Zuan Yuan, One World Hotel: Traditional Roast Goose

July 1, 2020

Goosing up the game for premium poultry pleasure, One World Hotel Petaling Jaya's Zuan Yuan Chinese Restaurant has debuted succulent, slow-roasted goose for a taste of Hong Kong's coveted Cantonese indulgence.

If you're a devotee of duck but you haven't sampled roast goose, this is a worthy introduction to the juicier, fattier cousin of the duck, with darker meat that's less gamy and more fragrantly sweet as a result of its diet (geese are primarily herbivores, compared to the omnivorous duck).

Sourced from respected Chinese farms, Zuan Yuan's traditional roast goose clocks in at between three to 3.5 kilograms per bird (a full kilogram heavier than most ducks), the ideal size for roasting to ensure the marination permeates the meat for a flavourful fowl.

The preparation is painstakingly meticulous, with each goose marinated for five hours with a blend of star anise, angelica roots, cinnamon, ginger, garlic, shallots, salt and five-spice powder, for aromatic, uplifting nuances that cut through the intense richness of the flesh.

Another five hours of air-drying for a crisp, maltose-glazed skin pave the way for roughly 90 minutes in the oven - all in all, it takes a half-day for this goose to be ready for the table, rounded out with the recommended classic plum dipping sauce as well as goose jus, hoisin sauce and chilli sauce.

The fowl feast is well worth the effort - Zuan Yuan's goose has a cleaner, purer taste than typical roast duck, but it's still unmistakably robust for full-bodied fulfillment. The meat is lusciously substantial and deeply smooth - half a goose is easily enough for three persons.

Zuan Yuan's goose is available for next-day preorders at RM188 nett for half a bird or RM268 for a whole bird. Free delivery is offered within a 10-kilometre radius of the hotel. To order, please call 603-7681 1159 or WhatsApp 6017–262-8835 before 6pm daily.

While the roast goose is Zuan Yuan's current star, the rest of its repertoire merits exploration too. Executive Chef Tommy Choong harnesses two decades of experience, having honed his craft at several of KL's most respected Chinese restaurants.

Chef Choong's emphasis is the essence of Cantonese cuisine, conveying clear, natural flavours in his cooking, highlighting the delicate subtleties of seemingly simple recipes with top-notch ingredients and a terrific sense of culinary imagination.

We were impressed by everything we tried - the pan-fried beef tenderloin cubes was the first pleasant surprise that exceeded our expectations, with ravishingly tender beef that would equal many top steaks in town, medium-cooked to precision. We'd gladly eat the beef on its own, but it was intriguingly paired with house-candied walnuts that offer a sugary contrast to the meat's savouriness.

Also lip-smacking were the sauteed prawns, plump and supremely fresh, coated with sesame seeds and pickled diced nutmeg - the buah pala brings a beautiful fruitiness to the prawns, gently tangy in the distinctive fashion of nutmeg, tempered with carrots and celery for our favourite prawns so far in 2020. This comes with a raw, berry-studded ice plant salad, crunchy with a mellow salinity.

Even braised bean curd is elevated, layered with spinach and four different toppings of lily bulbs, wolfberries, shimeji mushrooms and dried scallops, each yielding distinctive dynamics that range from herbaceous to earthy to briny.

Chilled lemongrass jelly, dressed with aloe vera and lime juice, promises a rejuvenating conclusion.

It's been a long time since we last visited Zuan Yuan, but it's heartening to see that this remains an excellent Cantonese restaurant, set in a gorgeous  space for any meal. Many thanks to the team here for having us.

Zuan Yuan Chinese Restaurant

One World Hotel Petaling Jaya, First Avenue, Bandar Utama City Centre, Petaling Jaya, 47800 Selangor.

Open Monday-Friday, 12pm-230pm, 630pm-1030pm; Saturday-Sunday, 10am-230pm, 630pm-1030pm. Tel: 03-7681-1159

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