Monday, November 09, 2009

Dining Out @ Gu Yue Tien, Chulan Square, Kuala Lumpur

the cold seafood platter from a 4-person set for RM268++

Gu Yue Tien is fast becoming a family favourite of ours. Ever since
my luxe steamboat experience there, we have been back twice for dinner. My mother - the one with the very discerning and sophisticated palate (she often eats at Hua Ting, Lei Garden in Singapore, Beijing, London and etc) loves this place and no matter, where we go we end up comparing to this place. What we also like about Gu Yue Tien is, it's just not all about luxe items and unusual flavour pairings, as we were also very impressed with the traditional Chinese and simpler dishes like poached prawns (very fresh) or the pan fried prawns (similar to kon cheen har) - a delectable and toothsome dish served with an aromatic soy sauce. Even plain vegetables were well cooked with very little oil, something my family loves.

Cold dish course from RM99++ per person set: 1. ham I am - iberico ham with rock melon topped with avruga caviar, 2. giant clam with kumquat sauce served with cherry tomatoes and water melon. 3. smoked salmon & onion crab meat roll

Hence, when my friend asked me to sample their new set dinners, I didn't hesitate and joined them for dinner on a stormy night. It was a set dinner the waiter had earlier recommended to us the last time we dined here (the kobe beef is so good!). Ever since then, I've been thinking of returning to try that set since the portions are served Western-style like a tasting menu making it ideal for the 2 of us.

Hot combination course from RM99++ per person set: 1. crispy oyster with chili sweet potato, salsa and vinegar glazed, 2. soft boiled egg with foie gras, 3. "mo mo" duck roll

We sampled two sets that night - a 7-course set priced at RM99++ per person (minimum order of 2 persons) and a 6-course set priced at RM268++ for 4 persons. The seven course meal consisted of a cold dish, hot combination, shark's fin soup, seafood, meat, rice/noodles and dessert. Portions are individually sized and more generous than Western-like tasting menu. You get a choice of three items for each course - a great way to hook you in to coming back a few more times to try all the various dishes, as most of them are equally good.

Shark's fin soup from RM99++ per person set: 1. double boiled golden coin shark's fin soup with chin hua ham & cabbage, 2. braised golden coin shark's fin soup, 3. braised shark's fin soup with crab meat from the 4-person set for RM268++

We kick off with the cold seafood platter from the 4-person set of RM268++, where you are served a combination of large Pacific oysters, prawns and cold crab to be eaten with black vinegar or soy sauce mixed with wasabi. Everything is super fresh and my favourite is the sweet crab meat eaten just on its own or dipped with just a smidgeon of black vinegar for an extra tangy taste.

seafood course from the RM99++ per person set: 1. wok fried pineapple prawn cake (also available in the 4-person set for RM268++), 2. crispy soft shell crab with mousseline pumpkin, 3. fresh water eel with avocado mousse

Nothing prepared us for the rollercoaster of flavours that assaulted us next, as each course came out for the RM99++ per person set. I loved the combination of the Iberico ham wrapped around a sweet and juicy rock melon topped with a generous dollop of Avruga caviar. Equally good was the smoked salmon wrapped around onion crab meat and drizzled with a sweet basil sauce. My favourite out of all the three items - the tangy and slightly spicy pairing of a kumquat sauce (a combination of kumquat, bunga kantan or ginger flowers with bird's eye chillies) with a slice of the giant clam, cherry tomato and watermelon. Starting the meal with that is so ideal, since the tangy taste kicks in the appetite for you to finish off the 6 courses that follow.

Meat course from the RM99++ per person set: 1. pan fried black pig with wasabi and butter shoyu sauce, 2. wok seared sliced sirloin with marinated oriental spice, 3. wok charred rack of lamb (also available under the 4-person set for RM268++)

The hot combination course is just as exciting that it was so hard to choose which was my favourite. I loved the crispy oyster with the tangy sweet potato and chilli salsa and vinegar sauce. We were playing a guessing game on what was used to make the sauce with suggestions like reduced balsamic vinegar and etc. Gu Yu Tien's owner, Frankie stumped us with his revelation, it was Teochew braised sauce known as loh sooi mixed with Chinese black vinegar and reduced. A classic Gu Yu Tien dish is the soft boiled egg topped with the decadent foie gras sauce. Yummy till the last drop and I was given the not very difficult task of finishing this. Last but not least, it was the mo mo duck roll - a lovely combination of pressed duck, sweet mango, hoisin sauce, mustard and spring onions.

the luxurious mun fan that you'll want to eat all day long - braised abalone with rice and assorted meat from the RM99++ per person set and the 4-person set for RM268++

The 7-course set also comes with shark's fin soup, which is great value considering if you order this on an individual basis, it's about RM70 per person. We were oohing and aahing over the prospect of a peppery pig stomach soup with shark's fin but instead we were blown away by the sweet and delicate flavours from the double boiled shark's fin soup with chin hua ham and dried cabbage. Simply good till the last drop!

rice/noodles course from the RM99++ per person set: 1. braised rice with seafood and egg sauce, 2. "hainan" noodles

Looks are often deceiving hence when you see the simple grilled fresh water eel slices served with avocado mousse on the side, you'll brush the avocado portion as just decoration or even something just on the side. Combine the two items in your mouth and you get an explosion of flavours - smooth avocado with a tangy tone from blended pickled green chillies and the melt-in-the-mouth texture. Brings to mind, how avocado can be paired with the most unlikely things like the fried tempura avocado with pan-fried foie gras served in Sage that also blew me away.

our melt-in-the-mouth kobe beef

Another item within that RM99++ per person and also the 4-person set for RM268++ is the wok fried pineapple prawn cake. The moment the plate is placed in front, you'll be hit with the aromas from the bacon and jackfruit used within. The prawn cake is stacked high on top of sliced red cabbage with strawberries and a light creamy sauce that tastes so good with the bacon. The other item within the set is the light and crispy soft shell crab paired with a slightly saltish pumpkin creme.

