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Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Pak Loh Chiu Chow Restaurant @StarHill Gallery Bukit Bintang Kuala Lumpur ~ Prodigy Chef Alex Au New Teochew Cuisine

Pak Loh Chiu Chow Restaurant
Prodigy Chef Alex Au
Introduces 40 New Chiu Chow Dishes to Town
Pak Loh Chiu Chow Restaurant @StarHill Gallery Bukit Bintang 

Auntie Lilly of FollowMeToEatLa was recently invited for a sumptuous luncheon to savour Pak Loh Chiu Chow, Prodigy Chef Alex Au's introduction of 40 new Chiu Chow dishes to its current menu. Pak Loh Chiu Chow located in Starhill Gallery at Feast Village  is the "golden sister" of the world renowned Pak Loh Chiu Chow restaurant in Hong Kong that dishes out authentic Teochew (also known as Chiu Chow) delicacies, originated from the Chaoshan region east of Guangdong province. 

Awesome Shot of Chef-On-Fire 
Award Winning Chef Alex Au 

Born and bred in Hong Kong, Chef Alex Au is the Executive Chinese Chef for Pak Loh Chiu Chow at Feast Village in Starhill Gallery. From a very young age, Chef Alex learned to cook for himself and his siblings while his parents were at work. It wasn't long before it became a necessity for him to start working which led him to the kitchens where his interest and passion for cooking began to flourish.

Thumbs Up Shot
Charming & Friendly Chef Alex 

Chef Alex Au is the prodigy child of the famous Pak Loh Chiu Chow restaurant in Hong Kong. He has been with the restaurant, where he was guided by the legendary Master Chef Chan Tung, for over 16 years.

Taking what he learned, he has, with much practice, distinguished himself in the art of preparing the famous Chiu Chow cuisines. Currently, he heads the culinary team in Malaysia and used the platform to display his skills by creating beautiful authentic dishes fit to serve emperors and royals.

Cooking-Up-A-Storm Shots 
Chef Alex Au

Chef Alex truly spread his wings and rapidly gained international recognition in 2011 when he and his team won the prestigious HAPA Platinum Award for “Most Authentic Asian Cuisine Restaurant”.  At Pak Loh Chiu Chow, Kuala Lumpur, Chef Alex presents authentic Chinese cuisine in a refreshing new way. 

He is known for his signature dish such as Chiu Chow Oyster Omelette and Slow-Braised Goose. And while preserving the deep flavours of Chinese cooking, he always experiment on how far he can push it further. When he's not cooking up a storm, he scours the city for scrumptious local specialties and spends his time relaxing with his wife.

Display Cabinet Filled With Assorted Chinese Teas & Wines

Oriental Décor & Ambiance Set The Mood
An Interesting Semi-Circle Seating Arrangement

Dining at Pak Loh Chiu Chow was an eye-opening experience for me as I discover the authentic taste of Teochew cuisine which was truly distinctive in its own way. Chef Alex said Teochew people lived mainly along coastal areas, which was why their cuisine consisted of a lot of seafood and is often regarded a healthier alternative among other Chinese cuisines.

Ganghu Tea

To keep the Ganghu tea tradition alive, guests of Pak Loh Chiu Chow Restaurant were served with at one round of this special tea blend. Hence, our luncheon started with serving of Ganghu Tea, also known as Kungfu tea or Gongfu Cha; a strong Oolong tea served in delicate cups before and after meal. The thickly bitter sweet taste is what Teochew people regard as "gan gan".

Baked Bombay Duck Fish with Plum Sauce
RM 25

First dish to grace the dining table was this savoury sweet and sour Baked Bombay Duck Fish with Plum Sauce. The Bombay duck fish, with tender meat and edible bones, is deep-fried prior to cooking it with imported plum sauce culminating in a flavourful dish. Best thing about this fish is the skin, when deep-fried, is light, crispy and melts in the mouth with its aroma lingering in palate.

Chef Alex In Action

Speaking about his style of cooking, Chef Alex said he enjoyed working with seafood and experimenting with ingredients and fresh produce to offer a better variant of Chiu Chow dishes. The media and bloggers  had a chance to see Chef Alex in action in a live cooking demonstration where he expertly tossed ingredients in a pan to create sumptuous Chiu Chow favourites.   

 Threadfish Fish Soup with Coriander and Leek 
RM 98

The simple and appetising fish soup was full of the rich flavours of fish. Chef Alex pan-fried the chunky cuts of Threadfish head, a deep-sea fish weighing at least 5kg and above to bring out the flavours. A dash of Shaoxing rice wine was added to enhance the flavours and removed the fishy smell. A base fish broth (boiled for many hours) was pour in together with leek, pre-cooked radishes and parsley to complete the nourishing soup dish. 

Just by getting a whiff of this dish was enough to tell me that it was something I would enjoy. Fish was fresh, and adding leek and parsley heightened the taste of the fish soup.

