Mr. & Mrs. Lee are quite deft at handling abalones cooking.
An appetizer section of five Chinese starters.
Signature dish of Sharksfin In Tureen.
Patin Munchong Plain-Steamed.
李生来电邮纠正: "现在才注意到当天大吃会里的巴丁鱼是Ikan Patin Buah（一公斤$85) 被误志为Ikan Patin Munchong(一公斤本钱$300-$320)".下图为我们2003年一月(Y3K第10期)在李生的餐馆所拍摄的正牌河鱼皇"巴丁文中".
Mr. Lee inform us: "The fish served on that day was Ikan Patin Buah, but mistaken as Ikan Patin Munchong." Following is the Ikan Patin Munchong shot in January 2003 "Y3K Recipes" issue no.10.
Unique Seafood With Dual Tendons.
Pumpkin Rice Topped With Abalone.
Garoupa Fish Rolls.
Ginger Juice Sharks’ Lips Chilled Fish Maws.
Ostrich Meat, Asparagus, Venison Fried With Garlic.
Mango Sauce White Jelly and Black Glutinous Rice Paired With Pumpkin Taro Strips.
Superfood Feast in Triang
On 6-4-2009 towards dinner time, a big crowd filled Restoran Lee Keng Sang, Triang. This is a small town in Pahang and many chefs, food suppliers and foodies came to lend support to a food event jointly organised by Mr. & Mrs. Lee Hang Huat (owners of the restaurant). This nine-course menu came to RM1,680 per table.
Mr. Lee had initially started the idea of a food gathering amongst some chefs. What started as between three to five tables soon ended with a figure of 18 tables as word of mouth spreaded fast. Probably many top hats of this culinary industry have heard of Lee’s nature as he has an interest in preserving the authenticity and traditions of food, and his cooking is designed to bring out the best in many unusual ingredients used.
We were his guests and it was an evening of elegant food in a faraway town. The appetizer section comprised of five Chinese starters. A big platter had the spread of ginseng, fresh cordyceps, honey glazed ham, green capsicums century eggs, eel fantasy and roasted suckling pig pieces. Next round was sharksfin in individual soup tureen, highly recommended for divine taste as this is a signature dish of the restaurant. Of course the third dish was a fish – “Plain Steamed Ikan Patin Munchong”. As we know the nearby town of Temerloh in Pahang gained a nickname of “Bandar Ikan Patin”, so this pricey upriver fish must make its appearance at prestigious dinners. Small catch comes to one kilo but bigger ones are around five to six kilos. The fish tasted smooth with natural sweetness and had the right proportion of fats around the belly. I found the skin chewy and this dish certainly got the thumbs up.
Among the chef’s specialities came a dish of unique seafood with dual tendons. Dried topshells, abalone shreds, deer tendons, pigs’ tendons, processed sea cucumbers were braised together. Things got more exciting with the discovery of cubed whale’s skin. No, these are not new products but something kept away from old times. Being protected species, these rare finds are no longer available in the free market.
Actually by mid-course, I was feeling quite full. Mr. Lee took me to his restaurant’s kitchen. I watched the final preparation of the next dish – “Pumpkin Rice Topped With Abalone”. Tons of tureens filled with pumpkin rice were removed from a giant steamer. Every tureen of rice had a large-sized dried oyster buried in it. Then Lee and wife carefully topped in a piece of braised abalone on top of rice. Next, abalone braised sauce came spooned on surface. As I am always on the look out for new dining experiences, this rice dish has a sure hint of extravagance. The extra care taken in the preparation of the abalones was praiseworthy. His cooking skill has proven popular and gone from strength to strength.
Of course, no Chinese dinner would be complete without more seafood. A huge seven star garoupa fish came filleted and flesh done up in rolls. Another dish emerged - “Ginger Juice Sharks’ Lips And Chilled Fish Maws” did excite our palates. Final dish of the main course was a platter of “Ostrich Meat Fried With Garlic, Asparagus And Venison Slices”. It was yummy but I felt my seams could burst anytime, I took only a little.
Our meal came to a round end with dessert done on a high note, thanks to a new creation and it did caused a stir among other chefs. Mango sauce paired with white jelly tasted heavenly. A mound of black glutinous rice topped with strips of pumpkin and taro completed the picture. Done to perfection, the first part of the white jelly was a winner. Mr. Lee openly gave us the recipe’s concoction. You need one tablespoon of genuine konnyaku powder infused into 1.5 litres of pandan flavoured water. Bring this to a boil with a pinch of salt, some sugar and turn off heat when solution has really heated through. Stir in 120ml fresh milk. Pour the whole mixture into a square tray. Leave it to set with the aid of a fan blown directly over surface. Once it has turned firm, roll up and cut into pieces (like chee cheong fun). Pureed mango sauce mixed with white sugar will be poured as a topping. This dessert veers away from the usual Chinese influences. Such a delicious new creation may pave a way for a new dessert to bloom and I am quite certain that this dessert may be seen at many restaurants’ menus soon.
It was a delightful evening, a gathering of old friends, a firm handshake to new bond and of course our tastebuds tasted quality food.