Elegant Inn, KL

Recently the kind people at Millennium Associates invited me to Elegant Inn at Menara Hap Seng for a lunch review. To be honest, I am not too familiar with this restaurant despite their expansion from their humble beginnings in Cheras’s Tmn Connaught. But then, I am rarely found in Cheras. However, their second outlet in Menara Hap Seng is more achievable for me in terms of location. Heh.

Parking was easy on a weekend (RM3 per entry) and as the restaurant is situated on Level 2, one has to pass by an pleasant rooftop garden to get to the entrance. Live seafood tanks greet you on the way in, and the main dining hall is done up in walnut coloured finishings, dotted with cream and red touches and some oriental pieces . We were ushered into one of the 2 VIP rooms (for 10) which has its own terrace with a KLCC view. Imagine dining here at night! The adjoining, larger VIP room is good enough for 16.

Lunch was with KY, Mellissa and another friend and we were introduced to Jeanette, the friendly and knowledgeable owner who took care of the recommendations and also the ordering. Their specialty is Hong Kong cuisine, which is very much influenced by Cantonese cooking. And as we learnt during the meal, many of the ingredients are handpicked by herself and hand carried back from her trips as she places much importance on the quality of the ingredients. Her passion for food, right from the ingredients to the preparation etc was contagious.

In view of the Chinese New Year festivities, we had a small yee sang to kick off the meal. The main difference lies in the ingredients (cucumber, radish, carrots, pomelo, jicama, ginger etc), which were all freshly prepared, save for the crackers lah. And in addition to the fresh salmon slices, pearl clam slices and jellyfish were also thrown in for that extra flavour and texture.

We started off with something light, an appetiser in the form of an australian scallop and tofu with a lemon parsley sauce. I certainly wasn’t expecting all of these to go so well together but the end result was very refreshing, with the tart lemon complimenting the lightly seared scallop. One of the pleasant surprises of the meal 🙂

Next we had the chiu yim (salt&pepper) whitebait with squid and a mildly spicy soft shell crab. What I loved about the whitebait was that it wasn’t greasy nor was it overwhelmed with batter or seasoning. Very light indeed. As for the soft shell crab, the mildly spicy sauce was flavoured with ginger flower and the light sweetness of onion slices.

To cleanse our palate was the double boiled soup, which according to Jeanette is prepared over a span of 4-6 hours for that classic, rich taste. The ingredients use in our soup included top shell chunks, chinese ham, ribs, scallops, pig stomach, kampungchicken, preserved mustard tuber. Very clear and sweet tasting.

Next up was the steamed Australian jade Perch, which is a fish species similar to the siakap. Tender yet firm, the fish was extremely fresh. Jeanette even mentioned that the soy sauce is a special blend made for them by their regular suppliers.

Eight Treasures Stuffed chicken Wings where the bones of the middle wing part is removed and stuffed with a mixture of eight ingredients including minced pork, diced chestnuts, mushrooms, prawns etc. Of course what ensued was the discussion of how the chef deboned the wing. Heh.

Next up is one of their signature vege dishes, Bittergourd with ham choy (salted mustard). I am not a huge fan of bittergourd but this turned out pretty light and easy on the palate. Nor was the ham choy overwhelming. Interesting dish for me.

Our next vegetable dish is summed up in one word; sinful. Choy Sum stir-fried with Yun Cheong (Goose Liver sausage)! Crunchy and lightly coated with the essence of the sausage, the greens also had a tinge of wine flavour. As for the sausages, mhmm, each bite was heavenly. Afterall, Jeanette sourced them from HK’s Yung Kee and hand carried them back.

Even though we were getting rather full by now, Jeanette recommended their signature fried rice highly and we succumbed to temptation. As we were being told the tedious process of making it, I had a fleeting thought on how they should re-name it the “Dancing Fried Rice” just based on the fact that the rice was constantly tossed around just so that it could never rest on the wok to get that fluffiness. The “secret” of this yummy fried rice was the grade and temperature of the rice. 2 different grades of rice, one cold and the other at room temperature, stir fried with chunks of dried shrimps and egg, with crabmeat and spring onions tossed in later. Delicious as proclaimed though I found the texture of the rice a wee bit on the hard side. But that could easily be overlooked when you take in the overall flavour and taste of the fried rice. Top notch indeed.