Authentic Top Shell with Preserved Vegetables 
RM 108.00

Next up was a premium seafood dish, Authentic Top Shell with Preserved Vegetables. Thinly sliced top shell, onions, scallions, red pepper and preserved mustard stir-fried together to ensure the vegetables have that perfect crunch. Like any dish here, this stir fry dish has turned luxe with top shell added to the dish. 

Eating this, I also discovered a new appreciation for top shell (something I have never liked thanks to the thoughts of eating snail or sea snail). It tasted fresh and succulent due to the light hand at cooking and full-of-wok-hei too.

Traditional Steamed Tiger-Toothed Croaker with Pork, Ham and Garlic Wrapped with Aromatic Chinese Cabbage 
RM 98

Chef Alex's creation of this special Tiger-Toothed Croaker fish dish requires a lot of work and ingredients that goes into preparing this dish. Dressed in preserved Chinese cabbage, the croaker fish is subtly flavoured with soya sauce, stuffed with minced pork and ham prior to steaming. The taste was faultless, thanks to the freshness of the fish within. Recommended to relish it with rice.  

Authentic Smoked Bacon Cooked with Yellow Chives 
RM 45

To veer off the seafood trail, the Authentic Smoked Bacon Cooked with Yellow Chives was a refreshing change. My fellow makan kakies or gang, Isaac Tan was in full praise for this fragrant porky dish. Specially house made by Chef Alex, the pork belly with layers of fat in between was tea smoked to perfection. Stir-fried in high heat with crunchy yellow chives, both ingredients paired up wonderfully together. Another appetising dish to go with warm bowl of rice too!   

Braised Spring Chicken Stuffed with Glutinous Rice, Garlic, Ginger and Straw Mushroom 
RM 45 per bird

One of the Teochew braised dishes that need tedious preparation which includes stir-fried and braised over slow fire. Distinctive preparation and cooking methods are used to preserve the freshness and quality of the ingredients. Juicy, plump spring chicken stuffed with glutinous rice, mushroom among other ingredients. Slow-braising over long hours with the braising stock remains on the stove, enhancing the taste and flavour.        

Classic Chiu Chow Assorted Seasonal Vegetables
RM 32

Chef Alex highlighted this classic vegetable dish, loved by Teochew folks for centuries. Known as a festive dish prepared on the 7th day of Chinese Lunar New Year, representing family harmony, togetherness and happiness to all. 

The 7th day is traditionally known as “Renri (人日)” or common man's birthday where everyone grows one year older. Specially selected 7 varieties of vegetables such as lotus, carrot, celery, black fungus, parsley, leek, spinach, onion or any vegetable's name which rhyme with a prosperous word will be chosen.  

Braised Pumpkin Bean Curd with Wild Mushrooms and Dried Scallop 
RM 42

Chef Alex is particularly proud of his house made pumpkin bean curd. Nutritious with nice sweet pumpkin flavour and melt-in-the mouth bean curd was made with meticulous measurement of the right portion of pumpkin and soya milk without any preservative or setting agents such as gypsum powder (sek koh). Loved the taste and texture of these deep-fried pumpkin cakes and it goes wonderfully well with the wild mushrooms and dried scallop. 

Flat Rice Noodle Soup with Threadfin Fish and Preserved Vegetables
RM 35

Noodles lovers will enjoy this Flat Rice Noodle Soup with Threadfin Fish and Preserved Vegetables as our final savoury course. Slurp worthy flat noodles with the fish broth so opulent, it makes the noodles glide down the throat with a breeze. Heaving helpings of this hearty and flavourful soup definitely warm your tummy.

Authentic Crispy Bananas with Golden Cream
RM 24

End the day with interesting desserts such as the Crispy Bananas with Golden Cream which has a unique story behind the creation. Legend has it that during a cooking competition the two finalist has ran out of ingredient to cook after a gruelling competition and one of the contestant saw some bananas hanging from a nearby house and decided to use it as the main ingredient, which then became the winning dish. When asked for the name of the dessert, the Chef could not think of a proper name at such short notice and decided to name it "lai pu chee" meaning "not on time".

Light and crispy with Chef's special concoction of 5 different types of flour to coat and deep-fried the bananas to perfection. With a funny story and sweet dessert to offer as a finale, dining at Pak Loh Chiu Chow Restaurant at Feast Village in Starhill Gallery was an enriching experience for us. 

"Uncompromising on serving only authentic high-end Teochew cuisine, Pak Loh Chiu Chow delivers a wealth of delicious flavours using only the finest ingredients, condiments and culinary methods in its cuisine. I have to say that it's truly worth every ringgit and cents paid to dine on the sumptuous and worthwhile dishes here." 

Bon-Appetite, Everyone!

Pak Loh Chiu Chow Restaurant
LG 12 Feast Village 
Starhill Gallery
181 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 - 2782 3856
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