Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Hearty Change at The Han Room

Things on the food front are starting out refreshingly different this year, I am glad to report. A heightened sense of chutzpah towards the appreciation of diverse schools of nourishment, as if I'd just woken up from a drawn out slumber of indifference and lethargy. Things I'd previously been oblivious to, or hastily dismissed upon one lousy experience or another, are suddenly offensively irresistible. Like tiresome steamboat. Or messy Ramly mystery meat burgers. Or the seasonal icon nga ku beng.

My previous eating incarnation would never have dreamed of making a beeline for new Oriental Group joint the Han Room at the Gardens mid-week. I mean, Chinese banquet-type dinners have been ingrained from childhood as purely extended family territory and all its connotations.

But on this feasting occasion in work vicinity, nothing else came close to remotely exciting birthday girl Vicky W as the Han Room. A wise choice, as so laid an evening before us of fine, happy feasting.

Crispy cod fish roll with chicken floss. None of us were big fans of chicken floss on well, anything, but this was a delightful savoury start.

Why not mix the starter up a little and throw in something sweet? The thousand layered cake was fine but rather one-dimensional, certainly didn't do its name justice.

The luscious Peking Duck invoked latter unprecedented cravings. I am at this very minute, physically fighting off a craving for that crispy yet juicy skin wrapped in pancake, accentuated by hoisin sauce. The leftover meat, however, was a bit too lean and dry for us but the kitchen worked with what they had with the second course of fried rice from the same dish.

The braised beancurd in crab roe sauce sounded so commonplace I would have glazed over it in a heartbeat, had my dining companions not called attention to it. The crabby sauce lifted every cynical Chinese preconception. Delicious.

With the consistent quality so far, there was no way late arrival Hong Kong Kai Lan "2 ways" could have failed us.

Regular programming all out the window by the time we wrapped up the dishes, I agreed over-enthusiastically to desserts, which again, is way out in left field for me. Some years ago, I lost my sweet tooth, I suspect to growing fondness of the drink, never to have seen more than a rare, superficial revival. But I am starting to see a possibility of a real change this year!

The star dessert of the day was the thoroughly refreshing Summer Breeze Coconut Jelly. Provided thoughtful balance to a meal too entirely heavy for a Tuesday evening.

Birthday girl's double boiled sea coconut with snow pear. A-OK.

And to cap it all off, I had the sweetened yin yang avocado & mango. I liked that it wasn't crazy heavy or sweet, despite my earlier reservations. Considering I was bursting at the seams at this point, I managed to mop this up to the last drop and still wished there'd been a spoonful more.

Service remained top-notch well into closing time. We sat around for hours, drunk on duck, dessert and conversation and only realised much later that our table was the last one keeping them from pulling the shutters down, because the staff kept diligently pouring tea and keeping out of our way.

The Han Room
Ground Floor, The Gardens Mall,
Mid Valley
Tel: 03-2284 8833


boo_licious said...

Viva a new year of eating & a discovery of wonderful tastes for Min!

The Han Room looks very promising. I keep passing by it (those tall wooden doors look so impressive!) but I've yet to pry through to discover its hidden gems. Will definitely make it a pt to try the next time I'm at Gardens.

Nahri said...

"tiresome steamboat. Or messy Ramly mystery meat burgers. Or the seasonal icon nga ku beng"

All three things of which I fricking love shimata!

Sean said...

Ahhh, this place seems to have broken the mid valley curse for you! But yeah, even though it's only January, I think this will still be a strong contender by year-end for best new eatery in mid valley for 2011 :D
P.S. I recently had a double ramly special with cheese and egg for the first time in years. Delicious of course, but I'm soooooo glad I'm not addicted! =)

Babe_KL said...

Great! Another place waiting to try at the great valley :p

ck lam said...

I would like to get my hands on this yin yang avocado & mango dessert. It is not easy finding both of my favorite fruit on the same plate :)

Kenny Mah said...

Drunk on duck, dessert and conversation? Sounds heavenly... :)

minchow said...

Boo, I have a feeling there's going to be an unprecedented amount of eating this year! Absolutely not a bad thing! :-)

Nahri, well may I then invite you to join me as I trudge into foreign territory?

Sean, and perhaps all the other outlets in MV will see it fit to buck up and get us excited again!

Babe KL, been a while since anything in MV generated this much anticipation. About time!!

CK Lam, same!! When I saw it on the menu, I knew I had to soldier on, regardless of how stuffed the mains left us!

Kenny, oh yes, I actually went to bed that night feeling a new brand of intoxication from that profound combination! No alcohol required!

Rebecca Saw said...

Man, I'm goin to organise my company dinner here! Hehehhhe

alex said...

wow.. wan to try it.. looks yummy..

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