The fundementals of a perfect dimsum experience are these.. a comfortable dining hall, large buzzing crowds including multigenerational Chinese families all seated and crammed into one huge table, gathered around a big, lazy susan, and everyone talks at the top of their voices and has something better to say than the next person. A silence hush falls only when they hear the sound of dimsum being served piping hot, straight from the kitchen or via a clattering processional of multitiered carts groaning under the weight of a kaleidoscopic variety of dimsum trays.
Ah yes, these are all the things that make my toes curl in delight, with regards to dimsum. Dimsum is a definitely a historical evolution of yumcha, a traditional Chinese practice of getting together over a light meal and drinking tea, and just basically breaking bread and asking your friend or loved one, “Is it well, with your soul?”. As time has passed, this “breaking of bread” has taken on a more sophisticated form, transforming into a full blown meal commonly consumed late morning to mid-afternoon. The geographic center for dimsum dining is Hong Kong of course, but the neighbouring countries such as Malaysia and Singapore have caught on fast and the quality of dimsum now a days, whilst not as earth-shatteringly divine as the ones from Hong Kong, are possibly, a close second. Well only a handful pass the test anyway. Here is one. And today, we talk about another good example, here at Golden Phoenix.
Steamed Mini Buns with black sesame filling
Chef Yau Kim Yew – the man, with the plan.. and the power of dimsum!
From the Top (clockwise) – Eye of Phoenix, Steamed Crystal Vegetarian Dumplings, Steamed Mini Buns with black sesame filling
Top L – R (Clockwise) – Deep-fried Prawn Balls with Cheese in Thai Sauce, Deep-fried Glutinuous Skin Puffs, Deep-fried Beancurd Rolls with Prawns and Cheese
From the Top (clockwise) Double-Boiled Wantan in Seaweed Soup, Steamed Beancurd with Prawns, Pork Dumpling with Crabmeat
And my favourites from the dimsum selection were – the Deep-fried Sesame Ball stuffed with Shredded Coconut, the Baked Barbeque Pork Buns and last but not least, the Deep-fried Glutinuous Skin Puffs!
The key enticement is a surprisingly vast, varied and value-priced repertoire. Virtually all of the three-piece dishes range in price from RM8 – RM12. The chart-topper amongst the dimsum range that we had would have to be, the lovely gooey, spheres of Deep-fried Sesame Ball stuffed with Shredded Coconut as well as the Deep-fried Glutinuous Skin Puffs with a savoury meat filling in it. The Steamed Beancurd with Prawns and Pork Dumpling with Crabmeat were delicious too. Those who love their soups should not give up the opportunity to try the Double-Boiled Wantan in Seaweed Soup which turned out to be a lovely crunchy prawn wantan in a light, clear, seaweed broth. It is indeed well, with my soul.
L – R (clockwise) Chilled Mango with Special Kway Teow, Durian Pancake
Just when you think Dimsum Chef has pulled out all the stops, he presents a cute and innovative dessert called the Chilled Mango Kwey Teow dish. What, you may ask, is kwey teow, a savory flat rice noodle, doing in a dessert like this. Well, the kwey teow noodles are in fact, not noodles, but rather a mock noodle made from thin Japanese milky jelly sheets. They are sweet and slippery and silky on the palate. I heart the mango dessert!
I don’t eat durian so I skipped this dessert but I heard it was terrific;)
Crispy Soft Shell Crab Prosperity Salad (RM38 per portion, good for 2-4 persons)
As if to counter all that animal fat and lard, salad is served…
Peking Duck and Prawn Crackers
But then, only briefly because it’s back to animal fat and lard again!
One of the nicest Peking ducks I have had in a while. Slather on your plum sauce, arranged all your greens such as the the pickled radish, carrot, cucumber, sprigs of spring onion etc.. and roll it all up in a pancake wrap. I ate just one like that, i.e. in the form of a pancake, then I proceeded to eat the entire lot as only duck skin on prawn cracker! I mean, why waste stomach space.. just cut to the chase I always say.
So there you have it. Golden Phoenix and the lovely dimsum spread. Be sure to check it out.
Add: Golden Phoenix Chinese Restaurant
Hotel Equatorial Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Sultan Ismail
50250 Kuala Lumpur