Gu Yue Tien, Chulan Square KL

When I read the words “Let the beauty of what you love, be what you do”, I think of one man.

Having worked the restaurants and hotels since he was 13, Chef Frankie Woo now runs his own place known as Gu Yue Tien. If the beauty of what he loves is in his food, then what Chef Woo does in the kitchen is undeniably one of the most excellent and creative forms of Chinese cuisine to emerge in Kuala Lumpur. At Gu Yue Tien you don’t even need to bother with the menu, the chef decides on precisely what to serve his guests. I loved the fact that when we sat down, the head waiter waved away the menus and declared “It has been ordered”.

Voice of an angel.

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What is a Momo Duck Roll?

It is a pretty piece of plated ‘art’ consisting of a slice of tantalizing smoked duck, a sliver of mango, crispy bean-curd skin, pickled cucumber and spring onion, wrapped in place with a cucumber. The wasabi sauce in this ensemble is key to heightening the flavours in the roll. It also washes away the toll that everyday living takes on one’s soul. Super delicious!

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A first rate soup is difficult to come by these days, what with certain restaurants taking short cuts with quick-boiling of soups plus loads of added MSG to speed things along.

The Double-boiled Pig’s Stomach Soup here is a joy to savor. It has an evil bite and a robust peppery-flavour that I love! Exactly like the kind my grandma makes in the kitchen at home.  I felt no MSG ill effects after the dinner either indicating “no short-cuts taken”.

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If ever Chef Woo had a claim to fame, I would say , let it be known as The Pan-fried Foie Gras and Stuffed Scallop in Orange and Honey Sauce. The uniqueness of this masterpiece lay in the subtleties of the flavours. Now you and I both know that if there is one thing Foie Gras is not, it is not subtle. So, how Chef Woo managed to envision and get just the right thickness of goose liver, pan fried to remove some of its gaminess then adding this to a lovely deep fried scallop and prawn-cake and served with orange sauce and jack-fruit and strawberries is just down right remarkable. What..  Andy Warhol says 15 minutes of fame?  I say take the entire year Chef Woo!

Actually few diners leave Gu Yue Tien without savouring the chef’s speciality of Half-boiled Egg with Foie Gras which is essentially foie gras with a lightly poached egg, served in its shell but I think Chef Woo figured that the world is ready for something new. I totally agree! For now, the Pan-fried Foie Gras and Stuffed Scallop in Orange and Honey Sauce totally rules OK!


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The Salt Baked Iberico Pork Ribs did not stand a chance. They had the bone chewed and the marrow and life sucked out of it.

Nope, not a chance.


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I would like to take this chance to say that sharing this meal with our excellent dining companions was truly joy multiplied!

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Reaching the conclusion of our meal, I was almost sad to see dessert served. Chilled Avocado & Mango Cream in Tai Chi Style (Ying & Yang design) tells me that for every happy story, there sometimes has to be a sad ending. In this case bittersweet because dinner was so lovely you don’t want to say goodbye.

By the way, if you do some research you will find that Chef Woo is indeed worthy of all this praise I am heaping on him because he has garnered numerous accolades during his hotel heydays. To date, he remains one of the few Asian chefs to have showcased their culinary prowess at the prestigious James Beard Foundation in the USA.

If I had to take a stab in the dark, I would guess that  Chef Woo’s deep passion and knowledge of Chinese cuisine is what gives him the edge and boldness to experiment with contemporary styles. His flair for fusion is rooted in something deeper..  in the intangible, and that is precisely what separates the wheat from the chaff.

Rumi says “Let the beauty of what you Love be what you do”. Chef Woo is living it everyday.

Add:
Gu Yue Tien
Lot 5A, Chulan Square
Jalan Raja Chulan
50200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603-2148 0808
Google Maps

Comments

  1. I love that Thoreau quote. But more than that, I love your food pics. Absolute food porn!!!

  2. Yums, one of my fav Chinese restaurants that nvr dissapoints me.

  3. Must go!? Iberico pork ribs is an anomaly but good ole pig’s stomach soup in a Chinese restaurant looks fine. But then one never knows until the food is tried and tested (both ways).

  4. ooh, how old is chef frankie now? if he’s in his 40s, that might mean he’s been cooking professionally for 30 years already! gosh, what was i doing at the age of 13 … definitely not mastering any useful skills, unlike him :D

  5. Brilliant post! U totally did justice to the gorgeous food :-)

  6. GORGEOUS!!!!!!! And the words are paired so nicely with each course.

  7. Nicely done! I like the quotes with the food pictures -very stylish. :)
    It was such a pity that when I was back, I always felt too hot to want to drink any soup, esp peppery ones. And now that I’ve left, I truly regret not having more soup. :(

  8. Love your quotes. But I hate that I get hungry each time I visit your blog LOL.

    “Pan-fried Foie Gras and Stuffed Scallop in Orange and Honey Sauce”….I want!!

  9. Food porn, I second that :-)

    Clever quotes that pair perfectly with the dishes … so cleeeevvvvver :-) I like!

  10. gosh where you find all these phrases???

  11. Have only been to Gu Yue Tien once. I had very high expectations, but my dining mates and I weren’t terribly impressed. Perhaps they were shorthanded that day? I dunno. Maybe it was just bad luck. Boohoo!

  12. I have been to Gu Yue Tien since it started. Frankie is such a great chef, and he deserves a Michelin star for pushing the envelope in food style and matching flavours, textures and diverse ingredients. And it always works! I have never tired of eating his food. There’s always something new.

  13. Jen, Boo, WW:
    I agree that that food here is “photogenic” but the test of the pudding is in the eating. It is really superb tasting too;) thank u for the comments!;)

    Sean, PG, Monkey, GFAD:
    thanks for the compliments and yes, i think he should be in his late 40’s? An awesome cook no doubt about it!

    Bbabe, Julian ,Joe, Marian:
    I agree that Chef Frankie is such a great chef, and he deserves a Michelin star for pushing the envelope in food style and matching flavours! Come .. throw away the diet.. let’s go makan!

    LL:
    Sorry to hear it was not up to par.. could it have been teething problems?

  14. wow, love your quotes.. I’ve heard a great deal about this place, just haven’t had the chance to go try it.. its a little too far away.. your pictures sure make the food look tempting though… looks like I’m going to have to make a trip into town for this..

  15. hmmm everything look so delectable, hopefully can make our way there

  16. definitely agree with you. Frankie never disappoints. Next time ask him to serve you the “lui sa” tong yuen. You’ll fall in love with that dessert!

  17. So beautiful shots. Don’t lah despair …. in the end, the dessert was meant to end the meal on a sweet note. No? :)
    There will always be another meal in the near future.

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