1. mushrooms with foie gras sauce, 2. bean sprouts are a must for shark's fin 3. braised golden coin shark's fin soup

We're all groaning from all the food but when the tender slices of meat is placed in front of us, we can't resist. Everything is so good, I can's decide between the tender black pig served with the unusual wasabi soy sauce with butter or the wok charred lamb rack (beats a fine dining restaurant with its melt-in-the-mouth texure) or the sirloin topped with a generous portion of mushrooms.

incredibly finger-licking good soy sauce pan fried prawns

Even noodles and rice is elevated to the higher ground with Gu Yu Tien's versions. I loved the Hainan noodles - thick yellow noodles served with a thickish broth that got its soury tang from sliced pineapples, pickled onions and chillies that you don't need to add any extra vinegar. Braised rice is not something new and comforting like the braised eggy sauce served with seafood and rice. However, the ultimate comfort food must be the braised abalone rice, served with a very aromatic sauce made from abalone sauce, smoked tea duck and chopped vegetables. Utterly sublime stuff.

light and refreshing chilled mango pudding served with grass jelly cubes

Last but not least its the dessert course - the unusual pairing of bittergourd pudding or the light tasting mango pudding topped with grass jelly cubes that makes a refreshing end to a very good meal. Avocado cream is also served in this selection that I found a little too sweet for my liking.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself and vowed to come back to try the dishes again as they're all so incredibly good with unusual flavour pairings. For those who wish to see the full menu, please click on
this link for the information on the various courses. More pictures of each of the courses and what we ate the last time my family had dinner is also found in the Flickr set.

Gu Yue Tien
Lot B5-A
Chulan Square
92 Jalan Raja Chulan
Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 03-2148 0808

(Non Halal)

*Notice: The reviewer declares that part of this review was by invitation from the restaurant.


Sean said...

wow, this is the first time i've seen black pig at a chinese outlet! but the stunner has gotta be the unagi with avocado ... two of my favorite ingredients ever, but i've never tried them together before! now if only it were foie gras, unagi and avocado mousse all in one dish, i'd be rushing over! :D
y'know, back when gu yue tien first opened several years ago, i remember predicting that it wouldn't survive, since the dishes just seemed TOO adventurous. i'm really glad i was wrong =)

boo_licious said...

Sean - black pig was very good and yup, that unagi and avocado mousse was simply heavenly. Hmm, not sure if foie gras was thrown in whether that will be too much but if not Sage's version will definitely satisfy. Yeah, their dishes are very interesting but it still has a firm grounding in Chinese cuisine hence it caters for all tastes.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

99++ dinner sets? well wont mind celebrating an event here then..

KY said...

ahh, everything looks so good here, it's usually pretty difficult trying to convince my friends to spend this kinda money on Chinese food though, but I definitely will find an excuse to do this one of these days.

boo_licious said...

Joe - food here is better value than a Western place and so much better. I keep comparing every Chinese restaurant to this place now.

KY - ah yes, most people hve this barrier abt spending so much monies on Chinese food but the set is worth it - seafood, black pig (something very rare) shark's fin and abalone all done in a very creative manner.

Paranoid Android said...

Oh Man! This has be the best yummy-licious Chinese Meal I have ever seen. No wonder a jaded foodie like you was waxing lyrical all about it! I will have to start advertising for a dinner companion to try the RM99 thingy.

I think that is the way Chinese Restaurants should go nowadays. Individual portions seem more refines,even in a big group. Not everybody wants to dine with their nosy aunties and uncles in one big table with a free for all assault on a large dish! And indiviual preferences can be attended too. Not everybody may like a particular dish.

JRmy said...

Wow, those portions are really small.

Ellen Whyte said...

Oh yum looks good. I'm exploring Topicana in SS2 next. I hear there's a Japanese rest there.

Rarebeet said...

I must admit that I was wrinkling my nose while reading some of the descriptions. Some of the pairing sounds so dubious but I have to remember to keep an open mind :-). Dine again with me??

Ciki said...

by golly .. this place is tres chi chi.. and how much did u eat! :)

"mother - the one with the very discerning and sophisticated palate" .. LOL.. sounds like my mom too.. so definitely can bring my folks here la.
cheers boo!

Ciki said...

sean, you can get unagi-avacado in jap roll wat.. slighty difft form only mah.. wot tok u :P

Unknown said...

Following your glowing review of the RM99++ set menu, I rushed over there this evening to try.

Boy, was I disappointed, BIG TIME. The regular chef must have been on leave. The starter combos were average at best. The soup was rather run of the mill, a tad salty in fact. All in the flavours were one dimensional, with nothing that remotely justified the gushing praise you afforded.

Just my 2 cents.

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