Smartly dressed discerning locals, head for Celestial Court, a casually elegant restaurant, located on the fringe of KL’s down-town bustle. Spacious, yet well concealed on the third floor of Imperial Sheraton, it sits in a nook, behind an opulent entrance where an intricate Chinese lantern and striking red veils hang in cascading fashion form the ceiling. From that entrance onwards, you’ll step into a classy modern-chinese world. It’s hard to find a more enticing repertoire of dishes than Celestial Court’s hot favourites as well as new creations on the menu.
Celestial Court has been part of the Kuala Lumpur dining scene for years now, and it enjoys a fine reputation among the city’s business crowd. Though the modern décor is reminiscent of what one might call contemporary chinese, still the food is decidedly authentic. The ala carte menu here ranks pretty high in the city, and the ever changing menu, is what keeps us coming back for more fine Chinese dining. We arrive one lazy afternoon, to check out the lastest ala carte menu at Celestial Court.
the auspicious red lantern and veils
tempura soft shell crab
First up, the tempura soft shell crab. Lightly fried, till a golden crispy brown, these tempura nuggets were outstandingly delicious. A batter of shredded yam, pumpkin and the sweet flesh of the crab, showcased a mixture of unusual textures and a nice sweet flavour to the tempura. Loved the first starter.
stir fried vegetables minced vegetables
Loved the presentation of this second starter – served in giant Pai Tee cups, it was really pretty. The Pai Tee cups imparted a lovely crunch eat time you took a bit out of it.
Stir fried carrots, mushrooms, pine-nuts and chestnuts lent a lovely aroma to this super sized pai tee.
We had the Villa Maria, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc to go with our mains..
This wine, we would soon find out, had an exciting palate with layers of juicy flavours, intensity and fullness, finishing with a refreshing crisp, clean and racy acidity. It was a rather exuberant and delightful wine to have especially with our Chinese meal. It went great with our first few courses.
signature black cod with rice broth
Oo-la-la.. my favourite sort of fish.. the black cod!
Then came the rather creative and delectable signature black cod served with rice broth, wolfberries and spinach. All the way from Norway, I marveled at the flesh of the fish, that looked silky smooth and was white as snow. Its flesh was taut, flaky and sweet. Perfectly cooked, boneless fish that was fatty yet tender, it glided then melted in the mouth, the minute it touched my tongue. Couldn’t ask for more (actually I was tempted to ask.. but, no!). Pair that with the vibrant Sauvignon Blanc that was bursting with a fruit-salad-bowl of flavours including ripe gooseberry, passionfruit, fresh citrus lime and you had a most satisfying wine-food pair before you. Celestial Court is definitely not your run of the mill chinese restaurant – it has a great selection of wines by the glass as well as bottle.
then it was time to move on to the heavier main courses.. with the Michel Lynch Bordeaux 2009 merlot cabernet sauvignon
Pan fried lamb cutlet
A fabulous tasting lamb, that was just slightly marred by the fact that it was served well done. We like our lamb medium rare, usually. Served with Mongolian butter spicy sauce, honey bean and shredded onion, it has a fantastic flavour. You could tell that this Australian grass-fed lamb had been marinated with a combination of sauces for a long time. The flesh had an exquisite aroma, minus the gamy taste. If it had been done medium, it would have been perfect! We did however appreciate the way this course paired with the wine. With a bold garnet red colour and a very fruity nose, this Michel Lynch Red was rather full-flavoured, had plenty of volume, and had a nice, round, firm finish with ripe tannins.
wok grilled tiger prawn
Served with sides of asparagus, in a supreme soya sauce, these tiger prawns were massive and juicy. If you ask me, there is something decidedly satisfying about eating fresh tiger prawns in as close to their natural state as possible. I like a touch of garlic, salt and pepper, at that’s it. Let the fresh prawns do the talking, if you know what I mean. This grilled prawn was good but I found the supreme sauce a little redundant.
pan seared beef tenderloin cubes
Served with the Chef’s special recipe sauce, shemeiji mushrooms, capsicum, spring onion and onions, this dish was to die for.There’s no other way to eat it, than with a huge bowl of white rice. Beef tenderloin just can’t be topped for a melt-in-your-mouth pan-seared steak experience. We liked the way the Chef sealed the outer layer into a golden brown crust, which allowed the inside to be cooked a nice juicy medium. The rest of the ingredients and sauce really accentuated the flavors in this prized cut of meat. Again this dish paired beautifully with the tannic Bordeaux.
gelato in yellow pumpkin puree
Then all too soon, it was time for dessert. I’d take gelato over ice-cream any day, and the black glutinous rice and pumpkin puree added a nice twist to this dessert of coconut gelato. It was smooth and fragrant.
Celestial court comes highly recommended, not just for its dimsum menu, but also Chinese ala carte fine dining. A definite winner in our books. Again, if you have the SPG Card (terms & conditions), it will entitle you to further discounts at outlets such as Prime, Favola, Latest Recipe, Villa Danieli, Celestial Court, Essence, Prego, Splash, The Living Room, Five5enses and Qba Latin Grill & Bar as well as over 300 participating restaurants and bars in Asia Pacific.Address: Celestial Court, 3rd Floor Imperial Sheraton, Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur
tel: 03-2717 9900 ext 6988.
Monday – Saturday: 12:00 – 14:30 & 18:30 – 22:30;
Sunday & Public Holidays: 10:00 – 14:30 & 18:30 – 22:30 This restaurant is pork free.