The Golden Phoenix Restaurant, Kuala Lumpur is one of the most stylish and fantastic Chinese restaurants of the city. Located inside the premises of the Hotel Equatorial, this marvelous restaurant attracts a large number of people everyday. It has undergone extensive renovations and it is pleased to find that the new menu at Golden Phoenix is still as exacting as ever.
Old regulars would hardly recognise the restaurant since it reopened after three months of renovations. The heavy, traditional Chinese decor is gone. In its place, is a new chic in cream and sunny yellow, with huge round lampshades featuring the legendary phoenix.
The sound of water-walls on both sides of the door is immediately soothing and private rooms come with LCD-glass screens that turn from clear to translucent at the flick of a switch.
But it is the new menu that’s the big buzz. Dim sum chef Yau has a creative line-up of nibbles that detours from the usual array of siu mai and char siu bao.
Of particular interest is a dish of prawns wrapped in filigree pastry and deepfried. This he drizzles with wasabi mayonnaise for a delightful, crunchy treat.
Meanwhile, chef de cuisine Chu has managed to inject excitement into the menu while keeping old favourites.
“Golden Phoenix’s updated menu is quintessentially Chinese, yet contemporary,” he says.
So instead of sharks’ fin soup, try the Double-Boiled Bamboo Pith With Seafood.
The soup is clear stock, sweet from the addition of fish fillet, fresh scallops and prawns. Black mushrooms add an earthy flavour while bamboo pith provide a crunchy texture. There’s plenty to chew on but the soup itself is so good you’d want to tilt the bowl to get the last drops.
Simmered Chicken in Dried Scallop Sauce makes one forget momentarily that chicken can often be too subtle in taste. For this one is full of flavour from the dried scallops. It’s served with a ginger-scallion paste.
A touch of Shanghai is evident in the Sauteed Prawns with Salted Egg.
The large prawns, shelled for easy eating, is coated with crushed salted egg yolk, the grittiness and flavoursome aroma balanced by the sweetness of the fresh prawns. There is a subtle refreshing taste from the inclusion of just a bit of chopped celery.
Stuffed Beancurd was served after this. The fish paste stuffed tofu pok comes in a thickened sauce but the flavours are so light they are dominated by the lingering taste of salted egg yolk. So if you’re having this, do ask for it to be served first.
In a way, this refreshes the palate for the Fried Shredded Kai Lan. Chu has given kai lan a double treatment.
He’s blanched the main stalks and tossed them with garlic and dried scallops as well as deep-fried the chopped leafy part. It’s like two dishes in one and I really can’t decide which one I like more.
If you enjoy noodles, you’d appreciate the Golden Phoenix Fried Noodles. The yee mee is topped with a lovely sauce with prawns, fish fillet, scallops, siu bok choy and black mushrooms.
Just ask for lots of pickled green chilies to give it an added zing.
One can either go for the vegetarian or the non-vegetarian food. Seafood is also popular over here. The most popular dish of the restaurant is "Monks Jump Over the Wall".
Other specialities of the restaurant include stewed bean curd with kai choy, pomfret with belachan sauce and others. For drinks, you can try out the fresh fruit juices.
The restaurant décor concept is a blend of fashionable chic yet is quirky and informal, with luxurious private rooms, an ideal venue for banquets of up to 400 persons.
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