seemed this was one night that the chef could do no wrong...the Braised Abalone with Sea Cucumber, Dried Oysters and Vegetables was a work of art; a delightful feast for the eyes and palate. Flanking out from a cluster of blanched broccoli florets, fatt choi (black seamoss) and abalone slices, each plump semi-dried oysters and a finger-thick wedge of spongy sea cucumber came enrobed in a band of beancurd sheet. Doused n a translucent, caramel-hued sauce, it left us hankering for more.

Waxing lyrical over fluffy and fragrant rice mixed with assorted waxed delicacies
If there's one dish that denotes CNY, it has to be the Stewed Clay Pot Rice with Assorted Waxed Meat. Ee Cuisine's version is laden with four different waxed specialities: duck, pork and liver sausages, and belly pork. Rustic, homely and redolent with rich, fatty, briny and wine-spiked accents that sent the gustatory glands into overdrive, you'd find it hard to stop at just one bowl.

Soup's up with tender dried longans, crunchy white fungus and chewy snow lotus seedss
Leaving us in a suitably sweet mood to round off the evening was "tong sui", a light broth of Sweetened Dried Longans, White Fungus and Snow Lotus Seeds. The snow lotus seeds piqued my interest as it was my first encounter with this opaque substance with a firm, chewy texture that's a cross between agar-agar and attap seeds.

Each of us also had a Sino-Japanese pumpkin mochi ball. Dusted with fine dessicated coconut, the centre revealed a smaller glob of  "nin koh" (steamed sweet glutinous rice cake).

We certainly had a ball of a time at Ee Cuisine and weren't surprised to learn that the restaurant is packed to the brim for reunion dinners already. Still if your boss or if you're the boss intend to buy lunch or dinner to "sau gong", I can think of no better place to wrap up the old year in readiness for the Lunar New Year.

3 comments:

Food Dreams said...

I also love all the creativity injected into the menu here! Love the soup and I believed I also went to heaven with that! Oo.. and yes.. more Bacon pls... :)

Ciki said...

I'm happy to Sau Gong when you are! The food here looks like a real treat! Sigh.. looks like we're spoilt for choice this year hor;)

Alice Yong said...

@Food Dreams - i think this menu is utterly fab!

@Ciki - u hv no idea! Will sau gong this Friday but no feast lah...sigh.