Saturday, October 4, 2008

DainTi Hill (代官山)

望嶽

岱宗夫如何, 齊魯青未了.
造化鍾神秀, 陰陽割昏曉.
盪胸生曾雲, 決眥入歸鳥.
會當凌絕頂, 一覽衆山小.

杜甫 (唐詩三百首, 卷216)

*****
Circa 6th century AD
*****

Gazing Mount Dai

O’ great Mount Dai...
...green across ancient Shandong.

Luring with your mystical beauty...
...as the antitheses break the day from night.

Embracing the clouds with your chest...
...alas, homecoming birds sore your sight.

I will reach your peak one day...
...and below, shall I see the smallest of your kingdoms.

Du Fu (300 Tang Dynasty Poems, Scroll 216)

*****
2008
*****

The crowd was modern and chic. Legs crossed and spoke in the language of the Tang people. The strokes forming the ideograms were vaguely familiar, like those 3 words that form my name. Neo-classic interior in pink. Artifacts in colourful plastics. A celebration of a golden era that lasted 300 years.

Yes, I’ve arrived.

Ascending DianTi Hill was no great feat. In fact, only 6 storeys high. 7 minutes, if you use the escalator.

But we almost suffocated. Drowned in the culture that was so familiar to us, gasping as we questioned our understanding of an epoch as glorious as the Renaissance. My climbing mate can be forgiven for she was only half Tang. I had no excuse for myself.

But we were ready to learn. To embrace the calligraphic choreographies of Li Bai, Du Fu, and other great Tang poets, in contemporary fashion. And to open up to a taste of Tang in which the ignorant us assumed as nothing more than avant garde dai chow (stir-fries). And dumplings.

Spicy pork rice (RM18)
Was curry available back in those days? Perhaps the Silk Road flourished and attracted many traders from the subcontinent during the Tang period. Resembling the typical RM3.00 curry rice (or RM4.50 circa Oct 2008) one gets from the mixed rice stall, the curry was mildly spiced and turmeric yellow-hued, in true Chinese fashion. The rice, however summed up the luxuriousness of the dish as the pearl (glutinous) type was used. Served in a hotpot as well, to keep warm and aromatic.

Dragon fruit and prawn salad (RM15)
The name itself was everything auspicious. Dragon (fruit) for strength and power. Prawns for laughters, figuratively. A simple construction zinged with a touch of mango juice.

Potato pumpkin salad (RM9)

雨晴(一作秋霽

天水秋雲薄, 從西萬里風.
今朝好晴景, 久雨不妨農.
塞柳行疏翠, 山梨結小紅.
胡笳樓上發, 一雁入高空.

杜甫 (唐詩三百首, 卷225)

After The Rain

Autumn rain has fallen, thin clouds are moving westward.
The land remains safe, as the clear sky prevails this morning.
Willows green while pears blush.
Aubergines fruit while a goose fly high.

Du Fu (300 Tang Dynasty Poems, Scroll 225)

Beautiful.

A smooth, flavourful mousse.

Baked rice roll (RM28)
It was meant to be stuffed with crab meat, pork floss, avocado, papaya, honeydew and topped with tobikos, mustard sauce and mayonnaise. I only knew it was more than a mouthful. Not to be confused with Japanese sushi, this was a rice roll which technically meant it was generally Tang. Again, I only knew it was more than a mouthful. A signature dish with a signature topping of mustard-yellow deliciousness.

Ice Blended peanut (RM12)

寄人

別夢依依到謝家,
小廊回合曲闌斜,
多情只有春庭月,
猶為離人照落花.

張泌(唐詩三百首, 卷742)

The Message

Wandering to the House of Xie,
Along swaying corridors with wavering arcs,
Yearning is spring’s moon,
Reflecting fallen flowers on the departed.

Zhang Bi (300 Tang Dynasty Poems, Scroll 742)

Nice desserts do that to people. Make them (sugar) high and self-indulged, I mean.

