Chinese New Year or the Lunar New Year yet again looms over us, ushering in the auspicious Year of the Dragon. As we bid farewell to the reserved but brave Rabbit, we get ready to celebrate the coming of the mighty Dragon with fireworks, lion dances, ang baos, glorious food and quality family time. Toh Yuen, resident Chinese restaurant at the Hilton Petaling Jaya, is welcoming the new year with a bang. Toh Yuen brings their exclusively handcrafted Dragon “Yee Sang” dish, prosperity set menus and festive a la carte of Chinese delicacies. I joined half a dozen food and lifestyle influencers including Rebecca Saw, GoodyFoodies and Mei Yee aka Iamthewitch to get a taste of Toh Yuen’s exclusive Chinese New Year menu.
“Yee Sang” is a Malaysian Chinese concoction comprising an assortment of condiments and dressing to represent all good things – happiness, good harvest, wealth, good luck, life and longevity. The tossing and mixing of the ingredients and dressing with chopsticks is a ritual shared with family and friends. The Chinese believe the higher you toss, the more prosperous the year would be for you. And yes, it does mess up the dining table, but that’s part of the fun!
No thanks to traffic I arrived a little late for the dinner, and missed the handcrafted Dragon “Yee Sang” with Abalone and Salmon presentation. From the pictures taken by the influencers there, you can see how impressive the Dragon Yee Sang was! I may have missed the ruckus from the Yee Sang toss, but the kind folks and fellow foodies did save a plate of tossed goodness for me. Thanks, guys!
I admit, I’m quite a fan of Yee Sang. I do probably, ten ‘Loh Sang’ sessions a year. ‘Loh Sang’ is the process of tossing Yee Sang. What’s important in every Yee Sang is balance. A correct amount of sweet, sour and saltiness, a texture that is both melt-in-your-mouth and crunchy at the same time. Just the right amount of dressing that lightly coats the condiments. And a generous amount of fresh salmon. The Toh Yuen Dragon Yes Sang, gets a thumbs up. It was very balanced, light and made me crave for more. There was an extra plate but I had to remind myself of the buffet goodness to follow.
What’s a Chinese dinner without good, slow-boiled soup? Braised “Hu Die” Shark’s Fin with Crab Meat Soup was up first. I chose to skip the shark’s fin broth (for obvious reasons) and instead went with the Braised Chicken Soup with Chinese Herb “Chong Chao Hua” and Sea Cucumber option. Pleasant, not too remarkable but provided an introduction to the treats ahead.
Braised Chinese Herb Chicken with Black Fungus. This was a lovely dish, served in a claypot. The chicken, marinated in herbs for over 2 hours, was tender and full of flavour. And the generous amount of black fungus in the herby gravy was much welcomed. Possibly a tad salty for some, but I enjoyed this dish a lot and went for seconds.
Steamed Fish Sea Garoupa with Spicy Garlic Sauce. Steamed, the best way to cook fish. The presentation was a little odd, with the fish laid on its back, but boy, were our tastebuds in for a treat. Perfectly cooked was the flesh, with a generous serving of ginger, garlic, herbs and light, tasty sauce. The flesh was tasty, tender yet flaky. Delicious.
Braised Sea Cucumber with Mixed Mushrooms. I didn’t think too much of this as I’m not much of a sea cucumber eater. Sampled on the mushrooms and crispy broccoli, though.
