Chinese New Year 2013 yee sang dinner @ Tai Zi Heen

yee sang

I was invited by Suanie to come along for my first yee sang dinner at Tai Zi Heen. It’s the resident Chinese restaurant of Prince Hotel & Residence and I was quite impressed by the view looking out of one of the private lounges:

It’s glass so you can see the entire lobby without the noise intruding. You also can’t jump out of it, so if you’re scared of heights, don’t worry, it’ll take quite a concerted effort to do so. Haha.

Vegetarian Snow Pear Yee Sang

yee sang dinner

This is the traditional first dish – yee sang (which actually means “raw fish”) is an imported tradition where you toss a salad (of sorts) while wishing for something. The very polished waitresses says a couplet of prosperity, health and general good wishes when she adds each ingredient – a rather nice touch!

You can see her doing just that. The video also shows the yee sang tossing session. If you strain your ears hard enough you can hear me say “Win 4D”. I’ve never won before and that very day (after an impromptu decision to get a couple of lottery numbers) I managed to win slightly less than RM 1,000 (about USD 300).

tossing yee sang

That’s some mighty wish fulfilling yee sang going on there. smirk

yee sang culture

I do like the addition of snow pear instead of salmon or jellyfish (which they both offer) – it makes the entire yee sang more crunchy and sweet.

Stewed Dried Oysters with Fatt Choy and Lettuce

I liked this dish as well although it’s not customary to serve it with lettuce (there’s more unique dishes coming up). Fatt choy is a type of bacteria that produces a very hearty and distinctive flavor – it basically absorbs whatever sauces are around.

dried oysters

Excellent stuff, and a Chinese New Year staple.

Braised Shark’s Fin Soup with Diced Prawns, Scallops and Grouper

sharks fin soup

Oops! Did I use the S-word? Well, you can ask for it without shark’s fin as well. It tastes just as good – the combination of prawns, scallops and grouper makes it a very sweet broth.

sharks fin

I really liked this one as well.

Roasted Chicken dusted with Crispy Garlic and Five Spice Salt

I was expecting regular sea salt but they used five spice salt, which vastly improves the taste of the roasted chicken. There’s plum sauce on offer too, but I’m probably not the best person to ask about roasted chicken. I didn’t like it, but all the other diners were in agreement that it’s delicious.

roasted chicken

There’s nothing wrong with it, I just don’t like roasted chicken.

Chef’s Special Baked Cod Fish

This is the flagship of the Chinese New Year banquet. Well, to me anyway. It’s a fusion dish made with mushroom, onions, cheese and turkey bacon. Yup, this is a halal outlet.

baked cod fish

Check out the plating – there’s a Chinese character written on it with sauce.

cheese baked cod

The ingredients goes really well together and the result is this magnificent piece of cod that’s baked and dripping with cheese and bursting with flavor. I highly recommend this one, it’s not in the regular Chinese New Year menu but you can ask for it – it’s the Chef’s Specialty.

Stir-Fried Glutinous Rice with Chinese-style Preserved Duck

preserved duck

Waxed meat is another traditional Chinese New Year meal. This one is done Hong Kong style and I have to say, it’s one delectable dish. The saltiness of the duck is offset by the rice and the best thing about the dish is that there’s some stir-frying action going on.

Warm Almond Purée with Glutinous Rice Dumplings

This is basically tong yuen swimming in a concoction of milky almond. It sounds simple but it’s heart-warming food. The glutinous rice balls are filled with black sesame too.

rice dumplings almond puree

It’s a righteously hot dessert that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Deep-Fried Chinese New Year Cake with Thousand Layer Puff Pastry

chinese new year cake

This is actually two desserts.

deep fried nian gao

The first is nian gao (the above-mentioned Chinese New Year cake) dipped in batter before being deep fried. It’s a wonderful execution – much better than what I’m used to eating at home. The nian gao is made in-house and that makes all the difference – it’s not saccharine sweet and more suitable for adult palates.

thousand puff pastry

The second dessert is the Thousand Layer Puff Pastry – a silkworm like cocoon surrounding a sweet corn and salted egg based interior. The crumbly texture of the pastry gives way to the warm salted egg filling. It’s still sweet, but has that tang of saltiness from the salted egg. I loved this so much I ate 4-5 pieces!

