New Year feasting continues with gusto with the advent of Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day. Eat, drink and be merry. Now, repeat aforesaid!
Words: R. Rajendra
ABUNDANCE ON BOARD
Fish is a regular offering at Chinese New Year reunion dinners as it is an auspicious sounding ingredient. The word yue (‘fish’ in Cantonese) sounds like ‘abundance’. To invite even greater abundance, try the Sweet & Sour Fish Combo meal that’s available on all Malaysia AirAsia flights till the end of February, 2014. This is a dish of flavoured rice with sweet and sour fish, complemented with a slice of pineapple tart (pineapples are called ong in Cantonese, which sounds like ‘good luck’) and a bottle of Minute Maid Orange Juice. Prebook this meal online and pay only MYR15. When purchased on board, it costs MYR16 and the dessert and drink will be substituted with a pack of Tong Garden Mixed Nut and T&CO Green Tea. Go to www.airasia.com to book now.
The Westin Kuala Lumpur and Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur welcome the Year of the Horse with a mouth-watering array of New Year delicacies. At the Westin KL, Five Sen5es offers Cantonese menus with Reunion Dinner meals catering for up to 10 diners per table. The customary Yee Sang (raw fish salad) here is a healthy, SuperFoodRx™ offering that includes salmon, nuts, onions, honey and dried fruits. Over at Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur, join in the feasting at Latest Recipe, where up to February 13, guests can dine on various Chinese specialties such as Baked Butter Cod with Sweet Bean Sauce; Dim Sum, Roasted Duck with Tong Kwai herb, Braised Fish Lips soup and more. A Chinese New Year Eve buffet dinner priced at approximately USD42++ (adult) and approximately USD21 (children and senior citizens) is available on January 30. www.lemeridienkualalumpur.com, www thewestinkualalumpur.com
The chefs at Bangkok’s lebua are reinventing the dining scene with a new dining experience modelled after their predictions of the look, taste and feel of future Chinese dining with China 2020, an interactive à la carte menu available for one year at Breeze, The Dome at lebua’s awarding-winning Asian restaurant. Guests can expect to be wowed with interactive experiences that will see them mixing their own cocktails and even cracking open a box to get to their dishes. www.lebua.com/breeze
Stink beans (petai in Malaysia / Singapore /Indonesia and sato in Thailand), are edible beans of the Parkia speciosa tree. The beans that grow inside clusters of long pods are eaten raw, lightly grilled or cooked in a chilli sambal with prawns or other meats. The defining characteristic of the petai is the long lingering smell that’s caused by many naturally occurring chemical compounds containing sulphur, mainly hydrogen sulphide, ethanol, trithiolane and acetaldehyde. Bad breath and smelly urine aside (similar to the after effects of eating asparagus), locals swear by the health-giving properties of the stink bean that includes treating depression, constipation, anaemia, PMS, stroke and even diabetes. Some innovative chefs are introducing the bean into mainstream menus by boiling it in milk to remove the stink. The outcome tastes like fava beans.
Chap Goh Meh (Yuan Xiao Jie) is celebrated by the Chinese community as a sort of Valentine’s Day. This year, it falls on February 14, making it a doubly romantic day! In the past, young men and women chose life partners by writing their names on mandarin oranges and tossing them into rivers and lakes, in the hope that the person who found their fruit would then contact them with the possibility of a relationship. One popular snack during the Chinese New Year celebration is the Love Letter, a sweet, crisp, tuille like biscuit. Made by pouring a thin batter over a mould and grilling it over embers, the Love Letter needs to be quickly folded or rolled before it goes brittle.
The latest craze to hit South Korea is mok-bang or literally ‘eat and broadcast’. Very simply, an attention starved, tech- savvy person broadcasts live streaming episodes of him/her quite literally stuffing himself / herself silly with huge amounts of food. The amazing thing is that these Net celebs have huge followings who pay good money to watch ‘stars’ gorge on food, thus raking in big bucks. One diminutive lass known as The Diva has reached superstar status with frequent episodes of her eating meals costing up to USD3,000 a month!
FOOD FOR FOREPLAY
CHAMPAGNE: Pour and drink off the body.
STRAWBERRIES: Gently crush and eat off each other.
BREATH MINTS: Keeps the mouth fresh when locking lips and for any oral action.
CHOCOLATE SAUCE: Drizzle and lick off or use as body paint.
ICE CUBES: Melt on erogenous zones.
ICE CREAM: Slather and eat.
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