Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Ming Palace (2017 CNY Set Menu) @ Corus Hotel

Happy Lunar New Year everyone!  Back from your hometowns yet?  Have you been indulging in glorious food? Of course you have.  As with every year during the festivities, all the hotels and restaurants would usually have their set menus ready for lunch and dinner well before Chinese New Year (CNY) comes round, some even as early as a month before.

And Ming Palace @ Corus Hotel was no different.  We'd usually have our family CNY gathering after we return from Ipoh but this year my sister-in-law arranged the dinner for the weekend prior to our "balik kampung".

We opted for the Prosperity & Success Menu @ RM1,188 nett but made two changes to the menu to accommodate our preferences.  I do not know how it impacted the final price (due to the changes we made) since it was a treat from my sister-in-law's family (I'm sure the restaurant staff will be more than happy to advise you accordingly if you wish to make changes).

As usual, no CNY menu is complete without its iconic CNY dish together with the customary tossing of "yee sang" to shouts of good luck, prosperity and health for the coming year.  This set menu comes with the Prosperous Salmon Yee Sang with Pine Seeds as its first dish which we was changed to a fruits yee sang from their a la carte menu.  I first tasted an all fruits yee sang (8 types) in Tai Thong and it became an instant favourite of mine.

The Fruits Yee Sang arrived looking very pretty and colourful with julienned fruits of green apples, water apples, fuji apple, dragon fruit and snow pear along with finely cut vegetables (of carrot and jicama), various types of pickled vegetables, dried persimmon, jellyfish, dried prawns and crushed peanuts....that's heck of a lot of ingredients (I'm sure I missed out some)! ;)

Though we were having fruits yee sang, we were also 'greedy' and wanted the salmon, so we added that on. The fruits yee sang, with salmon and not forgetting the crispy crackers (of course), is now prepped and ready for tossing in a 'ritual' we call "loh hei"! ^.^

It's customary to toss all the ingredients, as high as you can, whilst making wishes (silent or otherwise...but usually loud) for a better year ahead :)

The accompanying sauce wasn't overly sweet (we poured in half only initially) even though we poured the rest of it in.  I liked that everything was fresh and fruity in taste with both crunch and sweetness provided by every element in the dish.  It was a promising start to the meal as it stimulates your taste buds and whets your appetite for the dishes to follow.

The second dish on the menu was the Double-Boiled Chicken Soup with 'Ming Mok Yee' & Sea Cucumber which we replaced with Braised Seafood Chowder with Three Treasures from their Good Fortune Set Menu.  I'm not sure what the three treasures were exactly but the flavour-packed soup (which arrived in individually apportioned bowls) was filled with treasures of dried scallops, sea cucumber ("hoi sum"), crab meat and mushrooms that was warm and comforting.

The third dish to arrive (in honour of the Year of the Rooster!) was the Deep-Fried Boneless Chicken with Mango Thai Sauce which came blanketed in lots of shredded mango, onion and chillies plus crushed nuts in a delectable sauce with sweet, sour and slightly spicy nuances.  Even though the tender and moist chicken pieces were doused in sauce, I especially appreciated that the chicken skin was rendered to crispy perfection and remained so as we finished every last of my favourites of the night! ^.^

Next to follow has always been a favourite of mine in any set menu...steamed fish (arguable the best way to eat fish)! ;)  This was the Steamed Silver Pomfret with Supreme Soya Sauce served whole with the head and tail intact to symbolise a good beginning and end to the year.

I'm always in awe at how skillful the servers are at apportioning the fish and re-assembling them back to their original shape.  The fish was fresh and thick, and one of the meatier silver pomfrets I've had the pleasure of eating.  The sauce was a great accompaniment for the fish, not too oily with just the right balance of saltiness from the quality soya sauce.

To signify a year full of merriment and laughter, there has to be a "har" dish.  So, the fifth dish was the Fried Tiger Prawns in Hot Garlic Sauce that's reminiscent of the taste of sweet and sour crabs.  You can taste the garlic in the sauce and each prawn is lusciously coated in the sauce.  Some white rice or a "mantou" (Chinese steamed bun or even a fried one) right about now would be great to mop up the excess sauce...hehe! ;D

The sixth dish featured the must-have symbolic dish of Braised Broccoli with Pacific Clams, Black Mushrooms, Dried Oyster & Fatt Choy.  No CNY menu is complete without some of these auspicious ingredients like "fatt choy" (black moss) and "ho see" (dried oyster) in the mix.  The superior stock in the sauce is what makes or breaks the dish as the ingredients depend on the complexity of the sauce to give the dish flavour and this one was nicely executed.