hb eve

You’ve gotta eat it while it’s still hot though.

tai zi heen

Tai Zi Heen @ Prince Hotel has 3 different Chinese New Year menus, starting from RM 1,188 for a table of up to 10 people. It was a cozy dinner, with just the six of us sharing a banquet meant for 10. It’s also a halal outlet, which I was quite surprised to find out (asked about the usage of turkey bacon instead of real bacon).

yee sang cny

The restaurant does a great Chinese New Year banquet and the Chinese New Year menu is on offer from now till 24 January 2013 – Chap Goh Meh. I particularly liked the baked cod fish so ask for it if you’re there – it’s really something else. 🙂

tai zi heen group

Thanks for having us over Elisa! Happy CNY everyone! 😀

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28 thoughts on “Chinese New Year 2013 yee sang dinner @ Tai Zi Heen”

    • It’s surprisingly good! 🙂

      I ate more rice than duck coz the waxed duck is really salty. Not high on presentation though – guess it was meant to emulate the home cooked nature of the dish.

      I enjoyed it a lot more than the roasted chicken.

      Happy CNY! 😀

  1. That cod fish thing looks sooooo good, and the glutinous rice too! Salty? Probably they should steam it first before using – may remove the saltiness a bit. Nice! Steamed waxed duck (just put on top in the rice cooker on auto after the rice is cooked) with porridge. Yum!!!

    Hmmmm…….the not-to-be-mentioned stuff. Not at this restaurant perhaps, but at the smaller Chinese restaurants, I have that suspicious feeling that they will give the imitation stuff and charge you the prices for the real thing. It’s tasteless, anyway…like plastic.

    • Yeah, it’s really good – my favorite dish. 🙂

      I love how the rich gooey cheese tastes with the baked cod – delectable. It’s a specialty item though and it’s sold in 100 gram portions.

      The glutinous rice with waxed duck tastes much better than my (significant) experiments with waxed meat cooking. Heh.

      Yup, it’s just for the texture – you can omit it or go with another soup, like a double boiled Cantonese soup. The starchy broth is good by itself, surprisingly sweet with the generous amounts of grouper fish, prawns and abalone.

      I still think the cheese baked cod takes the cake. It’s divine! 😀

    • Yeah, technically fatt choy is a kind of bacteria. 🙂

      It still tastes good though.

      Haha! Hair is even worse. I used to think it was moss, that’s what my grandma told me as a kid.

      Indeed! I was quite surprised at the yee sang too. 😉

      Happy CNY Constance! 😀

  2. omigosh, usually i just join in tossing the yee sang and i never bother to verbalize any wishes, but this year, i’m gonna try (maybe i should wish for a long-lost uncle to pass away and leave me a fortune for an inheritance). and if the wish comes true, i’ll come back and personally thank you. haha 😀

    • Hello Sean! 🙂

      Haha! Well, I guess that would work. I don’t know, my wishes never came true during all the years of yee sang.

      …until this year.

      Maybe there’s something about the Year of the Snake being good to Roosters after all.

      Good luck buddy! 😀

  3. I’ve tried the baked cod fish and I love it lots! Actually, I love dining at Tai Zi Heen. They are one of the more reputable Chinese Restaurants around town 🙂

    • Yeah, the cod fish is *really* good eh? 🙂

      It’s my favorite dish of the night too! I like how the cheese and cod gells together.

      Yup, and another good thing about Tai Zi Heen is that it’s a halal outlet too. I honestly didn’t know until I asked about the turkey bacon.

      Happy CNY to you and your family Merryn! 😀

  4. 0.o The table must be very big, the lady had to stretch her body so susah payah to reach the yee sang LOL! Anyway, i thought most restaurants have stopped serving shark fins? Hmm…. the glutinous rice and dried oysters are certainly tempting enough for me!

    • Yeah, we were in the main private dining room that overwatches the lobby (shown in second pic). I love that place – privacy and yet it’s cozy and warm. 🙂

      The table is set for six but it’s actually a full sized banquet table, thus the stretch.