Sauteed Fresh Prawns with Black Pepper Sauce. I don’t know about you, but I’m completely hopeless at peeling prawns with chopsticks and spoon. Obviously my mom’s extraordinary peeling skills wasn’t passed down to me (seriously, you should see how it’s done). I love prawns no doubt, so I made sure I got down and dirty to get to the fresh, succulent meat underneath. The prawns were tasty, well-marinated with the black pepper sauce. Sucking the sauce off the shells is a must. Oh, and don’t drink from that bowl of clear fluid with slices of lemon. *snigger*
Sauteed Toh Yuen Fried Rice with Seafood. There is good reason why all Chinese set meals, especially on big occasions like weddings and reunion dinners, serve the rice dish at the very end. We, being Chinese and/or Asian, love our rice. If we were to be served rice in the beginning of the meal or as an accompaniment, we would have stuffed ourselves silly before properly tasting anything else. Having said that, I’m a sucker for good fried rice. It’s the ultimate all-in-one dish. Best cooked in a very hot wok to ensure sufficient ‘wok hei’, as the Chinese call it. I was of course stuffed already by this time but couldn’t resist diving into the expertly prepared fried rice with seafood. Lightly salted with some good bits of seafood and generous sprinkling of spring onions. Lovely. I went for seconds.
Deep Fried Crispy Chinese New Year Cake. A meal would never be complete without satisfying one’s sweet tooth. It’s a norm to be serve two types of dessert in a Chinese meal – one pastry, and the other a sweet broth. First was the chinese new year cake, what the Chinese call ‘nian gao’. Nian gao is made from glutinous rice, sweetened with brown sugar. It’s a sweet, fragrant, sticky, viscous snack eaten all year round. ‘Nian’ means ‘year’, and ‘gao’ means ‘high’. Eating nian gao has the symbolism of raising oneself higher in each coming year, thus it is considered good luck to eat this sticky dessert. Symbolism aside, this dessert was delicious. I had seconds.
Double Boiled Red Dates with Papaya and White Fungus. I love white fungus and papaya and am always a fan of traditional Chinese dessert but found this too sickly sweet. Eating it together with the nian gao helped neutralise the over-sweetness though.
Toh Yuen has an understated, rustic ambience with a blend of both contemporary and traditional. The private dining area where we had our meal was pleasant and comfortable. Overall, a pleasant venue for a family meal or event a mid-sized corporate event.
In summary, I found the meal satisfying. At prices ranging from RM988++ to RM1,388++, it is outstanding value. Highlights for me were the Yee Sang, herbal chicken, fish, prawn and nian gao. I’ll be definitely making a reservation soon to usher in the New Year!
Gong Xi Fa Cai!
The Longevity Menu
Seasonal Fruit with Abalone and Salmon “Yee Sang”
Braised “Hu Die” Shark’s Fin with Crab Meat Soup / Braised Chicken Soup with Chinese Herb “Chong Chao Hua” and Sea Cucumber
Braised Chinese Herb Chicken with Black Fungus
Steamed Fish Sea Garoupa with Spicy Garlic Sauce
Braised Sea Cucumber with Mixed Mushrooms
Sauteed Fresh Prawns with Black Pepper Sauce
Sauteed Toh Yuen Fried Rice with Seafood
Deep Fried Crispy Chinese New Year Cake
Double Boiled Red Dates with Papaya and White Fungus
Toh Yuen’s Master Chef Lee prepared the menus. Apart from the Dragon “Yee Sang” with abalone and salmon, there are four choices of Yee Sang to choose from – fresh fruit with abalone Yee Sang, fresh fruit with Hokkigai Yee Sang, fresh fruit with salmon Yee Sang; mango, pear and honeydew Yee Sang.
Priced from RM68++ onwards, they are available in large, medium and small portions – from dine in or take-away. Note that three days advance reservation is required for the Dragon Yee Sang option, understandable, looking at how much work needs to be done to prepare it.
The Prosperous Set Menus are priced at RM988++, RM1188++ and RM1388++ respectively for per table of 10 persons (inclusive of complimentary bottle of wine).
Toh Yuen Opening Hours
Lunch – 12noon – 2.30pm
Dinner – 7pm – 10.30pm
Toh Yuen also caters to company dinner with minimum booking of 50 persons.
Toh Yuen Restaurant @ Hilton Petaling Jaya
No 2 Jalan Barat,
46200 Petaling Jaya,
Selangor Darul Ehsan
Call 03-79559122 for reservations. For CNY corporate packages, call 03-79559122 ext 4118. For the latest F&B promotions and entertainment events, visit www.ZestPJ.com.