Our RM 890 8-Head Abalone Poon Choy Dinner

Poon Choy

This is a Chinese New Year tradition that I do with my better half and the kids. Her parents usually come along as well so it’s 6 pax for our poon choy dinner. I make it a point to do a lot of research before ordering the year’s poon choy (which is a big bowl feast with lots of stuff inside) and decided on Unique Seafood, Kota Damansara for our 2016 table.

Prosperity Poon Choy

I had to order and pay for the poon choy in advance – it costs RM 411.65 for a 5 pax poon choy with with 8-Head Abalone. It says RM 374.20 nett on the poon choy reservation slip, but that’s for take-out only. You get a 16% surcharge for service and GST if you dine-in, which is what we opted for this year.

Table Reservation

I made reservations for a table of 6 for 6:15 pm.

Seafood Fish Tanks

My dear’s father is a huge fan of fish so that was one of the reasons I had chosen this place for our Chinese New Year dinner. They have a wide range of seafood on offer – everything from lobsters to fish. It’s also super fresh (since they’re still alive and in aquariums) and you simply walk over to choose the specimen that you want and the chef will cook it for you.

King Grouper

He went for the King Grouper (RM 173/kg) and one of the waitresses fished out the 1.3 kg creature and it eventually ended up on our dinner table.

Abalone Salmon Yee Sang

I also wanted to have yee sang with everyone so I asked for their most premium version, which was the Abalone and Salmon with Fuji Apple Yee Sang (RM 160.90 for half portion). It’s good for them to offer 1/2 portions since a full portion would be too much for our table of 4 adults and 2 kids.

Lou Sang

The abalone was very good and sliced well, but the salmon was a little sad looking. We later found out that Japanese restaurants around Klang Valley has started offering fresh salmon and other seafood for yee sang at extremely competitive prices. Nevertheless, it was the symbolic tradition of the lou sang toss that means more than the food itself.

2016 Poon Choy

The 8-Head Abalone Poon Choy (RM 411.65) came next and it was enclosed in a claypot, complete with lid, and a heating source at the bottom. I dare say that this was the best poon choy we’ve had over the years and the hot nature of the ingredients contributed to that. Of course, the awesome selection of goodies was cooked to perfection too.

8-Head Abalone

This year had 8-head abalone, fresh prawns, fresh scallops, black moss, sea cucumber, huge sheets of fish maw, oysters, dried scallops, roasted duck, steamed chicken drumsticks, mussels, mushrooms, abalone slices and plenty of vegetables at the bottom. There was a lot to eat! Unlike last year’s poon choy, our 2016 poon choy was cooked together and all the flavors combined really well.

Grouper

The fish came after the server saw we were done with the poon choy. The King Grouper was cooked two ways – the first as slices of grouper in superior stock. This proved to be a hit as well, the entire grouper cost RM 224.90 (not inclusive of RM 12 cooking charge) and the flesh was soft and tender. I like how the freshness was accentuated by the cooking style too. The slices of grouper rested on soft and silky tofu, a very nice way of presenting it.

King Grouper Soup

The second course for the King Grouper came as a soup. Unique Seafood fried the head and bones and cooked it with some vegetables to produce a flavorful soup. It’s usually taboo to not serve a whole fish for Chinese New Year but since we have kids, it’s a lot easier (and more practical) to have the restaurant slice up the fish so there’s no bones and cook the head separately.

Waxed Meat with Glutinous Rice

I also ordered the Waxed Meat with Glutinous Rice (RM 44.35) which is a Chinese New Year staple. We barely made a dent in this since we were all full by then. I tapao it and we enjoyed it the next day though and it was delicious!

Seasonal Mixed Fruits

The kids wanted to have dessert so I ordered a platter of Seasonal Mixed Fruits (RM 20). They first had this when they came over to Sibu a few month’s ago. It’s nothing spectacular but maybe that was coz we were almost bursting with food at this point. Haha.

RM890 Bill

The bill came up to RM 890.50 for everything. I had already paid RM 414.50 when I reserved the poon choy earlier in the week (you have to pay up-front nowadays since it costs a lot to prepare the top shelf ingredients) so I just needed to pay RM 476 more after dinner. It’s slightly more than if you had booked a banquet but this way we got to choose what we wanted to eat and we had it centered around poon choy, which you can’t do with the banquet option.

Stuffed Scallops

I particularly enjoyed the fresh scallops stuffed into gourds and the fatt choy (black moss – a type of bacteria). I was quite surprised to see the little one eating a whole 8-head abalone by herself too. It was really yummy and we nearly managed to finish the poon choy despite just having 4 adults.

Unique Seafood

It was a great poon choy dinner and I’ll be looking to try a different restaurant’s poon choy around this time next year. Chinese New Year is coming up in less than a week’s time! Happy Chinese New Year everyone! :)

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18 thoughts on “Our RM 890 8-Head Abalone Poon Choy Dinner

    • Yeah, me too! :)

      I love poon choy and we eat it once a year, never miss it. It’s a must-have during CNY for me. Indeed, this was one of the better meals we had, the poon choy was good and the seafood was great.

