Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Searching For Superlatives. Gu Yue Tien, Chulan Square, KL.

(non halal)

Preserved Chinese Mustard

Sometimes, writing about food that is so devastatingly exquisite and beautifully thought out and breathtakingly innovative demands superlatives. When words fail, it is exasperating because I could never convey the exquisite pleasure of the stimulation of senses the food offers.

Oven Baked Calamari

Take for instance, the humble calamari. Not any Calamari, the mutant foot long ones perfectly Oven Baked until it is crunchy and slightly charred outside yet as tender as fish on the inside. Stuffed with sinful roe and intriguingly rich, slightly bitter yet delicately uni, the combination was so ethereal that it has dampened my appreciation of the normal grilled Calamari forever. Such is the price of perfection, especially when the richness was tempered down with the tanginess from a wedge of lemon and the sour and tart chili based dip. Breathtaking.

The Filling of Roe and Uni (Sea Urchin)

Stepping into Gu Yue Tien from the busy and traffic clogged streets itself is therapeutic. An oasis of calm an sanity greets you as you climb up the stairs into the main dining area which is decorated in Neo-Chinese style. It is not overtly fancy or ostentatious, but functional and clean, with 6 private dining rooms on both sides of the restaurant.

Bacon Salad

We had ordered lunch "Omakasen" style, and left the tedium of deciding what to order to the chef. The first dish did not impress me at all. It was Bacon salad, served with red and green corals with Thousand Island dressing. Although the Salad was faultless and their beautiful bacon smoked in-house was beautifully balanced in flavour and texture, it did not dazzle my palate.

Clams and Apple Salad

By the time the second course arrived, I was ready to eat my words. The Giant Clam and Apple Salad was a creation of pure genius. It was a melange of flavours, sweet, sour and salty with some spiciness from chili. Not only that, the flavour of the chewy clams were brought alive by apples which were crunchy in contrast.

Fish Cake with Cheese Stuffing

Even the plain old fish cake was given a new lease of life. It was playfully filled with some melted Cheddar Cheese. I would never have thought that Cheese and Chinese food could have such a happy union.

Wok Fried Beef with Mushroom Reduction and Tempura

The Pan Fried Beef served with Mushroom Reduction, served with Wasabi Sauce and Tempura Spinach was a revelation of the Chef's ability to fuse Western, Chinese and Japanese cuisine. The beef was delightfully tender and the perfectly fried Spinach complemented the dish very well.

Close up of the Spinach Tempura

I have often thought of Chinese Food as being rather stodgy and conventional, but Chef Frankie has given Chinese Cuisine a different revelation, bringing with it some really new and exciting flavours and and Western inspired plating.


Braised Pork Knuckle

I am not a fan of Pork, and will refrain from commenting on the next dish, which was Braised Pork Knuckle with Preserved Vegetables (Mooi Choi) and Pumpkin Puree.

Mooncakes for Dessert

That was one of the most interesting Chinese Meals I have had this year. In fact, I am anticipating a return to try out the rest of their menu after my break, and will keep you posted.

Gu Yue Tien
Lot 5A Chulan Square
Jalan Raja Chulan
50200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +6.03.21.48.08.08.

11 comments:

J said...

"... not a fan of pork"??? How can!

Well, more for me, I suppose. :)

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

one of the places i so wanted to eat before i left..looks like it should be the no.1 thing to eat when i come back!

jechu said...

Hi, I was wondering if I could use one of your hairy crab photos for a video I am doing about Shanghai cuisine. Pls. let me know at jechu696@gmail.com. Thanks so much!!

Jenny Chu

minchow said...

The calamari is staggering! The sight of it alone can dismiss pork from my palate forever!

thule a.k.a leo said...

how can you?? I'm a babitarian :P pork is good! Gu Yue Tien has brought Chinese fine dining into another level... wanted to eat there on several occasions but the price tags deterred me off... at least for now!!!

Tummy Rumble said...

wow, your pictures are superb man.. no wonder fbb was announcing it to the world.. may I ask what camera and lens are you using?

Paranoid Android said...

Sorry for the no replies. Last leg, and will be back to the grind soon.

@J: Notice how my eyes did not perk up when you mentioned Siew Yoke? LOL.

@Joe: Oh yes... I was rather surprised by the food there.

@jechu: I replied your mail.

@minchow: Woots! Let's hit that joint.

@thule: At least try their dim sum. Will post it soon.

@Tummy Rumble: Thanks, am just learning how to use my hardware which I just got. I use a Canon 550D (which i regret buying, and should have gritted and bought the 5D) and for these photos the Sigma 50mm f1.4 lens.

tzy said...

yum.
btw were you referencing philosopher michel foucault in your title page? if you were, maybe if you corrected that you'd reverse your fate as a doomed loner?

Thailand Club said...

the Sang Meen @ Yook Tho Yin looks yummy, the Fish Cake with Cheese Stuffing @ Gu Yue Tien definitely make my morning very very hungry .. :-)

Paranoid Android said...

@TZY: LOL. I don't think Focault actually completed his work you were referring to...

@TC: You are back from your holiday! Will check out your blog soon, like now!

24mall.my said...

Hi Paranoid Android
Kindly be informed that this post has been reprinted on JoinMe.com.my, thanks. ^^
P/S: We have put your name and link credit back to this article.

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