This was my second visit to Chinoise Restaurant at Thistle Port Dickson Resort (Malaysia) at the invitation of Ms Bobby.
Chinoise Restaurant is now much brighter, especially during the day when it is flooded with sunlight from the Malacca Straits, a stone's throw away.
Inside Chinoise, the furnishing is classical elegant Chinese without looking pretentious or overly opulent. It's easy to feel comfortable here. The old style round marble topped tables are perfect for intimate communal dining and bonding.
Chef Lam (far right) whom I met during my first visit is still leading the kitchen here. He has been with Chinoise since the beginning, more than a decade ago.
Chef Lam remains an old school fastidious Chinese chef who does things the old, tedious way. No shortcuts, so Chef Lam's food has that familiar classic flavour. Though well rooted in tradition, Chef Lam presents his food with contemporary flair that is pleasing to the eyes and excites the appetite ;-D
Like every Chinese New Year feast in Southeast Asia, Chinoise's CNY menus start with the traditional colourful Yee Sang with salmon slices (abalone slices also available).
The finely shredded carrot, radish, beetroot, cucumber and other vegetables were tossed with gusto to rousing shouts of 祝你羊年财源滚滚, 生意兴隆, 工作顺利, 生意羊羊得意, 天天喜气羊羊 and other auspicious Chinese New Year greetings and wishes.
The salad was made with very fresh vegetables finely shredded and carefully dehydrated. Refreshing and crunchy with just the right amount of juice, and flavoured with powdered spices, aromatic oil and plum sauce.
Nothing fancy but traditional and very tasty.
The first main dish was steamed chicken with Chinese herbal sauce.
Chef Lam marinated the whole chicken in dark sauce, deep fried it and then braised it in brown herbal sauce till the meat was fall-off-the-bone soft. The chicken flesh was well infused with traditional Chinese herbal flavours and sweetness.
Steamed pomfret fish in superior sauce.
Made with local caught fresh pomfret, Chef Lam keeps this classic simple and nice.
Whole fish is a must have for every Chinese New Year feast as the Chinese word for fish 魚 sounds the same as the Chinese word for "surplus" 餘. So, having whole fish during Chinese New Year signifies having "surplus of wealth and good fortune".
Wok fried prawns with Chef's special sauce.
Fresh good sized prawns fried in Chef Lam's own savoury sweet sauce.
大虾 or live big jumping prawns signify energy, vitality and liveliness.
Braised loh hon vegetables with black mushrooms, black moss and dried oysters.
Chef Lam's version of the traditional Cantonese Chinese New Year auspicious dish.
Black moss or hair moss is called 髮菜 in Cantonese which sounds like 發財 (fatt choy) which in turn means "greater prosperity and wealth".
The colourful mixed vegetable dish also symbolises harmony and unity.
Fried rice with anchovies.
Very well executed simple dish of steamed rice stir fried with crispy anchovies and meaty shrimps.
Rice symbolises wealth and luck.
Red bean yuki roll.
Rounding up the feast with a nice sweet dessert signifies good fortune and sweetness to last the whole new year.
Different Chinese New Year set meals for 10 people ranging from RM788++ to RM1188++ per table is available at Chinoise Restaurant from 18 Feb to 25 Feb 2015. Booking phone #: +606-648-2907.
Disclosure: My stay in Port Dickson was supported by Thistle Port Dickson Resort.
Restaurant name: Chinoise Restaurant
Address: Thistle Port Dickson Resort, KM16 Jalan Pantai, Teluk Kemang, Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia
Hours: Tuesday to Thursday Dinner - from 6:30pm to 10:30pm | Friday to Sunday Lunch: 12:00noon to 2:30pm Dinner: 6:30pm to 10:30pm (Monday: Closed)
No pork, no lard, no Halal cert
Date visited: 29 Jan 2015
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