Elegant Inn @ Menara Hap Seng, KL

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Elegant Inn – many months ago, I had read so much about this place, from my cousin’s blog and so, we were pretty excited when Marian extended an invite to us to a dinner hosted by Jeanette, the owner of the restaurant. At the table were also A lil Fatmonkey, FBB, LL and BE.

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Jeanette is a real food connoisseur. She believes in absolutely as little processing of food as possible, and also cooking that retains the intrinsic taste and balance of ingredients in their most pure and natural state. The result of this is subtle tasting food that is not too over-powering in any one flavour, but rather brings out the best in each food element. Balance and light cooking is key.

First up the Loh Sang (Tossing Salad and Raw fish.. normally around Chinese New Year time as this brings prosperity and good fortune).  Priced at RM88 for a full dish and RM68 for half a dish, this Yee Sang was light tasting will a great texture and aroma, brought about by the jelly fish, the abalone plus the salmon. The pale and natural color of the vegetables told me that they use as little coloring as possible in their Yee Sang, at Elegant Inn.

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Then came the magnificent trio. Kobe to make your heart stop with joy, tofu silverfish to make your feet wobble in anticipation and chilled salmon and crab-meat to shock you back to reality! I actually ate mine in this order and it was pretty effective.

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The Salt & Pepper Hong Kong silver fish that was lightly battered and eaten together with the tofu was  different and creative.  The Japanese Kobe beef in a dainty dish with loads of garlic was faultless.  It disintegrated  the minute it touched my tongue. And finally the salmon and crab-meat  on a bed of ramen drenched in a sourish, zesty sauce  to remove the heaviness of the fats and meats just ingested. Whoever came up with this concoction is a genius!

P1010118I loved the zing this spoonful gave me, like some electric shock to my palate and salivary glands.

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Traditional Signature Pig Stomach With Peppercorn and Salted Vegetable Double Boiled Soup.

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The best thing about this soup is that, not only is it bursting with kampung chicken, dried scallops, yunnan ham, pork ribs, pork stomach, abalone mushroom, salted vegetables..you can actually eat all of the above, whilst drinking the soup. I learnt something new here, regarding peppery soups. These sort of soups should leave a subtle pepper burn,  AFTER you drink it, not while you’re drinking it.. says the food expert. It should be light and not kill all your taste-buds so you cannot appreciate any other dish afterwards! How clever.

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Cumi, taking photos of the munkeys, FBB and LL .. busy taking photos. I’m taking a break:) Marian and BE look on in amusement.

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Such skilled photographers this lot.. look at their huge, professional gear. The mind boggles:P

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Golden Crispy Flaky fish.. divine! The Golden Fried Estuary Garoupa Fillet with Chinese Leeks Topping was a delight to eat. Crispy because of the skin, and soft when you bite into the white flesh, this was truly a beautiful fish.

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After that, for me, it was just a case of one too many. Enter the steamed tilapia with Ham Yue Fah Lam. (salted fish and belly pork). Great in itself but by this point, I could not really appreciate this fish in its entire glory. Too bad, will be back one day to try it on its own.

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I love crab. Give me crab over fish, prawn, clams or mantis any day. You must try the signature egg yolk crab at Elegant Inn, simply because it is totally different from any other egg yolk crab available in KL. Rather than the crumbly dry egg yolk type of coating, this sauce was light and creamy but with so much eggy aroma, I nearly fainted. Add Mud crab to the equation and feel that great sensation of satisfaction in a mouthful, wash over you. I prefer mud crabs to Sri Lankan crabs. Whilst Sri Lankan crabs have massive proportions of tight, white meat/flesh, this same flesh is tasteless. The Mud crab however, though smaller, is exquisite in itself. You don’t need to drown it in a strong tasting sauce to get a kick out of it. The mud crab has a superior sweet flavour to its meat that is hard to top.

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8 Vegetarian Treasures in Chef’s Sauce. This dish is special for the Wanyi (dried black fungus) imported from Harbin, which will apparently only be available for the next two months, so if you want to try this, best be quick about it.

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Ah, this next dish was Bitter gourd with Salted Vegetables is a mixture of 4 taste sensations. Salty, bitter, sweet and sour… fantastic! Again, I must say, whoever thought of this, is a genius. I live for surprises like these. I really loved this dish. (Am I easily impressed? Maybe I am..)

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The Claypot Rice with Hong Kong Waxed Meats. You need to be a fan of 1. clay-pot rice and 2. waxed duck to truly appreciate this. I am not big on either –  Waxy and chewy, you’ve really got to like it.

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Fried rice.. this dish is hardly what one would call rocket science but here at Elegant Inn, they do this simple, hearty fried rice to perfection. I finished my WHOLE bowl, whilst A lil Fat Monkey only ate half. See? I do like my carbs.. when done right.. ahem!

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So good we licked the claypot clean. See.. only some ‘kerak’ left only.

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Munkey adores the queen. Sometimes he mistakes her for the design on Cumi’s t-shirt. Sigh.. poor munkey.

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Chef and co-owner. Handsome, young.. and oh, he must be the co-genius that I was talking about in my post, together with the lovely Jeanette of course;)

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Finally, no dinner is complete without some killer delicious chinese favourites. Japanese Pumpkin Sago Soup With Green Beans – thick, smooth and creamy. The pumpkin flavour was  delightfully strong – this was my favourite dessert. Malai Kou – spongy and eggy .. cumi likes this more than me, but that’s just preference. The Banana chinese style pancakes and sesame balls with peanuts inside were excellent too. No complaints there.

All in all a truly creative dinner with lost of surprises. Thank you Marian for the invite and Jeanette for hosting!

Add:
Elegant Inn,
2.01, 2nd Floor, Podium Block,
Menara Hap Seng,
Jalan P.Ramlee,
50250 Kuala Lumpur
Tel:03-2070 9399

Comments

  1. Yeah..bring on more Yee Sang!

    I think I will like the trio!!

  2. “She believes in absolutely as little processing of food as possible, and also cooking that retains the intrinsic taste and balance of ingredients in their most pure and natural state.”

    Amen to that. I totally all over this philosophy… The taste… just tastes better, rite? :P

  3. wah that’s a lot of food! I heard about this place too. I wanna goooooo

  4. yikes, i made a resolution not to start indulging in yee sang until february. just one more week, one more week… arghh!

  5. Didja just implied tat the Queen has a mustache? She will not be amused! :x

  6. did monkey say “didja just implied..”…sigh, gramma is dead, and in the family too!

    darn, i’m hungry again looking at all the food! what i’d give now for some of that soup. i’d do an Esau!

  7. hehehe… ahpa is proud of me!

  8. Awesome presentation. I like the HK rice with waxed meat, it’s a traditional CNY dish for some dialects (prob coz they’re too busy with open houses to cook). :)

  9. Delicious stuff. Oh, thanks for the enlightenment bout the peppery soup part. For I always thought the more sting the soup provides, the better.

  10. A very fine dining with beautiful people, we are so happy coz you finally stole a glance at us :mrgreen:
    dunno when can we can ever meet the gorgeous Jeanette

  11. Time to invest in a good razor to shave off my moustache. :razz:

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