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Yee Sang

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Yusheng or yee sang (Chinese: 鱼生; pinyin: yúshēng) is a Chinese-style raw fish salad. It usually consists of strips of raw fish (most commonly salmon), mixed with shredded vegetables and a variety of sauces and condiments, among other ingredients. Literally translated, "yusheng" means "raw fish", though it can also be taken to symbolise abundance, prosperity and vigor.

The delicacy was invented 1,500 years ago in southern Chinese coastal areas such as Chaozhou and Shantou, during the Song Dynasty. According to legend, a Chinese female deity known as Nüwa (女娲) created mankind from clay and mud on the seventh day of the first month of the Lunar New Year. From then on, this day was known as the "Birthday of Man". It is believed that the fishermen and seafarers of ancient Southern China were very observant of this myth. On this day, yusheng would be prepared in feasts or religious ceremonies, not just to commemorate the event but also to show respect to Nüwa. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, many of these fishermen immigrated to Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia and Singapore in search of a better life. They brought this traditional dish along with them.

In modern times, yusheng is most commonly served in Chaozhou and Shantou. Recently, some Chinese restaurants in Hong Kong have re-introduced this dish, naming it "Lo Hei". The dish is, however, particularly popular in Malaysia and Singapore, where it has come to be associated with the Chinese New Year festivities. It is a custom for families and friends to gather around the table and, on cue, proceeding to toss the shredded ingredients into the air with chopsticks while saying 吉祥话 (Jíxiáng Huà, auspicious wishes) out loud to mark the start of a prosperous new year.

Typical ingredients include: fresh salmon, daikon (white radish), carrot, red pepper (capsicum), ginger, kaffir lime leaves, Chinese parsley, chopped peanuts, toasted sesame seeds, Chinese shrimp crackers (or fried dried shrimp), five spice powder. The dressing is made primarily from plum sauce.

As for the tradition of eating yee sang during Chinese New Year, this is a recently invented “tradition” of the Chinese in Malaysia (and Singapore). Yee sang – a dish of raw fish slices mixed with crunchies and other ingredients plus sauces of various kinds – is not part of New Year cuisine among the Chinese of Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong etc. Part of the attraction or fun of eating yee sang comes from audience participation or participant observation, i.e., all those present at the dinner table, whether young or old or men or women, are supplied with chopsticks and are actively encouraged to indulge in boisterous mixing of the ingredients simultaneously. Thus, a feeling of family togetherness/bonding/affirmation of ties/social solidarity is created at the same time. I suppose one could also say that the kids enjoy this because it allows them the rare chance of playing with their food without being reprimanded for it by adults!

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Marco's Pizza

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Marco's Pizza.

The restaurant is vibrantly surrounded by bright red walls, tables and of course ... how can you miss the metallic red bar stools. With mirrors covering the walls of the restaurant ... one might take a look from outside and thinks this is a huge place. But once you're in there, you can't shake off the feeling of a cosy family restaurant. Very much like the feeling you had when you visited Burger King for the first time. A little "fireplace" adds to the uniqueness of the place.

The Marco Polo theme was chosen because of the idea that “what is noodles in the east was brought to the west and called pasta”, and Marco’s has brought back pasta from the west to the east. Marcus Kam is the owner of Marco Pizza chain of restaurants as well as the president and CEO of the Kam Holdings group of companies that ranges from Pathlab and a medical centre to MGM Entertainment Sdn Bhd that runs Marco’s and a Chinese restaurant called King Crab, along the LDP highway in Taman Bukit Emas. He studied in Australia and has deep passion for cooking, mainly in French and Italian food. Much of what’s on the menu has been done according to his recipes, under his supervision. He is strict about quality control. He has even brought his chefs to Melbourne, Australia, to hone their skills further in Italian cooking.

Contact Details
8, Jalan 52/4,
46200 Petaling Jaya
Tel : 03-79548323
MGM Entertainment Sdn Bhd.

OVERALL RATINGs : * * * (Good food, but weighed down by lousy service)
Environment Ratings : * * * * (High score for nature 'feel')
Food Ratings : * * * * (Surprisingly good)
Service Ratings : * (Poor fellows working in the jungle, no motivation?)
Value Ratings : * * (Quite pricey)

Operation Details
Average Price : RM30 & above
Business Hrs :
Accepted Cards: major credit cards accepted

Miscellaneous Details
Halal : Yes
Dining Method : Dine in - who would wanna go all the way to Bukit Tinggi to 'tar pau' ?
Food/Cuisine : Japanese a la carte and set
Ambience/Features : Japanese setup wannabe with nature surround
Reservations : No

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I'm Timothy From Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
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