Review: Noble Banquet, KL

I was invited to a friend's wedding over the weekend here. To be honest, I almost didn't want to go because I wasn't sure if I would end up being alone there. Once, a friend invited me over to his house in Kota Kemuningn for his daughter's birthday. Turned up there to the party going on at full swing with his relatives seated everywhere and I stood out like a sore thumb since I only knew the host. Excused myself and went to Klang for dinner with my parents. The other time, I had arrived and even parked at the wedding dinner venue but my group wasn't picking up the phones. Again, my parents became my savior. Hence, my slight apprehension over attending wedding dinners or any social gatherings.

Anyway, this time around, few in my group confirmed their attendance. One was even picking me up so quite zero chance of ending up like a miserable loner. Few declined which led to few others declining too. The funniest reason was because the person received the invitation just weeks before the date when in fact, the dinner had been in the works for awhile now (at least one year). I guess you could call such invitations to be as fillers when the primary option is gone.

Having always been people's filler, Plan B, spare part plan, I don't really share such sentiment. I make for a lousy friend. The fact someone would consider me to be a backup plan is quite an honor.

When this place first opened, it was relatively unknown but things started to pick up from word of mouth that there is a rather long waiting period (could stretch up to 2years). The hall could seat about 50tables but parking can be quite problematic. Within the hall itself, noise can be quite a problem but isn't that so at most Chinese wedding dinners?

Menu for the night. Rather standard for a Chinese wedding dinner but with some surprises.

True to its Oriental group of restaurants, the theme is light and classy. This is what Starlight is aiming to be but imho, it falls flat.

Few years ago, another friend got married in the PJ Noble Banquet and it was one of the best Chinese wedding dinner. EVER. To be honest, I didn't expect much from this dinner but it turned out to be quite spectacular. If ever somebody wants to marry me, I want to have my dinner here (or the PJ branch). Probably by the time that actually materializes, the waiting period would be three years. Chances are the poor bloke would have realized what a mistake and break it off. So... maybe not =\

There was a pre-dinner drinks served outside the hall but I didn't manage to take picture, sampling only some because my designated driver was late and kept going the wrong way, declining multiple suggestions for me to turn on my Waze. Men -_- It's all right to ask for directions! And not just for the elusive G-spot.

Three Happiness Combinations.
Half our table was with a group of outsiders. When they disappeared before dinner was about to begin, we were honestly hoping that they had hopped onto another table for good.

you have your bodyguard outside right? ask them to beat the rest of the guys up. then we have more food to ourselves. 
aiyo, cannot like that. not good. 

Somehow, after this first dish itself, he regretted not following that suggestion as the food was superb and we could all do with more.

Salt & pepper bacon roll: slightly deep fried, you have to admit that bacon makes everything good.
What more when it's crunchy on the outside with a soft chicken inside. Sort of like a pigs in a blanket.

Chilled chicken roll with octopus: A salad that's slightly sweet, I had more jelly seaweed than chicken which is not actually a complaint. I like the addition of broccoli to subdue the sweetness of the dressing.

Thai style seafood cake: Looks like a scallop but is not, this does have its sweetness though. A firmer version of seafood tofu, it's been deep fried but you can taste more of the seafood than oil. The sweet chilli sauce also makes this more appetizing.

Braised shark's fin soup with seafood in coconut.

When this was served, there is a sweetness in the air. My nose was slightly confused. My mouth even more so.

I am not sure how much they paid for each table but my contribution of RM 100 certainly doesn't cover my part since they were very generous with the fins. Just to be clear, I do not condone shark fin consumption but when it has been served, yes, I do eat it. You're not really missing out on much because the fins are really tasteless.

The soup has a sweetness to it, thanks to the coconut. Hot soups warm my heart like my crushes minus the heartbreak aftermath, only a scalded tongue. However, this version just didn't make it for me as I found the coconut flavor to be a little too overpowering. I prefer mine with the seafood flavors to be more prominent.

Roasted suckling pig in HK style.

Maybe it's been awhile but this was actually quite nice. The skin was very crispy with a very thin layer of fat underneath. The meat was slightly salty but that's where the sweet sauce comes in.

Can you tell just how crispy it is? My diet took a backseat and wept silently in a corner.

Crispy white tuna fish with pomelo sauce.

I was so happy to see it wasn't a steamed fish but another fried dish. Chunky fresh tuna deep fried until crunchy on the outside and because the pieces are huge, you can really sink your teeth and taste the freshness of the fish inside. The sweet slight sour pomelo sauce was also good.

Poached live tiger prawns with 'Shao Hsing' wine & wolfberry.
Similar to Imperial Garden's, this wasn't as strong with the herbs but the prawns were top notch fresh. So much so that I probably ate at least 5 while the rest of the table were engrossed with watching the video of the morning event. It wasn't very ladylike peeling prawns using your mouth but when you have prawns this fresh, screw it.

Braised lingzi mushroom with mushroom & gluten in foil.

I think this is a very good idea. Individually wrap the food for everyone as the vegetable  dish in any Chinese wedding dinners tend to have leftovers. It is not a very good idea for me who don't really eat mushroom as a whole. But that night, I did. While it wasn't so bad (had to alternate between the mushroom and gluten), there is no second time unless the situation calls for it.
Funnily enough, everyone is going for a gluten free diet and here we are cooking it.

Braise ee-fu noodles with lobster meat. Almost like hokkien mee but more high class version and less thick with soy sauce. I was still feeling hungry and took few bowls of this. The noodles were cooked just right, not too soft with the lobster sweetness permeating through. Carbs, carbs galore but it was well worth it.

Japanese peanut mochi & thousand layered cake. Perhaps the dinner built up the momentum so fine that I was expecting dessert to be of no less. Unfortunately, the sweet ending was anything but a happy one. Mochi turned out to be not soft enough, maybe in the fridge a little too long. The cake was steamed but not airy enough.

Double boiled honey dew with white fungus. A bit too sweet even by my standard and I had more longan than white fungus =\

Still, the dinner was great and if you are looking for a good place to have your wedding banquet, this is certainly bound to impress your guests.


mark lawrence said…
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