The Nine Emperor Gods Festival has just begun and it will go on till 7 October. During the Nine Emperor Gods Festival over nine days, many devotees would observe a vegetarian diet. At the Elegant Inn HK Cuisine in Kuala Lumpur, a Unique Vegetarian Set is being served during the festival.
The six-course vegetarian lunch or dinner begins with Truffle Radish Puff with Twin Purple Sweet Potato. It’s a flaky and buttery spiral pastry which peels away to juicy sweet and savoury radish strips with hints of truffle oil. It’s made in the traditional Shanghai pastry style and is simply scrumptious. The radish puff sits on sweet purple potato mash with crunchy deepfried sweet potato slices fanning out like a flower beneath.
The finely sliced soft tofu opening up like a delicate flower is a wondrous sight in the Double-Boiled Soup of Tofu Blossom with Fresh Beetroot & Carrot. Double-boiling the beetroot, carrot and wolfberries for about five hours imparts a natural sweetness to the soup which is deliciously healthy to the last drop. I have not enjoyed a vegetarian soup as much as this.
The main course is Trio Treasures Stuffed with Organic Beancurd and Quinoa. It’s a vegetarian yong tau fu with bittergourd, eggplant and bell pepper stuffed with quinoa and mashed organic beancurd. The filling works particularly well with the eggplant. There is a sweet and tart lift from a sauce of ground peanuts, lychee vinegar and other ingredients.
I’m always encountering new, unique fresh ingredients at Elegant Inn. One of these is groundnut sprouts. These crunchy, sweet and juicy sprouts taste like young asparagus. Of course they were the star of the dish in the Groundnut Sprouts Wok Fried with Sweet Pea & Premium Cordycep Flowers.
We loved the Premium Wild Porcini Noodle which had egg-free noodles heaped with the flavourful mushrooms that have been described as earthy and nutty. Stirred up, the al dente and smooth noodles were delicious with the porcini.
Double-boiled Snow Pear with Chuan bei & Citrus Peel and Yan Xi Lotus Bloom Pastry were a splendid end to this vegetarian dinner. Chuan Bei or fritillaria bulbs dissolve phlegm and nourish the lungs while reducing heatiness. Snow pear when double-boiled with this yields a fruity and clear broth which also helps to soothe the lungs.
The Yanxi Lotus Bloom Pastries are inspired by the Chinese hit drama Yanxi Palace. This delectable layered pastry that opens up like a flower is a joy to eat.
This Unique Vegetarian Set is priced at RM138 per pax (minimum 2 pax). Elegant Inn HK Cuisine is at 2nd floor, Menara Hap Seng, Jalan P. Ramlee, 50250 Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03 2070 9399 & 603-6737 9399.
Memories of the Nine Emperor Gods Festival in Ipoh
We used to live near the Tow Boo Keong Temple in Ipoh, and as a child I would follow my mother to the temple, and would be fascinated by the piles of deep pink turtle buns at the stalls in the temple grounds. Worshippers would buy these and offer to the Nine Emperor Gods. For nine days there would be Chinese opera staged there, and that was how I grew to love Cantonese opera.
On the ninth day, there would be fire walking, for which devotees have to fast to clear their mind and heart so that their feet would be safe from burns.
I remember watching a street procession where devotees in trance would pierce a long knife through both cheeks behind the huge flags they carry on thick bamboo poles, and yet remain whole and healed after that.