Saturday, September 28, 2013

Noble Mansion Revisited

The first time we patronised the Noble Mansion was during the Chinese New Year festivities early this year. A windfall in the share market by SC brought us back to the restaurant. He decided to host a dinner there and my wife and I were invited along.

To recap on my previous posting, the Noble Mansion is located on the 1st floor of the Plaza @ Jaya 33 along Jalan Semangat, PJ. I don't normally do repeats of the restaurants in my blog. I make an exception for Noble Mansion because of the awesome food we had this time around.

An old friend of mine and his wife from Singapore were trapped in one of these elevators from the car parks, for about 45 minutes during a recent visit. It was an harrowing experience for them.

So it might be advisable to use the stairs instead.

The restaurant was rather quiet on that Friday evening. We had our own private room. And our own dedicated waitress.

The ambiance, table settings and most of all, the company were all ideal for a great meal.

The hors d'oeuvres came in this traditional English cake server. From the top, we had a pork strip wrap with a sweet sauce, a deep fried prawn atop a slice of fried potato with a mayo sauce, and a braised fresh scallop with fried fu chuk (腐竹). 

They were elegantly presented to us like so. They were superb. The flavours were fine and exquisite. They were not the stereotype starters we find in most Chinese meals.

The soup was individually served in sealed bowls. In it were Chinese mushrooms, a small abalone, compoy (柱 - dried scallops) and substantial amount of lean pork. The flavour was absolutely marvellous. It was piping hot. I savoured every single drop.

Next was the soft shell crab. It was deep fried in a batter and served with a light sauce of Chinese wine. The crab was delicious. I have always loved soft shell crabs. This was one of the best.

They call these "goose palms" (鵝掌). They were actually goose web - geese do not have palms. It is really a delicacy - an acquired tasted. Some people are turned off by its looks. The dish arrived in a hot clay pot and was nicely presented to us by the waitress - with Chinese mushroom, sea cucumber (海参) and broccoli. It was delicious. The flavour was light and the web was soft and tender. I had double serving of the web as SK sitting beside me did not fancy the look of it.

This was a big cold water lobster. It was stir fried in a rich garlic sauce. The poor fella was apparently still swimming before it landed on our table. The meat was thus super fresh and succulent. Very well done indeed. But it apparently costed SC a small fortune.

Next was a very innovative dish. It was scrambled egg white with crab meat and pine nuts. It was eaten wrapped in lettuce. This was my first time. As I sampled the dish, I could see why they used only the white of the egg, minus the yolk. The flavour of the crab was distinct which the egg white did not in any way mask; as it perhaps would had the yolk been used. The pine nuts added to overall flavour. Such a simple dish and yet so very good.

The last and perhaps the finale was this roasted half piglet over a very delicious preparation of glutinous rice. I do not know if the piglet had any part in preparation of the rice. Certainly the combination was very original and successful. The rice was soft and delicious. The crispy skin of the piglet was somewhat contrasting but the combination absolutely worked. I enjoyed it totally.

The dessert... Oh what a dessert. Each of us had a dug-out Fuji apple. The flesh of the apple was steamed or boiled with a variety of Chinese dessert ingredients - dry longan, rock sugar, ice fungus, wolf berry, etc. The dessert was served cold inside the hollowed apple. The apple was still fresh and crunchy. It was very refreshing. An "A" for innovation.

This fruit platter was compliments of the house.

Our revisit to Noble Mansion was indefinitely better than our first experience. During our first visit, I wrote that I was not too impressed with the food, and that the service and ambiance were not quite up to that of a fine dining place. Well this time around, things were much better. At the least, we had a nice fabric napkin. The food was original, innovative and pleasant in flavour. I have to say this - they certainly move up a big notch towards fine dining status.

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