Sunday, 6 April 2014
Berjaya Waterfront Hotel Chinese Restaurant, Johor Bahru
Roslina of Berjaya Waterfront Hotel invited me for lunch at the hotel's Chinese Restaurant.
Inside, Berjaya Waterfront Hotel Chinese Restaurant, it is spacious and the decor is relatively simple. I was briefed that the restaurant can seat 380 people.
We were joined by Elaina and we lunched at one of the four private rooms which has a nice view of the waterfront (Johor Straits) - I also liked it because the large windows let me take food pictures with good natural light :D
I met Chef Wong who heads Berjaya Waterfront Hotel's Chinese restaurant. Chef Wong is originally from Ipoh, and has over 30 years of experience in many fine restaurants in Malaysia, Singapore and Australia.
Wong is still an old school chef who insists on good fundamentals like creating and preparing his food from scratch i.e. from basic ingredients rather than succumb to the convenience of factory or central kitchen pre-mixes.
Double Boiled Chicken with Chinese Herbs Soup RM10+ per serving
Chef Wong started us off with Double Boiled Chicken with Chinese Herbs Soup. The tonic soup was light-tasting, gently savoury, and mildly herbal with delicate ginseng flavour and aroma. The soup nourishes and strengthens our body while we enjoy a tasty broth. This herbal soup was a very appetising start for our lunch.
Boneless Crispy Chicken in Salad Sauce RM20+
Next, followed the Boneless Crispy Chicken in Salad Sauce. This is a common "cold" starter dish at Chinese wedding banquets of old.
The salad sauce was sweet with refreshing crunchy fruits fruits like rock melons, apples and grapes together with savoury golden brown fried chicken. This was a very nicely executed old school Chinese classic - brought me memories of the wedding banquets that I had attended in the long past :D
When the "cold" dish first arrived, the exquisite food carvings made with ginger and carrots were the first things that caught my eye.
Whenever possible, Chef Wong indulges in intricate food carving - an art that requires a lot of patience - something not often seen in today's "rush paced" lifestyle.
While we don't eat food carvings, the intricacies do give us a hint and insight into the Chef that made these art pieces and the dishes that he serves.
Home-style Minced Chicken and Fresh Bean RM18+
This Home-style Minced Chicken and Fresh Bean is just like what mum made at home, albeit with a little less finesse than Chef Wong. Hand picked beans and chicken meat chopped to a mince. Skilfully wok fried with mildly savoury sauce - all the natural crunch and flavours of the chicken and beans were retained.
Pan-fried Prawns with Cheese and Garlic RM38+
Pan-fried Prawns with Cheese and Garlic is another another familiar classic.
Beautifully executed. Fresh crunchy, juicy, plump shrimps fried golden brown tossed in a sauce of cheese blended with garlic, onions and button mushrooms. Nice mouth feel and a good blend of sweet and savoury.
Durian Puff RM12 for 6 pieces
We wrapped up our scrumptious lunch with Chef Wong's durian puff.
The batter was much finer than that found at hawker stalls. The durian filling was more like a paste, more grainy and less runny. I like this too.
It was a delightful lunch of simple dishes.
Perhaps, Chef Wong's food carvings best sum up my impressions of Berjaya Waterfront Hotel Chinese Restaurant. The food is simple yet sophisticated because of the refined skills and detailed attention that went into it's preparation; familiar yet still surprises, ordinary yet artful.
Overall, I also found that the prices at Berjaya Waterfront Hotel Chinese Restaurant reasonable.
Restaurant name: Berjaya Waterfront Hotel Chinese Restaurant
Address: 88, Jalan Ibrahim Sultan, Stulang Laut, Johor Bahru
Hours: 11:30am to 2:30pm | 6:30pm to 10:30pm (Closed on Monday)
No pork, no lard, no Halal cert
Date visited: 18 Mar 2014
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