Lunch ended with a range of desserts; egg tarts, steamed custake cake(ma lai koh/馬拉糕), tang yuan, and a sea coconut & longan tong sui. The egg tarts were flaky and not too sweet, which sat very well with me. The custard cake is also moist, soft and spongy with a rich eggy taste. The other two desserts had soups which were prepared with Bentong ginger.

Last but not least, there was a fresh mango pudding, served with milk. Their aim is to have chunks of mango with every spoonful, and I must say, the amount of mango in the pudding is more than any other version I have ever tried.

The quality of the meal sure surpassed my expectations and I think it’s very much due to the importance the people behind Elegant Inn places on quality control. Almost every dish was cooked by the head chef in some way, and only he could fry their signature fried rice to ensure that the flavour and taste of every dish stayed consistent. For those who are looking for a place for tasteful and elegant dining, I would highly recommend this place. Managed to get a peek at the menu and yes, prices are more on the high side here, but considering that one gets the freshest ingredients and the exacting standards in producing sublime tasting food, it’s worth spending.

Elegant Inn (map)
2.01, 2nd Floor, Podium Block,
Menara Hap Seng,
Jalan P.Ramlee,
50250 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 2070 9399

other reviews;
malaysian inside writeup

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12 Comments »

  1. Nic (KHKL) said

    the yu sang looks good and without any of those preservatives..just the way i like it! 🙂

    happy cny, epicurious girl!

    epicuriousgirl says: Happy CNY Nic! Yeah, I enjoy yu sang which have fresh ingredients too. 🙂

  2. Mellissa said

    I couldn’t eat dinner that night after all that food! 😀

    epicuriousgirl says: haha, I don’t think any of us could!

  3. Happy New Year! Ooooh, didn’t know you went for the Elegant Inn tasting. I love the fluffy mai lai koh, my fav since it is so lite.

    epicuriousgirl says: Happy NY to you too! yeah, it was really nice and light.

  4. gina said

    Looks like a good place to spend the evening with family and friends. 😀

    epicuriousgirl says: yeah, it is. but spare time for a leisure dinner as most of the dishes are made one by one by the head chef, cooking time is a wee bit longer.

  5. steve said

    how much was dinner

    epicuriousgirl says: sorry, I don’t know exactly how much.

  6. […] by Millennium Associates, on behalf of Jeanette of Elegant Inn. Mellissa and I were joined by Jasmine (epicuriousgirl) and her friend Jess in this review session. The four of us were seated in a private […]

  7. babe_kl said

    May the year of Ox bring you all the happiness, good fortune, health and prosperity you wish for.

    epicuriousgirl says: thanks, same to you! 😀

  8. Huai Bin said

    OMG! The macro shot of the scallop on top of the tofu looks great, and I don’t even like tofu (though I love scallops). Happy CNY!

    epicuriousgirl says: Thanks! Same to you too. And trust me, the taste of tofu isn’t that strong here, very compatible ler.

  9. J2Kfm said

    the food doesnt look like everyday fare. very nicely presented, with heavy HK influences. mango pudding with milk, i can taste it all the way from here ….!!! 🙂

    gongxifacai.

    epicuriousgirl says: Xin Nian Kuai Le to you too! Yep, food here not as per the typical ones you get in other Chinese restaurants.

  10. mimi said

    Gong Xi Fa Cai!!

    epicuriousgirl says: Everyone Fatt together! Hehe.

  11. […] it and mostly it’s a printout of the total figure. Having tried their goose liver sausages in Elegant Inn and wanting to get some for my gramps and parents, asked the assistant Captain who attended to us […]

  12. […] you are wanting to get your hands on some eh? Well, there’s one place you can head to, i.e. Elegant Inn, the very same place that treated us to a very scrumptious and unforgettable lunch earlier this […]

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