Saturday, January 4, 2014

Chinese New Year Reunion Course Dinner @ Ixora Hotel, Perai, Penang.

One month down and Chinese New Year is on its way, having reunion-course dinner in restaurants or hotels is almost a trend here in Penang. The Straits Cafe, an in-house restaurant nestled within Ixora Hotel (right next to Megamall) at Perai, is taking on Chinese New Year with panache, offering their meticulously designed Chinese New Year Prosperous Reunion 8-Course Dinner. We (bloggers) were invited for a preview of their Chinese New Year dishes and we were impressed with the impressionable quality as well as mouth-watering food presentation. Tables are limited, do secure yours should you are interested to host a reunion dinner here at Ixora Hotel. 

Many Thanks for Ixora Hotel for extending the invitation. 

A quintessential starter to the ensuing feast, their "Yee Sang" (七仙彩鱼生) will be available in all sets of Chinese New Year Prosperous Reunion 8-Course Dinner.

The Chinese New Year Prosperous Reunion 8-Course Dinner is available from 30th of January to 1st of February 2014, 6pm till 10pm. Prices and dishes to be served are as follow: 

Rm 698++ | 10 person per table with choices of the menu:

Set A:
  • Ixora Rainbow "Yee Sang" Platter
  • Braised Shark's Fin with Seafood Soup
  • Deep-Fried Boneless Chicken with Kerabu Mango Sauce
  • Wok-Fried Prawns with Mayonnaise and Almond Flakes
  • Baby Cabbages with Sea Asparagus, Black Mushrooms, Bean-curd Strips and "Fatt Choy" Gravy
  • Steamed Red Lion Fish with "Chai Siang" Sauce
  • Steamed Lotus Leaf Rice with Lotus Seeds
  • Cold Rambutan, Pineapple with Yogurt Balls
Set B:

  • Ixora Rainbow "Yee Sang" Platter
  • Traditional Shark's Fin Soup with Dried Scallops
  • Oven Roasted Chicken with King of Soya Sauce
  • Wok-Fried Oatmeal Butter Prawns
  • Braised Broccoli with Bailing Mushrooms, Pacific Clams and Sea Asparagus
  • Deep-Fried Red Lion Fish with Hot and Spicy Sauce
  • Tom Yam Style Fried Rice with Shredded Chicken
  • Longan with Nata de Coco and Red Ruby
Rm 888++ | 10 person per table with choices of the menu:

Set A:
  • "Yee Sang" with Shredded Abalone Platter
  • Double Boiled Chicken Soup with Fish Maw, Black Mushrooms and Ginseng Herb
  • Steamed Chicken with Ginseng Herbal and Vegetables
  • Wok-Fried White Prawns with Honey Garlic Sauce
  • Crispy Green Vegetables with Dried Oysters, Imported Fresh Scallops and "Fatt Choy" Gravy
  • Steamed Grouper Fish with Hong Kong Sauce
  • Stir-Fried Emperor Noodles with Seafood and Vegetables
  • Chilled Leng Chee Kang with Quail Eggs
Set B: 
  • "Yee Sang" with Shredded Abalone Platter
  • Chinese Herbal Chicken Soup with Dried Scallops and Bamboo Pits
  • Roasted Chicken with Garlic and Spring Onions
  • Wok-Fried White Prawns with Sunny Salted Egg with Curry Leaves
  • Broccoli with Bailing Mushrooms, Pacific Clams and Abalone Slices and Scallops Sauce
  • Steamed Grouper Fish with "Pattaya" Sauce
  • XO-Style Fried Rice with Silver Anchovies
  • Slow Boiled White Fungus with Ginkgo, Red Dates, Longan and Lotus Seeds

The dinner was kick-started with this bowl of heart-warming and invigorating Double Boiled Chicken Soup with Fish Maw, Black Mushrooms and Ginseng Herb (盘满钵又满). One slurp and my eyes widen, the broth was reasonably seasoned and robust with Ginseng flavor. A pleasingly comforting dish that you should look for at Ixora Hotel. 

Ixora Hotel continues to impress diners with its Traditional Shark's Fin Soup with Dried Scallops (一团又和气). Each spoonful of this saturated broth was a burst of sweet seafood essence and brimming with flavors; the voluptuous Dried Scallops and copious amount of Crab Meat on the other hand, added another layered dimension to the dish. 

