163 Retail Park: Lunar New Year Menus & More
January 16, 2020
Transformed into an Opulent Garden for this Lunar New Year, 163 Retail Park and its restaurants promise a splendid selection of celebratory specialities, from char siu yee sang to poon choy and even bak kwa pizza. Usher in the festive season with exciting menus at these eateries in Mont Kiara's hub for food lovers.
For an authentic Chinese banquet of epic proportions, Paradise Dynasty is our top recommendation in this mall - chef Koon has honed his craft diligently for a decade, with eight years spent in Singapore. He and his team are offering a nine-course Chinese New Year menu that focuses on promoting health, at RM669++ for five persons and RM1,299++ for 10 persons.
Kick off on an auspicious note with Paradise Dynasty's yee sang, showcasing a bounty of ingredients including sliced salmon, abalone and deep-fried papaya, rounded out with a lime and plum sauce that beautifully conveys fruity citrus notes to complement the deep flavours of the premium seafood.
Paradise Dynasty is renowned for its xiao long bao, so it's a pleasure to savour these soup dumplings at any time of the year, bursting with broth and minced prawns - but the scene-stealer here is the Blossom Fortune, a photogenic creation of deep-fried prawn wantons with sweet and sour sauce, blossoming in a creative floral presentation that nearly looks too pretty to eat, crimson-coloured in line with classic Chinese New Year motifs.
All the Chinese New Year essentials are well-represented in Paradise Dynasty's menu, from fish to prawns - from steamed leopard coral grouper with supreme soya sauce, beautifully executed for tender flesh, to sumptuous double-boiled kampung chicken soup, made aromatic with black truffle for a European twist to tradition, to stir-fried Ming prawns with a velvety buttermilk sauce laced with curry notes for a crowd-pleasing punch.
All generations will happily come together for the stir-fried broccoli with abalone and flower mushrooms in mushroom sauce with broccoli bits, as well as seafood fried rice showered with anchovies and ebiko for extra texture and pop.
Dessert surfaces in both hot and cold styles - red bean paste pastries, flaky to the bite and sweet and creamy at its core, plus chilled snow fungus with peach raisin that's been soaked for at least five hours for a gentle softness.
The Chinese New Year selection continues until 9 February 2020 - there's also a separate six-course meal dubbed Lucky, at RM648++ for five persons and RM1,288++ for 10 persons. Couples can opt for the Happiness six-course meal at only RM138++ for two persons. A la carte delicacies are also available if you prefer not to choose a set meal.
Paradise Dynasty is also spreading extra festive cheer with first-come, first-served giveaways while stocks last, including ang pao packets, Paradise Group dining vouchers, and Lee Kum Kee branded oyster sauce, soya sauce, and vegetarian oyster-flavoured sauce.
The Brew House
The Brew House springs a CNY surprise with its Prosperity Poon Choy (RM198+), available through February 16 (even after Chap Goh Meh!), so you and your loved ones can feast to your heart's content on a soulful pot that's filled to the brim with braised abalone, tiger prawns, Hokkaido dried scallops, roasted pork, dried oysters, fish maw, chicken wings, marinated phoenix claws, braised Bailin mushrooms, golden Japanese tofu, Chinese cabbage and broccoli - perfect for four persons, it's also available for takeaway with a one-day advance order.
Beyond poon choy, The Brew House's fans will also be thrilled to know that the current menu offers several new recipes that are barely a few weeks old. If you love pork, you'll adore the pork knuckle and apple salad (RM16.80+; buoyed with sesame dressing, shallots, pineapple mango salsa and cherry tomatoes) and the new signature pork chop (RM27.80+; a 250-gram slab of succulence, rounded out with apple slaw, grilled peach, potato puree and creamy peppercorn sauce); all pork is imported from the U.S. Prefer fish? Try The Brew House's salmon teriyaki, borrowing Japanese inspirations with an imaginative flourish with spicy miso rice soup, tamago, pickled ginger, nori and spring onions (RM18.80+).
The Brew House's pizzas are perpetually popular, with the new sambal udang and petai pizza set to stake a claim for fans of spicy Malaysian fusion fare - but for the CNY season, the best bet might be the bak kwa pizza (RM19.80+), which blends one of our most cherished celebratory snacks with an Italian staple for irresistible, sweet-savoury glory.
Round out your next visit to The Brew House with the ultra-cute, uber-charming Piggy Chocolate Berries Cake (RM14.80+), a treat for the young at heart with a chocolate brownie embedded in white chocolate mousse with fresh berries and a berry coulis.
House-made yee sang emerges with julienned pear, white radish, green apples, crushed shandong (dried hot chillies), peanuts, pomelo, sweet potatoes, spring onions, crispy pok-pok, coriander, and sesame seeds, served with plum sauce and olive oil, suitable for three to four persons. There are some interesting Western-inflected nuances shining through in this yee sang, with green apples furnishing a prominent juiciness, balanced beautifully with best-of-both-worlds elements like Norwegian salmon sashimi laced with Oriental five-spice dynamics.
Cafe Deli by El Meson
Cafe Deli by El Meson is revered as a pork specialist, so it's natural that the restaurant's Yee Sang Prosperity Salad (RM60) comes with a choice of char siu or siew yuk.
Ready your chopsticks to toss a uniquely meaty yee sang that brings either a rich caramelisation or a crackly crunch to this festive favourite.
Besides the pork, the yee sang also showcases julienned pear, white radish, green apples, crushed shandong, peanuts, pomelo, sweet potatoes, spring onions, crispy pok-pok, coriander and sesame seeds, served with plum sauce and olive oil, suitable for four to six carnivorous celebrants.