  1. I enjoy yee sang, all the pickled stuff. Yours was a cut above, obviously…with the salmon and abalone. I spot some Chinese celery in the dish – hmmmm…I can add that too next time I have any . Would give it a nice fragrance, I’m sure.

    Not a fan of poon choy. It is nice, very nice. It can’t possibly be not nice with all the great ingredients in it but some of the things, I would prefer to eat it as they are…like the roast duck, for instance. Prawns are o.k. Something like our hot plate – the first dish at our Chinese banquets here, the one served steaming hot with the simmering gravy. That does not come cheap either – anytime over RM100 for that alone depending on what you have in it.

    An early reunion dinner before you come home to stock up on your “ammunition”? LOL!!!

    • I quite like this version of poon choy! :)

      Last year we had a poon choy that’s Hakka style, each ingredient is cooked separately and it can be more flavorful since there’s more different flavors e.g. the prawns are cooked in sweet and sour sauce, the pork is braised etc and everything is combined together and the gravy from all the different dishes drips down to flavor the root vegetables under.

      This one was more traditional in that everything is cooked in the same style e.g. even though the gourd with stuffed scallops and roasted duck etc are cooked separately, they’re combined with the same sauce throughout so it’s more harmonious in a way.

      Haha! Yeah, I already bought my fireworks, three huge ones this year plus a couple of small pieces I’m picking up on Saturday.

  2. the poon choy looks fab! my family loves poon choy, and every year, when they come up to kl from malacca for cny, i try to buy at least one poon choy to have with them. obviously i hadn’t done my research very well this year, because i hadn’t known about unique seafood’s … which is quite reasonably priced! i’ve ended up pre-ordering poon choy from a different place – it’s cheaper but there’s no abalone in it … hopefully we’ll enjoy it too! :) gxfc in advance, just in case! :D

    • Me too! I eat poon choy every year as well. :)

      I think last year Celestial Court had the best poon choy – it’s RM 888 for a 5 pax bowl (the only size, they don’t offer a 10 pax bowl like other places) and it has a lot of good ingredients like grouper fish which most poon choy don’t have. I think fish in a poon choy taste awesome!

      Yup, Unique Seafood has a good one too and it’s reasonable, plus it’s pork free so lots of Muslims come here. You can add abalone too for 50% more. Hope you enjoy your upcoming poon choy CNY dinner too!

  3. that’s a lot of food for six person! the fish looks very fresh and appetizing! the poon choy is so premium with superb ingredients. Happy feasting through the CNY!

    • Yup and we managed to eat most of it!:)

      The poon choy was really good and the King Grouper was awesome too coz it just died a few minutes before it came to out plate. Haha. Very fresh. Likewise!

  4. Wow! What a feast. I never had poon choy before. Not a thing in Kuching but I recently noticed a coffee shop has it. The owner is Cantonese. Maybe a Cantonese dish but I understand that Poon Choy originatedly a Hakka dish.

    Yee Sang! I would not mind have that.

    • Yeah, it’s not a thing in Sibu too! :)

      No one serves poon choy here, I know some people have started making it at home though. I understand poon choy as a Hakka dish too but it just became massively popular in KL around 2008. That’s when I started noticing more and more restaurants offering it and some even dedicated to poon choy. By 2010 it has become quite widespread and most hotel restaurants have poon choy.

  5. Can you believe it that I have never had poon choy? I can never gather enough people to eat with me. My family doesn’t fancy it and my in-laws dont come up here. I dont have friends… Sad… Sad.. Sad…

    • You can opt for the 5 pax ones! :)

      I had the same problem when I first came to KL too, couldn’t gather 10 pax to eat poon choy since all the poon choy back then was made for 10 people. I think around 2008-2010 I started seeing more 5 pax poon choy, which was smart since most people in KL aren’t born there, they just work there, so smaller portions make sense. It’s like the half portion they offer for yee sang also.

  6. I’d say the poon choy is reasonably priced with such premium ingredients but I think the 1/2 portion yee sang is rather expensive at RM160 (even with abalone coz that means a full portion costs RM320…wow!).

    • Interestingly, the full portion doesn’t cost double! :)

      The full portion of the abalone yee sang costs RM 219.20 (before 16% surcharge) while the 1/2 portion I had cost RM 160.90 (plus 16%). I think it’s coz the amount of abalone, salmon and Fuji apple is the same, the full portion just has more vegetables, which isn’t very expensive.

      I found it quite expensive too since it’s just yee sang and Japanese restaurants sell it at a fraction of the price but I don’t mind spending a little more on CNY. The poon choy was really worth the money though, it was very delicious!

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