Family Reunion Buffet Dinner 2017 Olive Tree Hotel Penang
As the Chinese New Year draws near, families, business, and corporate will gather together for a reunion dinner every year.
Cooking the New Year’s Eve dinner is a feat. Traditionally the matriarch oversees the preparation that includes chicken, pork, fish, duck, prawns and vegetables.
Why cook when you could eat out and enjoy yourself?
The reunion dinner we sampled at Olive Tree Hotel is the auspicious set menu priced at RM888 Nett.
OLIVE TREE YEE SANG PLATTER
During CNY, restaurants replace the four-season appetiser with the Yee Sang.
The ingredients in this delicious lucky dish include pickled ginger, leeks, grapes, julienne carrots, jicama, crispy crackers, white pepper, cinnamon ground, green “Kua ying”, and the star, the salmon slices.
I was tossing and lifting the ingredients higher and higher for good luck every day in 2017.
The ingredients are mixed by pushing them toward the centre.
his is to encourage everyone to push on the good luck of all present at the table.
If the Yee Sang is not finished, a small amount is usually left behind on a plate to signify abundance.
DOUBLE-BOILED CHICKEN SOUP WITH SEA CUCUMBER AND DRIED SCALLOP
Nutritious, nourishing chicken soup, full of goodness, is a good tonic and a great pick me up.
This double-boiled soup has poached tender chicken drumstick and thighs.
This no-fuss soup is great for improving health, vitality and is appetising!
Olive Tree Hotel Marketing & Communications Manager Jennifer Low encouraged me to take a second serve as I had been busy running around.
I love this rich nourishing soup, so full of flavour. The soup retains its heat and has reached the optimum flavour from this method of preparation.
CRISPY GOLDEN ROASTED DUCK
The hardest part about roasting a duck is attaining crispy skin. The cooking method is time-consuming.
The secret, I’ve been told, is to watch the fire.
This means care is taken to ensure good even roasting by constantly rotating and poking the duck every hour for 4 hours!
The roasting calls for low cooking temperature and a long cooking time. The poking of the skin renders out all the fat from the duck.
STEAMED GAROUPA WITH SUPERIOR SOYA SAUCE
This large Garoupa is fresh and requires as little ‘dressing’ as possible.
A simple steaming with soya sauce mix and ginger is all it takes for a fabulous fish meal.
Sometimes big Garoupa has a “muddy” smell, but Chef has handled the fish well. There is no “muddy” smell for this steamed beauty using both salty and sweet soya sauce.
I’ve heard that lime juice can clean the fish stomach to remove any “muddy” smells.
The fish tasted fresh and sweet.
BRAISED MUSHROOM & HOMEMADE TUFO WITH SCALLOP AND BROCCOLI
If you have to count calories even on CNY, then this low-calorie content dish is perfect to chow down.
There are no saturated fats or hidden cholesterol here.
The blanched green broccoli retains its brightness and crunch and has high fibre.
There’s the protein in the velvety soft homemade Tofu.
Frying that soft, quivering Tufo and serving it without breaking is a testament to the Chef’s skills.
This healthy and tasty dish represents the traditional Chinese cooking method, BIG on flavour while eating a healthy celebratory meal!
STIR-FRIED TIGER PRAWNS WITH BUTTERCREAM SAUCE
The fragrance of prawns and buttercream sauce is a perfect marriage.
I figured I could save some calories from eating broccoli and mushroom and reducing my carbs.
I ate a fat prawn smothered in a sinfully rich buttercream sauce.
First, I pulled off the prawn head, raised the prawn-head to my mouth and vacuum out its fried little brains.
Then I pry open the shell. Perfectly cooked tiger prawns have a bouncy bite to their tiny nugget of white flesh.
So I spent my calories here, on a prawn head. It’s a good trade.
AUTHENTIC CLAYPOT CHICKEN RICE
By the time we got to the rice dish, we’re almost complete. The giant chicken chunks are perfectly cooked in the clay pot.
Some of us carve for burnt rice bits at the bottom of the pot.
There was none.
This means two things.
The Chef is skilful at cooking. And the one looking for the crust was feeling a little nostalgic over burnt rice!
SNOW FUNGUS AND GINGKO NUT IN SOYA BEAN MILK
This popular “Tong Sui” Chinese sweet dessert has softened snow fungus and ginkgo nuts boiled in pandan leaves scented soya bean milk.
The taste is not too sweet, and it is a lovely light touch to a delicious dinner.
Olive Tree Hotel | 76, Jalan Mahsuri, Bayan Lepas, Penang.
Telephone: +604 637 7777