Rich, creamy, aromatic peanut butter blend. This.

Ice Blended Mango (RM10)
Except for the regal yellow and cubes of mangoes, there was nothing recital about it.

The End (末端)

I came in hungry, searching for food,
No Tang significance but 1-2 were good.
But the poets/poems were real darn cool,
I almost fell off my stool.
And that’s no bull.

毛果 (HairyBerry, 2008)

DainTi Hill (代官山)
Pavilion KL Shopping Mall
Lot 6.01.05, Level 6
168, Jalan Bukit Bintang
Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: (+603) 21456628
Website: http://daintihill.com/

* By the way, appreciation towards the poems started after checking out DainTi Hill's concept on their website. Not during the meal.

Check out these sites for a taste of the 300 Tang Poems:
In Chinese
With Translations

30 comments:

CUMI & CIKI said...

looks too good on a weekend.. making my curry laksa pale in comparison.. teehee :D

fatboybakes said...

oh my gawd...ya nearly made me cream in mah pants!!! droooooooooool! pity i dont read the language of my forefathers...i am sure coming from the cunninglinguist as you are, it must be damn profound.

fatboybakes said...

i'm surprised that happening chick got time to read blogs on saturdays, by the way.

Faye fly said...

你照片要不要拍到這麼引人犯罪啊﹗真的太真實了。。厲害﹗﹗﹗﹗

Camemberu said...

Tang splendour! Food seems a tad fusion though, no? But still tasty looking! Argghh...how come NOT in Singapore!!! Salivating here and cannot eat cos no chance to travel up to KL.

mimid3vils said...

I thought u r a "banana"? All English, Chinese & Malay poem already appear, what is the next?
PS: I knew Citibank card member can enjoy 50% off at DainTi Hill :)

fatboybakes said...

gosh, i just realised this is in KL. the dream is within my grasp!!!

backstreetgluttons said...

邃 傀 ... 絕妙 ... 奇妙 ...

tai how ler ! 感謝 !

J2Kfm said...

haha, after the barrage of not-so-positive reviews from all corners, reading yours somehow made Dain Ti HIll worth a visit
pity the 50% discount for CITIBANK card holders does not stand anymore

brad said...

dude, i think you mentioned before, but i couldn't remember. What camera and lens you using?

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Well, one of us could fit the entire roll in the mouth. The other was fifth time lucky? Hahhaha. I always maintain that the company makes or breaks a meal, and this was certainly one of the more enjoyable ones. :-)

Xiu Long Bao said...

I thought you wrote ur poem in mandarin :)

Btw, that dragonfruit salad is oh so expensive. 15 bucks can last me with one month supply of dragonfruit.

Nic (KHKL) said...

cumi & ciki, hehe...i think the curry at the hill's pretty mild...i like the rice better...hehe...where u eat your curry laksa ar? hehehe...

fatboybakes, cream in your pants?HAHAHAHHA!!!! the power of food, eh? woah, me no cunningliguist lar...just interest lar, i guess...hehehe...

and on the happening chick, i'm sure the party has (or since it's already monday morning, 'had') just started for her...woohoo!

faye fly, hehehe...谢谢! 谢谢! :) 我会加油的! :) thanks for stopping by!!! :)

camemberu, yeah, that's exactly my thoughts! :) kinda fusion...hence confusion..hehehe...hey, if you are coming over to kl, do let me know, ya! we go makan! :)

mimi, yeah, i am "banana" lar...hehehe...but i like to explore languages...very very fun! :) oh, yeah, 50% off! so good! last time i go, no discount..sigh... :(

Nic (KHKL) said...

fatboybakes, hehehe...yeah, on the 6th floor of pavilion. ask lemongrass to bring you there lar. she'll know what to order..hehe...or we can go when i get back to kl! :)

backstreetgluttons, woah...谢谢! 谢谢! wo tai gan dong le. wo hui nu li, zhou de gen hao de! :)

j2kfm, yeah, i heard some bad reviews also. well, i guess there are a few nice dishes like the mousse and peanut ice blended. some other dishes were pretty normal, i must say. i am actually more intrigued by the concept..hehehe

brad, i'm using Nikon D40X with the 18-55 mm kit lens. i think u r using Canon 400D, right?