Seafood lovers would not want to miss the dish Wok-Fried Oatmeal Butter Prawns (龙王献黄金), fresh and plump Prawns being deep fried till perfection, with a slight resilient but not hard to the bite. The real draw of the dish was the Oatmeal, stir-fried with Butter with a touch of Kaffir Lime Leaves, was a lovely complement to the Prawns. 

A short respite from the oily food, we had Braised Broccoli with Bailing Mushrooms, Pacific Clams and Sea Asparagus (好事庆丰收), doused with their well-executed Abalone Sauce. We adore the Abalone sauce for having the perfect consistency in terms of thickness and well-balanced in flavors. However, I thought it will be even better if they could replace Pacific Clams and Sea Asparagus with other types of Seafood, nevertheless, it was a tummy-pleasing dish.  

We were intrigued by the presentation of this dish Steamed Red Lion Fish with Hot and Spicy Sze Chuan Sauce (一帆多风顺). Chef Beh, the executive Chef of Ixora Hotel, has done a great job in making a twist to the dish, presenting the dish in an elegant and sophisticated way. The soul to this dish was the addictive Spicy Sze Chuan sauce, the spicy-sweet-savory sauce brings the fish to a whole new level and awakening the taste buds. We were also amazed by how the sauce could complement with the fish; a worth-trying dish. 

I was especially enamored for this dish Stir-Fried Emperor Noodles with Seafood and Vegetables (双王来报喜). The noodles were well-cooked with a strong aroma of "Wok Hei" and you will be amazed that there were no signs of oil can be found within the dish, in which most of the fried noodles will come in greasy and oily but this was quite the opposite. Simple, straight-forward yet delicious. 

Justifying the occasion, sweet treats are a must. To end the meal, we had Slow Boiled White Fungus with Ginkgo Nuts, Red Dates, Longan and Lotus Seeds (幸福好团圆), a very nourishing traditional Chinese dessert but I thought it was slightly too sweet for my palate though. 

In need of a charming spot to retreat and unwind from the busy life? Finding an usual dining place for the entire family? Ixora Hotel is also introducing a series of their Chinese style "Wok Fried" Cuisine which is available from 1st of January 2014 until 28th of January 2014, 12 noon till 10pm. Dishes are priced reasonably and not too grueling on the wallet, in which prices start from Rm 10++ onward and all dishes are only available in two sizes- regular and large. With more than 20 types of dishes available, there will surely be something for every palate. It is also worth splurging a little more to opt for the comfortable and air-conditioned restaurant for this meaningful and auspicious season.

Fish Ball Seaweed Soup, the addition of Carrots has added a bit of crunch and vegetable-sweetness to the soup, the dish does not come with bold flavors but a rather mild vegetable-sweetness, as though it feels like the dish was being cooked by your loved ones. 

One of the much lauded items was this Crispy Mint Sauce Chicken, deboned Chicken being deep fried till perfection but managed to lock the moisture within, finished with a tantalizing Mint Sauce. The Mint Sauce commingles the sweet and the savory, the refreshing green-Minty flavor was able to reduce the greasiness of the Chicken, the enticing combination definitely whets my appetite. 

Their Stir-Fried Fish Fillet with Bean Paste Sauce is another note-worthy choice. Using Red Snapper Fish, the result was a firm and meaty texture, the dish was absolutely delicious with the freshness of the fish guaranteed. Despite I thought the sauce was slightly on the salty side, the dish will be perfect spooned over rice.

The Deep Fried Prawns with Five Spices caught us in a faint fragrance, the prawn was so crispy that I had it finished entirely with the shells. However, I thought the Prawns were a little oilier to my liking. Decent dish, but not mind blowing. 

To end the meal, we had these Taiwan Chinese Tong Yuen; for the uninitiated, Tong Yuen refers to Glutinous Rice Balls, some with filling and some without. The Glutinous Rice Balls were ordinary but we thought that they could come out with something extraordinary to complement with the Tong Yuen, probably Ixora Sweet Soup than the ordinary Sweet Soup; a touch of uniqueness to the otherwise predictable flavors. 

All the dishes were prepared by the very talented and skillful culinary team of Ixora Hotel, led by Executive Chef- Chef Beh (Right 1).

A group photo of bloggers- Criz (Left 1), CK (Left 2) and yours truly (Right 1).

Additional Information:
Service Charge: Yes 10%
Government Tax: Yes 6%
Address: 3096, Jalan Baru, Bandar Perai Jaya, 13600, Perai, Penang. 
Contact Number: 604- 382 8888

Jalan Baru, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

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