Chinese New Year Delights at Lai Po Heen at the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur
With the impending Year of the Monkey just round the corner, Ong Chin Huat samples the delectable offerings at the award-winning Lai Po Heen restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur.
What better way to welcome the mischievous monkey than to feast on a veritable mouth-watering fare presented by one of the best Chinese restaurants in Kuala Lumpur?
Any anthropoid would be over the moon with the multitude of yee sang or prosperity toss on offer, good fortune, prosperity, health, love and longevity is available to all with tempting ingredients like abalone, salmon, soft shell crab and yellow fin tuna just to name a few.
Yee Sang is a popular dish in Malaysia and other South East Asian countries during the Lunar New Year and it consists of a large bowl with shredded vegetables and fruits together with raw seafood to add its appeal. Served as an appetiser before a meal, people stand up around this dish and use extra-long chopsticks to toss all the ingredients as well as the sauces and condiments while stating their wishes out loud.
Lai Po Heen’s executive chef Ricky Thein who started cooking when he was only 16 years old and learnt his trade from various Chinese master chefs around Asia says he gained invaluable experience and honed his cooking skills from his travels to various countries such as Japan, Korea and Taiwan where he learnt the local cooking techniques.
Chef Thein has prepared three set menus for this festive season, with two dim sum set menus specially for lunch. Among the highlights of the Chinese New Year set menus are Wok Fried Ming with Fragrant Chili Paste, Steamed Omega rich Grouper with Chopped Chili Paste and Ginger Parsley Sauce and the Fried Healthy Grain Rice with Golden Pumpkin and Sea Treasure.
With an open kitchen, diners can see the industrious chefs chopping, stir-frying and braising all the dishes as well as making the handmade dim sum and famous Durian pancake. Lai Po Heen is decorated to resemble the homes of Chinese tycoons of the turn of the century with its wooden and glass panelled sliding doors embellished with intricate Chinese motifs. With a white and gold colour scheme, there are five private rooms appointed with chandeliers, Oriental works of art and antiques.
Its china and cutlery lend an air of luxury to any diner with its custom-designed accoutrements comprising plates, bowls, spoons in classic black and white with cherry blossom patterns whilst pewter is incorporated decoratively in the design of table setting with items such as Dim Sum menu holder, chopstick rest, tea cups, ashtray and serving spoon.Its a la carte menu features all-time favourite dim sum selections like steamed crystal prawn dumplings (Har Kau), steamed chicken with shrimp dumplings and diced abalone (Siew Mai), shredded chicken and mushroom congee and steamed fluffy
Its a la carte menu features all-time favourite dim sum selections like steamed crystal prawn dumplings (Har Kau), steamed chicken with shrimp dumplings and diced abalone (Siew Mai), shredded chicken and mushroom congee and steamed fluffy barbecued chicken buns.
Creative Dim Sum morsels such as crispy prawn and squid dumplings coated with almond flakes, steamed rice rolls with beancurd skin, pan-fried Shanghai dumplings filled with seafood, minced chicken, and crab meat and oven-baked mini egg tarts flavoured with sweet corn will appeal to diners of an adventurous taste buds.
Among some of the top choices for signature dishes include crispy fried scallops with salted egg yolk and cereal, seven spices scented soft shell crab rolls with ginger jelly, slow-cooked whole Australian abalone filled with fish maw in golden broth, crispy fried aromatic duck with pancakes and condiments, seared prawns with spicy lemon grass sauce, oven-baked black cod fillet with butter and cheese crust, jasmine tea leaf smoked chicken with ginger and spring onion dip, and Stir-fried beef tenderloin with black pepper. With such a diversity of flavours and cooking styles to select from, menus may also be individually tailored upon request to suit one’s personal preference.
To end the meal on a delightful note, Lai Po Heen’s signature dessert Durian Pancake is a hearty serving of durian mousse delicately wrapped in Durian-like skin. Other favourite desserts include chilled almond bean curd with sea coconut and double-boiled bird’s nest with rock sugar and ginger milk pudding.
Lai Po Heen at the Mandarin Oriental – Where and how
Lai Po Heen is open from 12pm to 2.30pm for lunch on Monday to Friday and 10.30am to 2.30pm on Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays. Dinner is served daily from 7pm to 10.30pm. The restaurant accommodates up to 164 persons comfortably while the seven private dining rooms cater for groups of six to 20.
For dining reservations, please contact +60(3) 2179 8885 or email [email protected]
For further information, please visit www.mandarinoriental.com/kualalumpur
About Ong Chin Huat