Di Wei, Empire hotel and the massive Poon Choi

What on earth is a “Poon Choi” ?

I had never tried it before, so I was pretty excited to see what lay underneath the lid of that huge claypot.

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At Di Wei, Poon Choi or Big Bowl Feast is really a sight for sore eyes..

Poon Choi, that comes from the Song Dynasty, is special in that it is composed of many layers of different ingredients. It is also eaten layer by layer instead of “stirring everything up”, but if you really can’t wait, then be alert, because, sometimes a stray piece from the layers below, may just pop up!

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In the days of yore, it used to take 3 whole days to make Poon Choi. Today, it takes just one. You see, back in ancient times, the first day was where the folks went up to the mountain, to chop firewood. In ancient times, they did not have cooking gas, and so plenty of firewood had to be prepared in order to cook all the food. Till today, some people believe that it tastes better when cooked over a wood fire too. On the second day, the folks would buy plenty of fresh ingredients and they’d have too cook it on the spot, mostly because the rural community simply did not have refrigerators back then.

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On the third day, they start to cook the stewed pork early in the morning. The old cooks would cooked the pork for at least 10 hours in order for the ‘half fat-thin’ (poon fei sau) pork bellies to tender. A few decades ago, Poon Choi was considered a test for chefs in that the wooden stove’s long cooking time, requiring a great deal of patience and stove control.

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A traditional Poon Choi is served in a big wooden basin, each table has a basin of Poon Choi, and every person takes food from that basin. Traditionally, people eat Poon Choi layer by layer, from the top to the bottom.

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Ingredients such as Chinese radishes, pigskins and bean curd are placed at the bottom of the container. In the middle of the dish, there is usually pork, yam, meatballs, pork knuckle, roast duck and Chinese dried mushroom. On the upper part of Poon Choi, meat, seafood and rare ingredients can be found.

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The prettiest layer is of course reserved for the top, as that’s what your eyes will first lay eyes on, once they lift the lid. Tasty morsels of roast pork, king prawns, dried scallops, fatt choy, sea cucumber, abalone and fish maw, are a sight for sore eyes, and the fragrant scent is almost unbearable once they take the lid off. It all contributes to the attractiveness of the Poon Choi on the surface.

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the wobbly pork knuckle.. my favorite!

A total of 18 ingredients is required to make this Poon Choi complete.

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In order that the Poon Choi is fashioned in the tastiest manner, the relatively dry ingredients such as seafood are placed on the top while other ingredients, which can absorb sauce well, are assigned in the bottom of the basin. This allows sauces to flow down to the bottom of the basin as people start eating from the top. This attentive design of layering the ingredients contributes to the taste of the whole dish.

The price for this Poon Choi ranges from RM388++ for 5 persons, to RM688++ for 10 persons. If you order the Poon Choi, it comes served in the gorgeous claypot you see above, and it is yours to keep. Nice touch isn’t it?

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Lap Mei Farn

At Di Wei, the Yee Sang and the Lap Mei Farn are a must too. Loads of porky goodness in Lap Mei Farn, and I like the fact that the wax meats are less salty.

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The Fatt Choy, Salmon Yee Sang at Di Wei is priced at RM48++ for a half portion, and RM68++ for a full one. Other selection of toppings include, snow pear, sliced abalone or jelly fish are available upon request.

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mix up the wax meat with the sauce and rice and serve.. delicious!

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nian gao dessert

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glutinous rice balls with black sesame, served in red bean soup

 

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Thanks for the FB love!

 

Address:
Di Wei Chinese Restaurat,
Empire Hotel Subang,
Level 1, Jalan SS16/1,
47500 Subang Jaya,
Selangor.
Website: Empire Hotel
Opening times:
Mon – Fri 12.00pm -2.30pm,6pm-10pm;
Sat-Sun 11am – 2.30pm, 6pm – 10pm.
Tel: 03- 5565 1388

Comments

  1. Never been to this place but the food looks awesome. As usual your pictures are amazing, priceless.

    Wilson

  2. Love the poon choy but we couldn’t finish it, haha! Bottomless pot, that one, I tell u!

  3. i’m a fan of poon choi! i try to have it at least once every chinese new year. this year though, i haven’t decided where yet. prices keep escalating every time CNY comes around, heheh. di wei’s one looks very satisfying :D

  4. I was wondering the same thing! Wow – looks incredible.

  5. Nomssss. I love a good poon choy! Must have it with an extra bowl of rice!

  6. Very very vey stunning pictures!!!! Love them all ! I want the dessert !

  7. Wow, that looks intense! I’ll keep my eye out for it to try one day.

  8. Mmmm – I love anything in a claypot but seafood is especially nice!

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