Ah.. the spice loving Hunan race.
Wasn’t it Chairman Mao who said, “You can’t be a revolutionary if you don’t eat chilies.”
Yes, indeed, the great man, Mao Zedong himself was Hunan, which probably explained his fiery spirit.
And now, Hunan’s fervid dishes, come to KL.
Guest Chef Wang (right) and Chef Lam (left)
Chynna Hilton KL will feature a guest chef hailing from Changsha of the Xiang River region in China, for an exciting 2 weeks only, from 25th May to 7th June 2015. Guest Chef Wang Cheng Chun who specialises in Hunan Cuisine in collaboration with Chynna’s Executive Chinese Chef, Lam Hock Hin, will craft an exquisite Hunan themed dinner for all Chynna guests over these next two weeks.
laba beans – fermented soy beans with a chewy texture, ie. not mushy
Speaking to Chef Wang, we found out that his dishes will all be cooked, true to Hunan style – there will be no tweaking or changing it to suit Malaysian tastebuds, which turned out to be perfect for us actually, because isn’t the authentic experience what it’s all about? Chef Wang himself actually hand carried 3 key ingredients to KL, and they include the Laba beans (fermented yellow beans), chopped fermented chili, and pickled chili padi.
Note the pickled chili padi in this dish – pickling gives the chillies a rich and deep flavour
Chef Wang himself oversees the Chinese kitchen at Hilton Shenzhen Shekou Nanhai China. His cooking definitely stoked our taste buds with the vibrant flavours of spices, yet tempered heat (i.e. not as fiery hot like Sichuan cuisine) of traditional Hunan Cuisine.
Note the chopped fermented chili in this dish – sweet, soft, fragrant and slightly spicy only – trademark of Hunan chilies and cooking
Hunan is actually situated south of Dongting Lake and shares borders with six other provinces, including Hubei to the north and Guangdong to the South. Winters can get frigid and damp and thus the cuisine tends to use lots of chilies, to warm those cold bodies up I suppose! Hunan cuisine itself employs soy sauce, tea seed oil, spicy oil, Chinese red pepper, fennel and cassia bark, each conferring a characteristic color and flavor to the cuisine. Hunan cuisine is noted for pungency, but the art and skill is for the chef to get the balance just right so that all the aromas blend beautifully and the chili does not subtract from the full exquisite experience!
Speaking to Chef Wang, we find him to be a passionate cook and a big fan of aromatics and flavourful ingredients. His recipes are stimulatingly hot and sour, fragrant and complex flavours resonate with his dishes. Here are some of Chef Wang’s signature dishes you have to look forward to, with the 7-course set menu.
Steeped White Radish slices and stewed shank in chili sauce
This fragrant beef shanked that had been braised for 2.5 hours, paired with a tart, pickled white radish was a delightful, crunchy mouthful that whet the appetite, and set the stage for the main course.
Deep-fried duck with white sesame seed and sauteed lamb shoulder with romaine lettuce
The duck’s coating was made from beating the egg white into a foam and deep frying till it was a crispy layer, finished off with white sesame seeds. Super delicious!
The sauteed lamb shoulder diced and served in a lettuce wrap, was pungent and flavourful with little explosions of heat, thanks to the pickled chili padi.
Hot and Sour Soup
Lovely smooth, tendrils of tofu, mushroom, pickled vegetables, bamboo shoots, wood ear fungus and chicken in a sour and spicy broth was exquisite comfort food that hit the spot.
Steamed turbot with chili sauce
The best dish of the night. This turbot fish retained it’s bouncy texture and the sweetness from it’s juices coupled with the chopped fermented chili was a sublime match indeed. Love it!
Fried rice with laba beans and chicken
Another dish that was memorably different, thanks to the fragrant laba beans. And laba beans constitute one of the most addictive things I’ve ever put in my mouth, period. Basically cured soy beans, these tiny beads are packed with flavour, yet retain their crunchy texture. Biting into them is an experience in itself. Of course to say that it elevated the whole experience of eating fried rice, is an understatement. Don’t miss this!
Deep fried potato cakes with lotus seed and assorted seasonal fruit platter
A great dessert for those without a sweet-tooth, such as me! I loved it because it was a dessert of savory potato cake and it was soft on the inside, but delectably crispy around the edges where it was deep fried just perfect.
A fab night indeed. Can’t wait to go back and try the Ala Carte Menu!
￼￼This special two-week promotion on Hunan Cuisine will be available for À la carte orders and will also feature the specially created seven-course menu priced at RM220nett per person that we just wrote about.
Hilton Premium Club members and Maybank Cardholders enjoy 20% discount while in-house guests at Hilton Kuala Lumpur during the promotion period receive 10% discount.
For reservations : +603 2264 2596 or visit www.life.hiltonkl.com for more information.Follow us on Instagram : @ccfoodtravel
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