Shanghainese, pure and true
Longing for some traditional Shanghainese delicacies? Satisfy your appetite while doing your part for charity at Dragon-i Signature.
By JOLEEN LUNJEW
Dragon-i Signature Restaurant
Authentic Shanghainese cuisine is hard to come by in Malaysia. But Dragon-i Signature at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur is about to change that.
They are positioning themselves at the place to get premium traditional Shanghainese cuisine.
Dragon-i Signature will be hosting a special charity weekend dinner featuring Shanghainese delicacies on May 3–4 in conjunction with the May 2 opening of its flagship outlet at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur.
The eight-course menu is specially developed by Dragon-i’s China-born executive chef Man Fong Lam and will be prepared by him and his team of highly-skilled mainland Chinese and local chefs. Eighteen tables will be offered, nine on May 3 and nine on May 4, at RM2,000 nett per table of 10 pax.
Dragon-i Chief Executive Henry Yip said they will donate the entire proceeds from the dinner amounting to RM20,000 to Persatuan Wanita Berilmu Malaysia and other women welfare organisations.
At the tasting preview, Yip explained that the dishes we were about to sample were only available at the Pavilion outlet. He said Dragon-i hoped to promote the strong and sweet taste of Shanghainese cuisine to Malaysians.
We started off with four cold appetisers – Shanghainese Smoked Fish, Japanese Cucumber with Garlic, Chilled Wine-marinated Chicken and Honey–glazed Crispy Eel – collectively named Grandeur Quartet in Harmony. The eel was was deliciously coated in honey and fried to a crisp – great for whetting one’s appetite.
Their Shanghainese Dumpling came with a twist as it was filled with crab roe. Yip showed us the proper way to savour the dumpling – place it into your soup spoon, then poke a hole at the bottom to let the soup seep out. You slurp the soup up, add some ginger and vinegar for taste and put the whole dumpling in your mouth for a delicious finish.
Yip said that their dumplings will be filled with hairy crab flown directly from China from September to November.
Double-boiled Superior Chicken Soup with Brussels Sprouts was served next. This soup is boiled in herbs, with sponge-like bamboo piths added into the soup to absorb the flavours. The chicken used to boil the soup is served separately. The soup is very flavourful.
Next on the menu was the Stir-fried Prawns with Signature Sauce – a slightly spicy, sweet and sour sauce containing rice wine, chilli and tomato.
“This common dish in Shanghai is very popular with the customers here,” said Yip. The deep-sea prawns, obtained from fishermen in Pantai Remis, a small town in Sitiawan, Perak, were huge and fresh. I had difficulty eating them because of their size, not that I’m complaining. Yip said buying direct from the fishermen kept the cost down.
The next dish, Steamed Hilsa Herring Shanghainese Style, was unique as it is only served on special occasions. Customers may order in advance if they would like to savour this rare dish in which the fish is steamed with its scales intact. The scales were edible and it was quite interesting to crunch on it, sort of like eating cartilage. The dish is expensive, RM180 for half a fish.
Deep Fried Mandarin Fish was served next, a platter of fish flesh sliced and fried to look like flowers.
After that, Braised Mushroom with Dried Scallops & Vegetables was served together with Fragrant Crispy 8-Treasure Stuffed Duck. The duck’s skin was deliciously crispy and generously stuffed with mushrooms, scallops, lotus seed, glutinous rice, chinese sausages, bamboo shoots, ham and dried prawns.
Their signature dish, Fried Rice with Scallops & Crab Meat, uses fragrant Thai rice fried with egg white, dry scallops and crabmeat. The rice tasted light and fluffy and gave off a fragrant smell.
Dessert was Bird’s Nest with Egg White & Waterchestnut Cream and Honey-coated Banana Fritters – a must-try. I fell in love with their banana fritters, apparently a traditional Shanghainese dessert.
The banana is steamed and fried before coated with thick maltose. Then it is dipped into ice water for the maltose to crystallise, creating a crunchy sweet outer layer that gives way to a soft steaming banana when you sink your teeth into it.
For charity dinner reservations and enquiries, call 03-2143 7688.