      I think a lot of outlets are still serving it, you can opt not to have it though, there are other options on offer. It tastes good by itself anyway, with all the seafood inside – grouper fish, prawns, scallops – very sweet starchy soup.

      Yeah, I would say the oysters with fatt choy is my second favorite dish!

      Happy CNY Ken! 😀

    • Cheers buddy! 🙂

      I’ve always thought it was moss for the longest time too. It certainly doesn’t taste like bacteria.

      I LOVE fatt choy, would always have to refrain from eating it all when my grandma cooks it for CNY (that’s the only time we eat it, strangely enough).

      Yup, the cod fish at Tai Zi Heen was one of the best dishes that night – lovely cheese. 😀

  5. From the way you wrote about fatt choy, I think it works like the good bacteria in the yoghurt. =D Ooh, I love the tang yuan (tong yuen in Mandarin) a lot; used to eat loads of it back in the day.

    The Glutinous Rice with Chinese-Preserved Duck is tempting my palate now. I feel like hunting down the lady selling the steamed and roasted duck and buy some for the season. Won’t be going anywhere for the reunion dinner. My favorite Chinese restaurant – Golden Phoenix – has already closed down and revamped itself. =(

    Wait, did I see missyblurkit in the picture?

    • Heh! It’s interesting how it’s collected and prepared to be eaten though. 🙂

      I love the stuff – fatt choy is something I usually only eat once a year. No reason to it, it just seems right to eat it during Chinese New Year.

      Plus, over here we don’t get a year-long supply – like waxed duck, it’s a seasonal CNY item.

      Here being my hometown of Sibu.

      Yup, that’s her alright.

      I liked the waxed duck with glutinous rice dish too. 😀

  6. halal chinese restaurant eh?
    wonder how many extra muslim customers they get to justify the ones they lost.
    they just lost me as a customer,
    i will never go eat a traditional chinese meal in a halal restaurant.

    simply put, cny dinner at tai zi heen is like cny dinner minus
    the roasted suckling pig.
    yum seng session
    huat arrr shouts
    (ehhh, your wishing for striking 4D in a halal restaurant doesn’t sound right, morally)

    eating cny dinner at tai zi heen restaurant is just ….. not prosperous!
    choy! taikah laisee!

    • Haha! Since you hate halal Chinese restaurants so much, the question is, were you even a customer in the first place? 😉

      Anyway, as for me, I didn’t know it was halal or pork free until several dishes into the dinner when someone mentioned turkey bacon.

      I went “Why turkey bacon instead of bacon bacon?”

      Unless you want to specifically eat pork, I doubt many people would notice in a double blind taste test. 🙂

      It’s a non-issue to me. The definition of a Chinese New Year dinner is FISH – you can eat all others the rest of the year.

      Cheers mate! 😀

  7. The word written on the plate is FISH…i reckoned, since it’s a fish dish.ehehehehhe.

    Happy Chinese New Year to you, Huai Bin and family. ENjoy your holidays in Sibu.

    • Nice! I forgot what they had written on the plate so I conveniently did not write about what it was, just that I like their plating with the Chinese character written in sauce.


      Thanks Yee Ling! 🙂

      …so it’s fish.

      Well, makes sense, important item in a Chinese New Year dinner (heard from a friend that some families do not even touch/eat the fish during reunion dinner, but leave it there – interesting custom).

      Likewise! Wishing you all the best, and all the rest in 2013! Happy Chinese New Year Yee Ling! 😀

    • Yeah, cheers for that, it was a fun and cozy evening!

      Heh! I knew I would before that but this yee sang validated the feeling. Oh well, it’s just a bit of pocket money, it just feels good to beat the system.

      It was a great dinner though!

      Thanks Suanie! 😀

    • I love fried chicken too! 🙂

      The one above is roasted chicken. :p

      I’ll always order steamed chicken to roasted chicken when I eat at chicken rice stalls. I hardly ever go for roasted chicken. Heh.

    • I love their cheese baked cod! 🙂

      That’s really good, haven’t had something as good as that particular dish for a long time. It’s not on the Chinese New Year menu but you can add on – it’s one of their Chef’s Specials.


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