As with the start to most years, I hardly know what Chinese zodiac it is, until I get an invite to the next big event.
And so, just last week, I found out that we’d just entered the year of the Goat, by way of an invitation from Guinness, to attend a massive Chinese banquet, at the glamorous venue Grand Imperial restaurant, at Bangsar Shopping Center.
Wow. Pairing of Yee Sang and an 8 course Chinese meal with Guinness.
Now this I had to see. I could vaguely anticipate what it might turn out like, but I would hold my opinion till after the dinner, first.
You see, 8 sumptuous courses would be paired with Guinness and this gastronomic journey was supposed to unlock the different characteristics of the black beer. We would have this tipple, from neat to on the rocks, to see what our palates could glean from this food-beer pairing exercise.
Yee Sang with Silver Fish
One of the best Yee Sang I’ve had to date. Fresh fruit and toasted almonds added a delightful crunch to the super fresh Yee Sang. It was also low in sugar and sodium which was a bonus. As though that wasn’t enough, the slivers of rather expertly well fried silver fish were just fabulous strands for crunchiness in the mouth.
tossing to a better 2015!
Am not sure if it was just my tongue, but due to the sweetness of the fruit in the Yee Sang, it made the Guinness all the more bitter. It was a difficult, rather ill-fated pair if you ask me.
Braised Bird’s Nest with Fresh Crab Meat and Truffle
When I saw the black speckles of truffle, my heart skipped a beat. I had high hopes for this course. When I took a sip of the soup, I was not disappointed. Though there wasn’t a lot of it, the aroma of truffle shavings engulfed my senses. The sweet, silky, yet gelatinous texture of the bird’s nest slipped down my throat without even a murmur of resistance. The crab meat was fresh and delicious. Another gold star for Grand Imperial, on this soup. Pairing this with the Guinness, I found it to be just OK. Not really impressed by the pair.
Roasted Whole Suckling Pig.. hello piggy!
A rather gamy, yet tender suckling pig followed. Now this dish was an excellent pair with the Guinness. It cut the gaminess and grease like a charm. Loved it. Suckling pig and guinness go hand in hand.. so now you know!
Pomfret is my least favourite fish to eat at Chinese Wedding dinners because more often than not, they over cook it. The center of the fish is thick, so by the time you cook it through, the periphery tends to be rubbery and over done. Well well.. what can I tell you. The fish was perfect. So sweet and succulent, and cooked with a perfect doneness. Because of this restaurant, I am a convert! The fish paired well with the Guinness.
Fresh Water King Prawn in Casserole
Me and my ‘Prawnstar’!
Because of the varying sizes of the river prawn, it came out over cooked. The sweet sour flavour was delicious though, and complemented the Guinness like lock and key.
Braised Sliced Abalone with Black Moss and Dried Oyster
Can’t go wrong with this Chinese new year hot favourite. Loved the ‘fatt choy’ and the sweetness imparted by the abalone and dried oyster. It fitted Guinness like a glove.
Clay pot Rice with Chinese Sausage and Dried Meat “Hong Kong” Style
Stewed Fragrant Rice with Preserved Meat – Lap Mei Farn. Super addictive, my favourite being the blood sausages. As you can imagine, this paired well with Guinness as with most things gamy, meaty and strong-tasting. The reverse can be inferred therefore, that it totally clashes with delicate tasting dishes such as the Yee Sang and the soup, earlier in the meal.
Chilled Fresh Mango Puree with Sago and Pomelo & Deep Fried Nian Gao and Deep Fried Sweet Potato Pastries
This dinner is priced at RM 1,888.00nett per Table of 10 Person, complete with 2 Large Bottles of Guinness. This New Year banquet menu is available from January 13th until March 5th 2015.
A lovely dinner and a lovely and prosperous start to the New Year indeed! Looking forward to many more happy Low Sang dinners with loved ones for sure. Grand Imperial would be top on our list of go to restaurants for the festivities in 2015!Follow me on Instagram : @agentcikay
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Lot T5, 3rd Floor,
Bangsar Shopping Centre,
No. 285, Jalan Maarof,
Bukit Bandaraya, 59000 KL
Tel: 03-2283 1118
Fax: 03-2283 3306Full details of the exclusive menu can be found at: www.facebook.com/guinnessmalaysia.