Thursday, September 15, 2011
The Han Room @ The Gardens, Mid Valley Megamall, Kuala Lumpur
I've grown to slowly like The Han Room, the latest venture of The Oriental Group of Restaurants. Located at The Gardens (the mall I seem to inevitably end up at), I've accumulated loads of pictures that searching through the numerous files have been a big headache. I know there is still one lost batch somewhere in that heap I call my terrabyte external drive, which I have yet to unearth. If it turns up (as all things do since it is Murphy's Law) I'll add it in the burgeoning Flickr set of pictures.
The restaurant is currently running a special Shunde menu until further notice. You can either order the full menu for ten persons or just select items from the a la carte menu. It's available at all their outlets except the Macau suckling pig (a crispy delectable porcine treat) that is only available at The Oriental Pavilion outlet.
So far favourites picked from the Shunde menu include the chilled marinated pork jelly, a cold dish with braised pig ears and meat that is served with a tangy chilli onion dip; crispy shiitake mushrooms resembling a vegetarian eel (unagi) dish coated in sesame seeds; and the Shunde fried rice with delectable morsels of deep-fried salted egg yolk coated fish crumbs, deep-fried ginger shreds, fresh crab meat and pine nuts.
Last but not least is the ginger milk pudding, a wobbly confection made with fresh Bentong ginger juice and milk. It ranks higher than the Hong Kong version since our Bentong ginger perfumes it with a far superior aroma.
Otherwise, their lunch menu offers a pretty good selection. I have grown extremely fond of their steamed rice selection that is served in glazed claypots and costs about RM12 per pot (best shared between 2-3 people of average appetites). The old school toppings such as chopped meat patty, salted egg yolk, preserved vegetable, salted fish and pork belly or mushroom and Chinese sausage, are all things that makes me wistful for my childhood meals. However, newer flavours seem to still appeal to my tastebuds more as my personal favourite is the newer fangled mixed mushrooms with pine nuts topping.
Let me run down the usual must-haves we gravitate towards during our visits. One such order is the smoked farm chicken (RM38 for half, RM76 for whole). You get one (or half) juicy succulent chook that has a light smoky fragrance, which pairs well with the tangy gem lettuces served on the side.
Another favourite is the simple braised egg noodle village style (RM20) with its chewy texture and well balanced flavours. It is a vegetarian dish with just a simple gluten puff to complement the noodles.
We usually start out with an appetizer and the tangy citrus flavours from the paku pakis (ferntops) with spicy sauce (RM8) is perfect. Deep fried shrimps and shallot crisps give the dish flavour and a textural contrast.
I'm not much of a dim sum fan and will stick to my staples such as the fluffy steamed BBQ meat bun (RM5) and the pan-fried radish cake with teochew sauce (RM6). We have also tried some new items like the intriguing "siew mai" with ginger and century egg (RM8), a flavour combination that works well. However, I'm not sold on the steamed cheong fun with crispy unagi (RM8) or the bubble fish medallion with superior soup (RM10) items. While the smooth rice roll contrasts well with the crisp texture of the eel, its flavour does not seem distinct. Essentially, the bubble fish medallion is a soupy dumpling served in a plastic wrap that comforts but maybe because we ate it after some time, I was not so impressed with the taste of the soup which became quite oily once it cooled down a little.
Don't forget desserts here, there's a pretty good selection of chilled and hot ones. I'm partial towards the chilled yam with sago cream (RM8) for a cool ending or their divine wobbly ginger milk pudding.
While the thousand layered cake (RM6) is not as good as the one we love from Elegant Inn, it is still pretty decent. The sesame glutinous rice balls tend to be a little on the sweeter side though.
The Han Room
Mid Valley City
Tel: 03-2284 8833
(Non halal. Place is open from 10am to 10pm. For more pictures, see my Flickr set.)
*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. This review is time sensitive; changes may occur to the place later on that can affect this opinion. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from this place for writing the review.