I’ve been to their pre-wedding dinner, become a heng tai (brother) at Wing Fei’s Chinese wedding door games, and now it’s the night of the actual dinner at Jaya Palace.
My better half and I actually went really early coz she had to do registration and I had to help her with the corsages and ang pow collection (sounds more glamorous than it is, I was little more than a glorified bodyguard at a place which didn’t really require it ).
Seriously though, I didn’t know there was actually a “money room” at the restaurant where you count ang pows.
There’s actually a very good reason for this – bigger cities like KL has a larger element of crime, so the point is to tabulate the money quickly and pay immediately so you don’t leave with the cash. There has been robberies in the past so people just settle the bill with the ang pows on the spot. Learn something new every day.
The 9-course dinner at Jaya Palace was quite impressive:
Palace Four Season Combination Platter
There’s actually four (4) items in this classic starter despite the five (5) indentations in the platter. It came out with all the bells and whistles which is becoming standard nowadays – the dimming of the lights, the procession of waitresses etc. The sweet and sour pork was nice, as well as the fishballs flanking it. I also liked the fu chuk (beancurd skin) in the middle, but the most popular item was the baby octopus – it was yum!
Double Boiled Soup with Cordyceps Flower, Scallop & Fish Maw
I loved the large dried scallop inside. You don’t usually get ones as big as this from retail shops unless you’re willing to pay a hefty price tag. There were also two pieces of fish maw inside, a classic Cantonese double boiled soup with premium non-controversial ingredients. The broth is based on chicken, I was pleased to see it was dark meat from the thigh.
Roast Whole Suckling Pig
The best dish of the night! This is a *whole suckling pig*, but you only eat the crackling and a little bit of the meat underneath. The skin of a suckling pig is deep fried to perfection and re-arranged in the general shape of a porcine being on the plate. I picked up a piece with my chopsticks and dipped it into the plum sauce – crispy, crunchy and full of flavour. I wanted to have another but by then it was gone. Seriously, that was how good this was. I did get to eat the face of the pig though (it’s quite delicacy in my hometown, not so much here).
Steamed Estuary Grouper Fish w/ Fungus
One of my favorite fishes for steaming. I’ll order RM 22 bowls of estuary grouper fish noodles when I’m craving for some. Estuary grouper (loong tan) is a very nice fish for eating – no bones to content with and a thick layer of collagen between the skin and the flesh. Jaya Palace slightly overcooked the fish but it was still a great dish.
Pepper & Salt Fresh Prawn
The obligatory prawns after the fish dish. I didn’t get to eat this as I was walking around taking photos for the groom and although a table-mate saved one for me, I unwittingly changed my plates for the next course (each course comes with new plates) so I didn’t know what it tasted like. I would have liked prawn.
Braised Sea Cucumber with Pork Knuckles & Mushroom
Lovely! People say sea cucumber don’t have a taste of its own, it absorbs the flavour of the gravy. This is partially true, but I know people who can tell where a sea cucumber comes from (Indonesia etc) so there’s gotta be a taste element in there as well. I’m quite partial to sea cucumber and they do it very well at Jaya Palace.
Steamed Glutinous Rice with Chicken & Mushroom
This is lor mai gai – a rice dish to fill you up if you’re still hungry. It’s individually portioned and tasted pretty good to me although I noticed a lot of people didn’t touch theirs coz they were quite full from the previous dishes. It was also quite late at this point and one table beside us just tapau their food with them.
Special Fancy Pastries
These are nostalgia inducing edibles – I remember dessert being a foreign concept in Chinese restaurants back in the day, this was all we had. It’s sweet red bean paste encased in flaky pastry and deep fried for a satisfying and sentimental course. There was also a kuih made with the squiggly green bits you see in cendol.
Sweetened Soya Bean with Gingko & White Fungus
I liked this one too, probably coz I didn’t eat much during the previous courses. I ended up drinking more than my fair share since most of my table mates have left and it was just the 3 of us at the table. The white fungus works very well in this sweet tong sui style dessert. It’s very Cantonese to have something like this to mark the end of dinner.
Congratulations to Yee Leng and Wing Fei on their wedding! We managed to take a photo with them after everyone had left and we had settled everything. :)