Thursday, 27 October 2011

Lai Po Heen, Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia











In the dining scene it's always a good sign when you see a full house and locals lining up to get into a restaurant. This is such the case for Lai Po Heen at the Mandarin Oriental. Hungry families are happy to line up for some of the best dim sum and Cantonese dishes in town. The ambience is lively with upbeat background music, buzzing chatter from diners and sprightly entertainment provided by chefs tossing, turning, flipping and smiling for customers from the glass-walled kitchen. For someone who is new to the wonders of dim sum and having a limited experience with Cantonese cuisine the staff are extremely helpful. Each take their time in answering questions, making suggestions and describing ingredients. I graciously took recommendations and found success in every plate presented. My mouth merrily capitulated to an exhilarating roller coaster ride of texture adventures. Crunchy, chewy, creamy, smooth, course, flaky, velvety, moist, succulent - a contrast was found in every dish. Take the popular dim sum item, Crispy Prawn and Squid Dumplings Coated with Almond Flakes, for example. Brittle  almond flakes encrust a dense and succulent prawn, topped with a moist sweet chili sauce giving a depth of structure that allows a good few chews before completely disappearing in the mouth. The Crispy Yam Dumplings Filled with Minced Chicken and Shrimps are another texture sensation -  a delicate lace like fried encasement surrounds a thicker glutinous inner lining filled with a juicy wet  protein centre. My whole mouth was confused (in a very pleasant way) by a deliberate composition of unexpected textures of a number of selections from the dim sum menu. Other highlights are found in Lai Po Heen's Signature Dishes. Two of memorable note are, the Beef TENDERLoin with Black Pepper, and the Tiger Prawns in a Lemongrass Nonya Style Sauce - lightly fried local prawns in a tangy aromaticly addictive lemon grass sauce - with head Chef Ricky heralding from a long line of culinarians from Malacca this is one outstanding dish not to be missed. While the menu might not be in everyone's ideal price range, Elite card holders receive 50% off when dining in two making a delicious lunch more than reasonably affordable .  

Lai Po Heen
First Floor
Mandarin Oriental
Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
+6 03 2179 8881
mokul-mosaic@mohg.com
www.mandarinoriental.com

9 comments:

  1. ooo, i didn't realize the current chef was from my hometown too! another reason to be proud of malacca, heheh :D

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  2. So Sean, that is where your good taste comes from :-)

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  3. That dim sum looks interesting. Looks like they have some unusual additions to a regular menu.

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  4. ...and dessert?

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  5. Such a crazy expression on that chef's face.

    Do you know if the menu has changed since there's a new chef? Will be interesting to see if they do new dishes.

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  6. Got it! I'm heading there with the fam for Sunday brunch.

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  7. I've heard about the dim sum that it is pork free. Some say that if dim sum doesn't have pork it is not as good?

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  8. Boo_liscious - Yes- I love how the chefs interact with their customers - a little bit of fun before you even start. :-) The menu is the same. There are current plans for renovations in the early new year. The chef is planning a menu change to coincide with the launch of the updated space.
    Anonymous - I have to admit I could count the number of dim sum meals I've eaten on 2 hands so can't claim to be an expert regarding the addition/omission of pork. All I know is that it all tasted awesome!

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  9. I'm a big fan of seasoned peanuts...love your blog..

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