Friday, 7 June 2013

Wedding Banquet @ Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur

One of my close university friend was finally getting married in May and had her wedding reception at a 5-star Starwood hotel, Sheraton Imperial Hotel Kuala Lumpur.  After a long, tiring morning as one of her ji mui, I finally can sit back and enjoy the night as a guest.

Coming to a wedding banquet, one will never fail to scan through the menu for the night despite being very aware that Chinese wedding banquets are always very predictable.  But for this wedding, it was slightly out-of-the-box.  The menu was quite unique as it has a combination of Chinese, Western and Local flavours.

Before we start on the food, I must comment how superb the service was at Sheraton.  Everything was served into individual plates by the waiters and so, we are pretty much spoilt for the night.  The good thing is, it gave us quality time to mingle with our friends and catch up with the good old times (as well as taking loads of pictures).

Now, comes the food.

The first to arrive was none other than the Four Hot Precious Combinations.  I usually deem the first dish of a  9-course banquet the best and usually made it a point to satisfy my appetite first by eating more of it.  This is, of course, not an exception.

As the name suggests, there are four different items served:
  • Stir Fried Fresh Top Shell with Capsicums:  Cooked in kung po style, the flavour was quite mild but the top shell was fantastically thick and fresh.  And no, it was not spicy.
  • Deep Fried Almond Coated Ball:  Despite its fancy name, it was just fish paste coated in a slightly crispy almond flakes.  Tasted average.
  • Steamed Prawn Dumpling with Supreme Sauce:  Looked like sui gao but tasted like har gow.  Flavourful and juicy, with the sweetness of the prawn meat but would have preferred that the prawn tail to be removed.
  • Vietnamese Yam Roll:  This was my favourite of the four!  Gooey, sweet purple yam wrapped in rice paper and deep-fried.  Something you would normally find as a dessert, but having it presented here acts like a palate cleanser to neutralise the heavy, complicated flavours of the other food.

I was very glad that her wedding did not involve any shark fins.  In fact, if I ever have mine, I will also not serve shark fins – not only do they actually not add much flavour to the soup, they are extremely bad to the environment.

Instead of the usual Chinese double-boiled soups, we had the individually-served Cream of Pumpkin Soup with Seafood.  I must say, this is a very good bowl of pumpkin soup.  It has a nice, thick consistency and is super flavourful & sweet.  However, the seafood, which is mainly shelled prawns, was barely a part of the soup.  While the seafood was fresh, you can’t taste the seafood infused into the soup.  It felt like the seafood was added into the pumpkin soup just for the sake of being there instead of actually contributing to the overall flavour.

The next dish to arrive was the Oven Roasted Pei Pa Chicken with Sesame Paste and Bean Paste.  I was hoping for some crispy and air-dried skin, but the sauce has wet the skin too much.  For me, the meat has quite a mushy not-so-fresh texture, although KS didn't really find it an issue.  Although the chicken tasted good (mainly due to the sauce), the texture was too unbearable for me to continue.  For me, this was a big no-no.

Luckily, the next dish, the Steamed Omega Barramundi with Japanese Soy Sauce, made up for its disappointing chicken  dish.  The meaty fish was very fresh and sweet.  The fish skin, soaked with the gentle sweet soy sauce, was delicious with its fatty and slightly chewy texture.

You know it is almost towards the end when you start seeing the Braised Japanese Mushroom with Vegetable being served.  The Japanese mushrooms were huge and meaty but unfortunately, there was just not enough flavours that managed to be absorbed into the mushrooms itself.  The sauce that braised the mushrooms was just so-so - mainly just starch.  But the broccoli was crisp and sweet.

The next dish to come is the Baked Tiger Prawn with Cheese and Garlic.  Okay, I do admit I am not a fan of prawns (due to allergy) and usually opt to leave it out.  But, it just so happened that this dish came out right when everyone from our table decided to go out of the hall for a re-union picture taking.  In fact, when the waiter took finally took it away, the dish was not really touched at all.  Quite a waste, actually.

We came back just in time for the final dish, which most of us were really looking forward to because it is rarely (almost never) to find an Indian cuisine in a Chinese wedding banquet.  Yes, Nasi Minyak with Diced Chicken and Anchovies on Banana Leaf.

It definitely looked and smelled good but a little disappointing in the end.  The rice is very dry own its own and hence, adding the curry is a must.  However, the mixed vegetable curry is heavily concentrated with spices without much balance in the flavours – hardly any sweetness or acidity to tone down the spices.  Despite that, the rice (minus the curry, obviously) is quite flavourful especially with the salty but fragrant fried anchovies mixed into the rice.  Just a little more moisture would go a long way to make this dish more memorable.

Last but not least was the Western Desserts.  Depending on your “luck”, the dessert options are alternated.  Since KS and I attended, I can try two different types of dessert.

The one I had, which is the tastier dessert, is the Chocolate Parfait with Passion-fruit Coulis.  The chocolate parfait was very creamy and silky.  Chocolate lovers would love this rich chocolate dessert.  The blueberries gave quite an acidic punch to the dessert although I felt they have overdone the acidity by combining the passion-fruit coulis with the blueberries.

KS had the Cheese Cake with Berries Compote instead.  The flavours are quite mild and not too cheesy, which is suitable for those who are not a big fan of cheesecakes.  The berries compote was quite sour, which unfortunately is annoying as it keeps masking the flavours of the cheesecake.

For both desserts, they are laid on top of a sweet, crispy mixed sesame tuiles.   KS liked it very much as it was very fragrant.  I don’t fancy it much as it is very difficult to break it into reasonably sized pieces without making a mess to the dessert or almost “breaking” the plate.  Tried to be lady-like and refrain from using my fingers, but obviously, failed.

Generally, it was a very good and memorable experience.  After all, it was not the food that actually makes a wedding successful but the joy and sweetness of the couple and their guests celebrating through the night.

My dear friend, hope you will have a everlasting, happy and sweet marriage!

Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel
Jalan Sultan Ismail
50250 Kuala Lumpur

No comments:

Post a Comment