Named Nguyen's after the most popular Vietnamese last name in Vietnam, this Instagram-friendly restaurant spotlights comfort food that spans Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City in a strikingly designed space. The founders were inspired by Vietnamese communities who opened successful restaurants in Australia; as a partial nod to that, all the beef served here is Australian-bred.
Nguyen's is scarcely two months old, so it's well worth checking out if you're seeking something different to try beyond regular CNY fare but still with a resolutely Asian bent. Start with appetite-whetting summer rolls (RM11.50; plumply packed with fresh prawns, rice vermicelli, vegetables and herbs) and the intriguing mango papaya pork salad (RM11.50; combining both young mango and papaya, paired with pork pate, successfully showcasing the robust, invigorating freshness of Vietnamese cuisine).
The pork chop noodles (RM19.50) are terrific, egg noodles mingling with a hog-loving duet of aromatic minced pork and breaded pork, showered further with crunchy pork lard and spring onions for a delectable lunch or dinner to devour. If you prefer the coupling of pork with bread, try the pork banh mi (RM12.90; complete with pickled carrots, cucumber, capsicum and cilantro) - the baguette is fluffier and sweeter than typical, so it's a fun take on Vietnam's most renowned sandwich.
Of course, there's pho too - the broth is simmered with Australian beef bones for over eight hours, emerging with a fulfillingly richer and meatier texture, pronounced with peppery notes too. The Australian beef slices pho is the ideal introduction (RM20.90), but customers can also add on ox tongue (RM7.90) and internal organs (RM7.90, including honeycomb stomach) for extra bovine decadence.
The pho is soul-satisfying, but Nguyen doesn't stop there - for hearty sustenance that will warm you up even on the chilliest evening, check out the beef stew (RM19.90), a lovingly made, thick-and-tender ensemble of Australian beef in beef stock with carrots, fresh herbs, fried egg and fragrant spices.
Beverages here also charm with their winsome presentations - chill out with the lemongrass cooler (RM7.90) and a green apple ice tea with a lovely aftertaste of peppermint (RM9.90).
Tonkatsu by Ma Maison
If you'd like to go Japanese this Chinese New Year, 163 Retail Park offers the time-honoured pleasures of Tonkatsu by Ma Maison, a brand founded by Akinori Terazawa in Tokyo in 1976 in his pursuit of the perfect, meatier pork cutlets.
The pork here is aged for days to bring out the flavour of the meat, a distinction that especially bolsters the loin flesh. The meat is blanketed in Japanese-imported breadcrumbs to ensure a crispness that meets the benchmarks set by the Land of the Rising Sun.
The Rosu Katsu (RM27.90) is the best-seller, a prime sensation of marbled pork loin, but there are plenty of other cuts to also choose from, including the Tokusen Ippon Hire Katsu (RM31.90), which boasts a deep-fried pork tenderloin fillet.
The katsu can also be complemented by cheesy and curry recipes, such as the Mille Feuille Cheese Katsu (RM34.90; deep-fried layered pork loin filled with mozzarella cheese) and the Homemade Curry Katsu (RM29.90; deep-fried pork loin with a less sweetish Japanese curry sauce) for extra decadence. If you love Japanese pork cutlets, there are possibilities galore here.
Each katsu comes in a complete set with tonjiru soup, which relies on black miso from Nagoya, cooked with pork for a more potent meaty flavour (some pork crumbs can also be found inside the soup). The set also includes shredded cabbage and the customer's choice of white rice or jyukkokumai (multi-grain rice). Soup, cabbage, and rice are refillable, while condiments include ground rock salt and housemade spicy and original flavoured tonkatsu sauce made with slow-cooked vegetables and plum.
Each set is filling on its own, but feel free to order a few sides as well, such as potato salad with tuna (RM7.50) or chicken wings with teriyaki sauce (RM12.50; with chilli and garlic for kick). The restaurant also offers complimentary fruit tea jelly on a first-come, first-served basis.
Seeking a sweet, nutty treat this Chinese New Year? Check out Hodoya (hodo is walnut in Korean, ya is a term of affection), which specialises in the Korean Walnut Pastry (hodu gwaja). This distinctive delicacy has nearly a century-long history in South Korea, especially popular in train stations and rest stops.
The snack is made with a special machine in a process that takes about five minutes, blending an imported Korean walnut cake mix with red bean mousse and other ingredients.
The red bean walnut pastry comes in sets of eight (RM10), 20 (RM22) and 40 (RM40) - the first bite is piping-hot if it's fresh off the press. It's scrumptious, with a nectarous earthiness, crisp and creamy, wrapped individually with Korean-made paper so it remains moist and easily giftable for Chinese New Year.
Hodoya also sells coffee to go with the pastry, including Americanos served hot (RM5) or cold (RM6). Within the next month, the brand also will introduce custard walnut pastries to complement the red bean version.
163 Retail Park: Pictures and Promotions
Patrons of 163 Retail Park who spend RM280 on the same day in a single or two receipts are now eligible to receive a five-pack of fortune ang pows. Spend RM450 and above, and get a limited-edition fortune pouch, in a brilliant bright prosperity red. Offer lasts until 8 February 2020.
The mall is also staging numerous activities, including workshops on CNY foam clay canvas making, Oriental fans and fortune cat clay making.
Finally, if you need a beautiful, bountiful backdrop for your Chinese New Year photos and selfies, check out 163 Retail Park, which is lavishly decorated with celebratory cheer amid a green, natural-looking space.
Many thanks to 163 Retail Park and its restaurants for having us.
163 Retail Park is at 8, Jalan Kiara, Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur.
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