I was treated to lunch by my cousins in KL, and they brought me to their usual haunt in PJ. I heard so much about this place because my sister has been treated to this restaurant and was full of praises.
Perak-born, Kuala Lumpur-based Malaysian chef Justin Hor 何志强 started his culinary journey when he was just 13 years of age, having trained in the blazing-hot kitchens of several prominent Chinese restaurants in Kuala Lumpur. He headed the Chinese kitchen at the six-star Tower Club in Singapore for a few years and later returned to Kuala Lumpur in 2000 to start the Oriental Group of restaurants.
The Oriental Group’s flagship outlet, formerly known as ‘The Oriental’, was renamed as ‘Oriental Pavilion’ after relocating from Jaya Shopping Centre. Voted as one of Asia’s Finest Chinese Restaurants by The Miele Guide and also rated as the only Chinese restaurant in KL’s Top 20 restaurants by CNN Travel Guide. The Group also took over location in Jalan Imbi and started the Noble House and expanded the branding in KL.
- 大港城三宝拼 Oriental Pavilion’s Three Treasures
- 鲨鱼骨鲜花胶炖汤 Double-Boiled Fresh Fish Maw In Shark’s Bone Soup
- 鸿运乳猪 Roast Suckling Pig
- 深海龙趸鲜竹云耳蒸 Deep-Sea Garoupa Steamed With Fresh Beancurd Skin & Black Fungus
- 珊瑚秘制豆腐 Beancurd In Crab Roe Sauce
- 蒜蓉奶白 Stir-Fried Nai Bai with Minced Garlic
- 金牌福建面 Fried Noodles Hokkien Style
大港城三宝拼 Oriental Pavilion’s Three Treasures
The three treasures included 汉和煎酿帆立贝伴乳汁香芒虾 teriyaki sauce seafood cake & chilled prawn in mango sauce X 一见钟情沙律软壳蟹 soft shell crab with chef’s special cocktail sauce.
Western style plating is now gaining ground not only for its aesthetics but it lessens the burden for the back-of-house. Elaborate carvings used to be part of the show for the cold dish (of appetisers) 冷盘 but it is now increasingly difficult to find experts, let alone the time to do so when the kitchen has more guests to serve than ever before. I was expected the traditional plate with everything thrown in though.
鲨鱼骨鲜花胶炖汤 Double-Boiled Fresh Fish Maw In Shark’s Bone Soup
Just look at the colour of the soup – milky white and sticky, there’s so much collagen melted into the stock. Came with a generous piece of fish maw and a tiny warmer candle underneath so that the soup would not coagulate.
In the soup were bokchoy with the greens removed, bamboo fungus 竹笙 and oyster mushrooms. Everything looked white when cooked together, but complimented each other very one. One of their signature soup in this flagship branch.
鸿运乳猪 Roast Suckling Pig
In Chinese culture, a whole roasted pig is a sign of prosperity, and at every family gathering across the Causeway, we had one ordered. From young I loved the suckling pig and my cousins pre-ordered this specially for us, and it was delicious! We ogled in excitement that beautifully roasted skin that was evenly lacquered with a glaze. And the crunch and flavour! An excellent eat.
深海龙趸鲜竹云耳蒸 Deep-Sea Garoupa Steamed With Fresh Beancurd Skin & Black Fungus
深海龙趸 or deep-sea giant grouper is usually served in portions rather than the whole fish. The fish is revered for its thick collagen under the skin. It is very difficult to get a properly delicious fish because of its size – most of the fish were too big to be tender. The best groupers are 1.2-1.5 kg, these giants can go all the way to 100kg!
The sauce was infused with the collagen and it was sticky when put to the lips – wonderful! As expected, the fish was not a fantastic eat, but definitely wild-caught. This is one of their signature.
珊瑚秘制豆腐 Beancurd In Crab Roe Sauce
Another of their signature dish, the deep fried soft beancurd was topped with a savoury sauce made from crab roe and meat. The accompanying HK kailan looked tired and laid on the side pathetically.
The mud crab meat was full of umami and the sweetness was perfect to be poured on plain rice. The bean curd was just a piece of bean curd.
蒜蓉奶白 Stir-Fried Nai Bai with Minced Garlic
A simple green from Cameroon Highlands sautéed with garlic, it cannot be simpler.
金牌福建面 Fried Noodles Hokkien Style
Many Chinese dishes are cooked ala minute over high heat; there is its delicate side where simplicity takes centerstage. KL-style Hokkien noodles is one of those that many hawkers do it better than fine dining chefs. Their Hokkien noodles was not something that I would look forward again, but my cousin did say this chef was not the usual one that served them.
With 9 outlets to look after, evidently the question of centralised kitchens came up. After all, the menu is 70% similar across all restaurants with the remaining percentage set aside for individual specialities. Oriental Pavilion as the flagship did not disappoint. A bit of distance away from the city centre, but there’s an obvious upgrade from the Noble House.
Oriental Pavilion 大港城酒家
P1-04, Level 1 Podium, PJ 33 No.3, Jalan Semangat, Seksyen 13, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Tel : +60 (0)3 7956 9288
Visited Mar 2023
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