Earlier on in this vacation, I had the pleasure of a very enjoyable fine dining, Chinese-French/Italian fusion meal at My Humble House in Singapore. Gu Yue Tien in Kuala Lumpur is a long-time favourite of mine - a restaurant serving up a similar genre of cuisine (a little less fusion, and a bit more just refined Chinese with western influences); a must-visit on every trip; one helmed by an old family acquaintance, owner-chef Frankie Woo. I was thus very interested to see how Gu Yue Tien stacked up to My Humble House.
GYT is located in Chulan Square,a short row of shop lots opposite the Pavilion shopping mall. Despite its central location, it, unfortunately, doesn't get the benefit of any passer-by footfall as all the action is on the other side of the road and hence was, as it sadly often is, completely empty on this Saturday lunchtime.
We started, as always, with a Gu Yue Tien Soft Boiled Egg with Foie Gras, which was a tad more peppery than usual on this occasion, but still very good...and rich. That was then followed by a veritable feast; a procession of (individually plated) innovative, thoroughly enjoyable, top-quality dishes. 'Mo Mo' Duck Roll was crunchy and tasty with just a hint of wasabi - an ingredient not often combined with duck - to lift it further.
Pan-Fried Scallop Roll Wrapped with Bacon and Mint Sauce was also lovely - plump scallops wrapped in a crispy bacon exterior, with a touch of "freshness" imparted by the mint sauce. Wok Charred Rack of Lamb had a pleasant sweetness and a lovely charred taste to it - very nice indeed.
Deep Fried Spare Rib with Mushroom Sauce & Pumpkin Mousseline was the only dud of the day - the meat too dry, the sauce too bland. Pan Fried Cod Fillet with Wasabi & Japanese Soya Sauce was excellent, highlighted by a superb sauce. The wasabi, albeit in a more conventional combination this time, again worked well - the taste coming through clearly, but not too strongly. Wok Friend Pineapple Prawn Cake was gorgeous; the fried savoury prawn cake playing very well against the slightly sweet, creamy sauce, and the pieces of jackfruit.
To finish, Rich Man Fried Rice. Everyone can make fried rice, but not many cook it really well. I firmly believe that the humble fried rice is a very good test of a chef's ability, and it was one Mr Woo again passed with flying colours.
For dessert after what was a rather long, filling and fulfilling meal, was a delightfully refreshing Chilled Avocado Cream - exactly what was required in the circumstances.
In a nutshell...
Gu Yue Tien has still got it. While the standout dish from my combined meals at My Humble House and GYT was undoubtedly the former's Marble Goby, the overall quality of the meal was probably slightly better here. It's a pity GYT appears to be struggling for business because this level of cooking deserves so much better. Prices are definitely on the high side, especially when compared to regular Chinese restaurants in town. But this is no regular Chinese restaurant, and very much worth the premium.
Gu Yue Tien
Lot 5A, Chulan Square, Jalan Raja Chulan, 50200, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Average Price: RM150