lyrical lemongrass, well, we certainly had a good time chatting. and eating that mouthful roll...hehe...nice view of bukit bintang as well, hor? hehehe...must do again, hor? hehehe...

xiu long bao, write poem in mandarin? aiyoh, i need to copy lyrics from karaoke oredi lar, liddat..hahaha! wei, too much dragonfruit can cause constipation one ler...i kena a few months back..hehehe...

fatboybakes said...

ARGH, i was just going thru some citibank flyers and noted the 50% discount ended on 30 sept!!! AIYA, couldnt you have posted this like two weeks ago!!!

Live2Talk said...

Err do they have salad during the Tang dynasty? *eyes rolling*

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

omg..i loved ur translation of ur nick hahaha..nvr though of it THAT way..

Nic (KHKL) said...

fatboybakes, hehehe...sorry ar. but you know me lar, very slow in processing data...i've got some photos dated back to July 08 which i still havent posted..haha! dun worry, there'll always be other 50% offers from Citibank. :)

live2talk, exactly! :) hence 毛果's statement: "No Tang significance but 1-2 were good"...hehehe...i thought the concept was more interesting than the food.

joe, haha! at first, i wanted to use the term "rambutan"...then, i thought a oriental term would be more appropriate in this post...hehehehe..i had a good time laughing at my name! haha!

sc said...

i was thinking, where have i seen DainTi before..aahh, yes, at Pav. everything looks beautiful, hmm, will try this place when i'm at Pav next time..though i cant really read chinese, your nick, 'mau guo'(that few rare chinese characters that i could recognise),sure is funny! :D

Shell (貝殼) said...

wah~~super nice photos
i need "curi guru" already ^^

Jun said...

hahaha 毛果 WTH!! u're one funny guy ;p

i wished it were cheese instead of mustard on that baked rice roll. haih.

ai wei said...

i love ur passage. oh-so-poet-y eh.

missed out the ice blended mango. should ordered it last time >_<

~Christine~Leng said...

looks majestic. Matched with your chinese poem, it creates the right feel. haha... although I dunno how to read @_@ lol

food looks mouth watering!

Nic (KHKL) said...

sc, hehehe, i had a good laugh at my chinese nick as well. direct translation, i guess..haha! do order the mousse! it's nice!

Shell (貝殼), thanks for the compliment! :) but me no guru lar..hehehe...still learning :) you take very very good photos as well! love it!

jun, hehehe....funny name, right? hehehe...ya lor, a little cheese would be fantastic! but the yellow colour does look attractive hor?

ai wei, glad u liked the passage! :) i had a fun time writing it! :) aiyerrrr, dun order the mango ice blended! order the peanut instead! yummy! :)

christine, hehehe, i oso dunno chinese one...need to check word-to-word..*tough job*..haha! but it was fun! :) thanks for the compliment! glad u enjoyed it! :)

Big Boys Oven said...

very beautiful, feel like flying warrior over the DainTi Hill!

Nic (KHKL) said...

bigboysoven, woah! such good imagination! kinda reminds me jay chou's oriental tunes..hehe

ling239 said...

oh dear... all the dishes are so lovely looking !!!
Spicy pork rice looks good too...i have yet to visit this place leh >.<"



毛果?
not 莓 ?
since strawberry is 草莓 :P

Nic (KHKL) said...

ling239, yupe, you are correct! :) thanks for the correction...i thought of that as well. but i thought 毛果 sounded funnier than 毛莓. that's why i chose 毛果 instead...hehehe...

ai wei said...

mango not nice?! peanut flavour tastes better?

hmm?! wondering how's the taste of peanut ice blend

Jan said...

this ice blended mango is my favourite!! wanna go n try out there!!