Usually, a rice or noodle dish wraps up the savoury part of the feast and this menu rounded off with Fried Rice with Waxed Duck & Liver Sausage in Lotus Leaves.  This was my least favourite dish as the rice grains were too soft for my liking and the duck liver didn't quite give the dish the robust flavour it needed from say "lap cheong" (Chinese dried sausage made from pork) like a true "lap mei fan" (Chinese waxed meat rice) should be since the restaurant is pork-free.  But, by then, it probably wouldn't really matter as you'd be rather full at that point.  But if you were, you'll be missing out on something great...*wink wink*

Finally, the meal came to an end with sweet offerings of Chilled Lemongrass Jelly with Longan and Duet Sweet Dainties of Fried Ninko & Rabbit Bun.  The ninko is wrapped around yam paste and dipped in a light batter before being fried to crispy perfection.  I suppose rooster-shaped buns will be more difficult to make, so cute rabbit-shaped buns will have to do (hehe!) with a filling of lotus paste that was delicate and not too sweet.

The Chilled Lemongrass Jelly with Longan (which was aptly apportioned for us) was a refreshing treat to bring the meal to a close.  The hint of lemongrass-infused soft jelly, together with the crunchy longan in a concoction of immensely citrusy lemon juice, had a wonderful balance of sour and sweet which reduced your feelings of fullness somewhat.

If I could only have one thing from this menu, my choice (hands down) would be the Fried Ninko.  It brings back fond memories of when I had it two years ago...and it's still as good!  The soft texture of the yam, encasing the perfect ratio of not-too-sweet ninko to yam, coupled with the fluffy and frizzy batter, fried at the perfect temperature to yield absolute crispiness, makes this the best fried ninko I've had.  I liked that it's elongated in shape for ease of eating making it a perfect two-bite.  I just can't get enough of it! ^_*

The set menu comes with a complimentary bottle of red wine or a glass of chilled orange juice each.

I was also appreciative that a set of fork and knife was provided (not many do) to help with say peeling of the prawns, deboning chicken (if needed) or just to cut up the food to more manageable bite-sized pieces for easy (and mess-free) eating.

My Personal Opinion

With many CNY set menus costing in the region of RM200 (and more) per person this year, I think this is probably one of the better valued sets for a hotel-based restaurant...and you're assured of impeccable service and dining ambience.  There are two other set menu options, the Good Fortune Menu @ RM1,388 nett and the Prosperous Gold & Jade Menu @ RM1,888 nett (and these set menus are available until the 15th day of New Year or 11 February 2017), so there is still time for you to partake in these feasts.

The two best dishes of the night for me were the fried chicken with that zesty sauce and the trio of desserts. If ninko and yam is your thing, make this your CNY stop this year...and make sure you try their wonderfully executed fried good you'll thinking when you'll be able to have it again! ^o^

Ming Palace
Corus Hotel (1st Floor)
Jalan Ampang
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2161 8888


  1. The pomfret looks really delicious in its pure simplicity - I bet I could happily eat the entire fish on my own :) I'm on the road on the LDP right now and the roads are still reasonably nice and clear - it feels like there's less than 30 percent of the usual lunch hour traffic ;)

    1. I can eat the whole fish myself too. Enjoy the traffic while you can before it gets back to normal next week...hehe! ;D

  2. You did not make a big mess with the tossing, not "ong" enough if you ask me. :P :P :P

    1. We wanted to make sure most of it ended up in our mouths rather than wasted on the table....haha! :D

  3. I still haven't dined here, but I hear the prices are reasonable compared to other hotels in the city centre.

  4. Oh wow! All the dishes look very presentable and I would be happy digging in especially the chicken with Thai sauce and the pomfret. And not to mention the fried ninko. One is not enough :(

    1. Unfortunately in a set menu like this, you get only one piece per person....sobs! :'(

  5. seem like a very satisfying dinner for you and your family~
    Wishing you and family a prosperous & fruitful year ahead!

    1. It was....wishing you and your family a Happy Lunar New Year too :)

  6. Oh I love Yee Sang Tossing and never had enough. I like this fruity styled at Corus as they would be crunchy and naturally sweeter!

    I was invited to eat at HeeLaiTon where the table was tagged at RM1188 too. The menu was different & more but worth it.

    1. For current times, RM1,188 is a good price for a CNY dinner set. Ah, Hee Lai Ton....a well-known "loh chew pai" :)


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