If you’ve been living in Malaysia for a while now, you would have come to notice how close Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year festivities are celebrated. One of the reasons why I simply love living here, is that these festivities revolve around food. There’s never a celebration where food is not the main event (who needs a waistline?!).
Yet, it still came as a shock to me when we were invited to Chynna at Hilton KL for their Chinese New Year meal preview in December, a week before Christmas. But hey, if there’s food involved, I’m there!
A wonderful wagyu beef yee sang
To kick off the meal, as per any other CNY meal here in KL, we had the yee sang. This year, Chef Lam has come up with ‘Crispy miyazaki A5 wagyu beef yee sang’. I’ve only ever had seafood yee sang, so this meat yee sang was a first for me. The yee sang ingredients were fresh, chilled and crisp (for there’s nothing worse than eating warm yee sang!). The beef reminded me of sweet and sour pork or chicken, as it was cooked in that style.
My first bite into it, I couldn’t taste the beef at all. In my next bite, I got to the beef and the earthiness of the beef came through. Combined with the sweet and sour batter, it was a burst of flavours. When tossing yee sang, you’re supposed to say out loud your wishes for the year. It runs the gamut from good health to lots of wealth, but this year everyone was wishing COVID be-gone – ha!
Next up was ‘Braised pumpkin soup with shredded chicken and vegetarian fin’.
I simply loved the soup. It was light, hearty and was just the right amount of sweetness. The vegetarian fin (yay!) tasted like the real thing – please don’t send me hate mails as I do support saving the sharks! It’s just that growing up in the 80s and being Chinese, I have eaten shark fin before.
Meat is a definite must for a Chinese meal and so ‘Simmer free-range chicken with black sugar and premium soy sauce’ came after. I really enjoyed this dish. The meat was juicy and tender. Though I did wish that we had white rice to sop up the sauce with.
For CNY meals, there has to be fish on the menu, as the pronunciation for fish in Cantonese is ‘yu’ and it sounds like surplus. And who wouldn’t want surplus at the end of the year?! The ‘Steamed sea barramundi with Thai green lime sauce’ was fresh and wasn’t spicy at all. But you do have to eat the fish doused in the sauce, to get the combination of flavours.
The braised clay pot dish was good, as was the ‘Fried noodle with chicken slices in kam heong style’. When the noodle was set on our table, the aroma wafting up was drool inducing! However, ‘Wok fried celery with lotus root with seaweed flavours, scallop and prawn’ was my absolute favourite. It was wholesome, delicious and satisfying.
And for desserts?
To end the meal, we were served ‘Osmanthus jelly with deep fried lotus paste glutinous rice ball’. The jelly had floral notes in taste and was too sweet for my liking (I did think of potpourri when I was biting into it, though my plus one loved it). But the glutinous rice ball was right up my alley. Crunchy on the outside, soft and not too sweet on the inside – absolute yums! I would certainly order just this, if it was available as à la carte.
I must say, Chynna being a halal Chinese restaurant, really did well (it was my first time there). Now I’ve added another option for halal Chinese dining!
To find out more about the restaurant and to make bookings, please have a look at their website here.
We were invited to the buffet. As always, our opinion is honest and our own.