Sunday, May 15, 2011

Oriental Pavilion in Jaya 33

We were invited by a good old school friend to his son's wedding dinner. The dinner was in the Oriental Pavilion in Jaya 33, PJ. I had been a couple of times to this restaurant and had been pretty impressed with the food there. I wanted to blog the wedding dinner but was hesitant. I did not want to inconvenient other diners by repeatedly taking pictures of the food. So I told my wife - if we were in a table with friends, I would do it. Otherwise we would give it a pass.

We were allocated to a table of old school mates. I knew everyone of them. So I whipped out my camera and this posting is the outcome.

The newly wedded was a charming pair. Equally elated was our old friend, the groom's father - the guy with the suit in the picture above.

The Oriental Pavilion is really a very nice Chinese restaurant. Its ambiance is grand and conducive. It belongs to a chain of 8 restaurants of The Oriental Group of Restaurants operating in KL and PJ. It occupies a large area on the 1st floor of the Jaya 33 shopping complex in Section 14, PJ.

Pre-dinner was nice chit chat and catching up with old friends. The feast was great partly because of this good company. Before long and without much ado, dinner was served.

The opening dish was the Three Treasures Combination. The 3 treasures were salad prawn, deep fried tofu and deep fried meat-fish balls. The dish was a great appetizer. It was simple, yet so satisfying. The fried tofu was particularly good. The flavor was rich and aromatic. After this teaser, we looked forward to the other dishes.

The soup was probably the best serving of the meal. It was a double boiled coral shark-fin with dried scallops and Chinese cabbage. It was individually served and in each bowl were generous portions of shark fin, conpoy (乾瑤柱 or dried scallop), mushroom, chicken and Chinese cabbage. The soup was sweet and delicious, almost like a bowl of 佛跳墙 (Buddha jump over the wall). I enjoyed it to the last drop. Wished there was more.

Following the soup was a most unique fish dish. It was the ying yang pompret. It was a pomfret cooked in 2 different ways. The meat was sliced and stir fried with green beans in a spicy sauce. The skeleton and head was deep fried to a crisp and mounted vertically in the plate. I enjoyed both styles of cooking and it was the first time I had fish in this combination.

The roast baby duck was served with a vegetable roll. The menu listed the duck as "baby" but it did not look like one at all. There was a lot of meat and the head looked big. It was definitely a full-grown adult duck. Anyway, the meat was not great and the vegetable roll was also mediocre.

The not so great duck was compensated by another fantastic dish that followed. It was the braised abalone with dried oyster and seafood in a winter melon. The abalone were not of very big size and together with some broccoli, they surround a winter melon in which were braised dried oyster and seafood. The dish was magnificently done. I enjoyed the abalone. Who wouldn't? The winter melon was obviously steamed to a nice soft texture that complemented the braised oyster and seafood beautifully.

I have always enjoyed soft shell crab, especially deep fried. The next dish was exactly that. Somehow it did not taste that very good. Perhaps it was the overdose of other great food. The crab was served with steamed buns, eaten with some celery and sweet sauce. I would rate the crab slightly better than the duck.

The closing dish was the pineapple fried rice. By then, I was stuffed. I could only manage a small bowl. It was not bad at all, but pineapple is never my favorite in fried rice.

Two desserts were served. The first was a double boiled honey dew with red dates. It was served cold and was sweet and soothing after a heavy meal.

The other was a combination of lotus bean buns and "thousand layered cakes". I particularly like the layered cake. It was soft and had a kind of peanut flavor in it. In spite of the heavy meal, I had 2 pieces of it.

This wedding feast is among the better ones that I have experienced. I compliment our hosts for the menu selection. The dishes were all very unique - away from the stereo-typed fried chicken, steamed fish and buttered prawns. And the restaurant did a fantastic job too. I don't think I will wait till the next wedding invitation before I return to the Oriental Pavilion in Jaya 33.

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