SALT Magazine - - Seven Dishes -

In the pan­theon of Can­tonese cui­sine, few dishes can match the el­e­gance of a well-roasted duck. While the in­gre­di­ents are sim­ple—usu­ally noth­ing more than duck, spices, and salt—the re­sult can be show stop­ping, wor­thy to grace the din­ing ta­ble of any gour­mand.

At Ce­les­tial Court at Sher­a­ton Im­pe­rial Kuala Lumpur Ho­tel, Chef Ho Boon knows this, and has ded­i­cated a fair por­tion of his 32-year-long culi­nary ca­reer in pursuit of the ul­ti­mate roast duck, which has be­come his sig­na­ture dish at the restau­rant. As with all great foods, it first starts with the best raw in­gre­di­ents. The birds, which are of a high-grade pedi­gree, are se­lected from a farm in Ipoh, Perak.

To make his sig­na­ture dish, Ho first in­jects com­pressed air in be­tween the skin and flesh of the duck, which sep­a­rates the two. The bird is then hung for to al­low the skin to dry out. Be­fore roast­ing, the duck is mar­i­nated with a mix­ture of salt, Chi­nese fivespice pow­der and herbs for four hours. It is glazed be­fore it goes into the oven, where it’s then roasted at 170°C un­til a shiny, deep ma­hogany. The end re­sult is a roasted duck with crispy lac­quered skin and ten­der, juicy meat that boasts a ro­bust flavour with­out a trace of gami­ness.

Shares Ho, “To be a great chef, you do not only master the skill of cook­ing, but you have to also be adap­tive to the newer gen­er­a­tions. Be­sides pre­par­ing a dish that sat­is­fies one’s’ taste... you must pay a lot of at­ten­tion to the food presentati­on.“

Ce­les­tial Court is cur­rently un­der­go­ing a trans­for­ma­tion and will be re­opened with a newly re­designed im­pe­rial con­cept by early Au­gust 2018.

At Ce­les­tial Court restau­rant, a few hum­ble in­gre­di­ents are trans­formed into a

show­stop­ping dish.


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