Chinese New Year is just around the corner and right after that comes Valentines Day. The celebration of love and merriment continues throughout the entire month of February and we are sure it will be one that is filled with joy, laughter and a lot of food.

Have you tossed your first yee sang of the year yet? Or busy planning on where to go for reunion dinners with family and friends this Chinese New Year? — we have the best recommendations in town. But if all the festivities are too much, we’ve narrowed down three of our favourite dishes that are not the usual suspects for you to try.

Tuna Cheek with Miso Sabayon and Ponzu

The dish: As part of the main course in Cé La Vi’s Valentines Set Menu, the dish highlights the most delicate part the fish – its cheek. The cheek has a more tender texture and takes up flavours really well. The simple marinade of miso and ponzu elevates the fish with a balanced umami flavour. Presented in an irregular shell-like plate, it is truly a spectacle on the dining table with garnishes of micro-herbs and blue pea flowers.

The place: Since its opening, Cé La Vi has been one of the most happening places to hang out at but during lunchtime (or an early dinner before the crowd flocks in), it offers a great ambience for a quiet meal for two. The interiors are dark yet cosy, decked in Asian-inspired decor. Be sure to sit along the sides to get a good look of the city.

Price: n/a

CéLaVi, Level 37, Ilham Tower, No 8, Jln Binjai, Kuala Lumpur, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, +603 27703360

Afternoon Tea at Librari

The dish: Afternoon Tea at Librari is an artisanal curation of beautiful petite cakes and savoury morsels created by a team led by Chef Tyson Gee. The must-try sweets include the Tahitian vanilla canele, Ceylon tea and black sesame macaron and calamansi meringue tartelette. Try also the Pahang single origin 70% dark chocolate and hibiscus éclair. Pair your afternoon get-together with a selection of Voyage Tea.

The place: Librari feels exactly like home. There are corners for you to read and another that feels like a cosy living area for an afternoon tête-à-tête. But let us warn you – you’d want to spend hours here because the space is really that welcoming and warm akin to being in the comfort of your home.

Price: RM115 nett per person

The RuMa Hotel and Residences, 7 Jalan Kia Peng, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, +603 2778 0888

 

Pan-fried Chinese Pudding and Sweet Purple Potato

The dish: With many Chinese New Year set menus, the savoury dishes are usually the main highlights. At Red Chinese Cuisine, its dessert stands out from the rest – the restaurant’s creative spin on a traditional recipe. These little pan-fried cakes have a flaky outer layer filled with rich purple potato and a gooey nian gao centre. Addictive is another way to describe this dish – we really enjoyed how unpretentious it is yet packed with layers of comforting flavours.

The place: Walk into Red Chinese Cuisine and experience a contemporary oriental vibe unlike traditional Chinese restaurants. The entrance – a great spot for an #OOTD shot – is illustrated with an image of a lady in red, dressed in traditional qipao. It has several private dining rooms if you like to dine in some place quiet too.

Price: RM22

Red Chinese Cuisine, Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre Hotel & Residence, 4 Jalan Conlay, Kuala Lumpur, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, +603-2170 8888

Martin Teo
Content Editor
Martin loves traveling the world to see ancient ruins and classical architecture. He enjoys the culinary experience of various cities but (still) refuses to eat anything insect-like. On a daily basis, he finds time hitting the gym to compensate for the amount of food he needs to eat just to write an article.