Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Lai Po Heen, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Lai Po Heen, New Menu, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Lai Po Heen has a well-established name for being one of the most popular places for dim sum in the city centre. Not quite as well known though, at least in my mind, is that the a la carte menu has been gaining a rival reputation for being just as an enticing reason to visit. Chef Ricky proves further that the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur likes to keep things fresh by introducing a revamped version of old Cantonese favourites including some new additions to the a la carte menu and further contemporary dim sum creations too. This is not just an annual change, but a monthly one! The staples remain on the menu, however every four weeks or so Chef Ricky surprises guests with an array of newfangled recipes.

This month, from the refreshed a la carte dinner menu we test drove the following:

Lai Po Heen, Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur, Cantonese, best Chinese in KL
Seven Spices Scented Soft Shell Crab Rolls
Seven Spices Scented Soft Shell Crab Rolls with ginger jelly – a contemporary presentation where colourful wheels of melon provided support for pancake cones containing curry crusted crustaceans.

Lai Po Heen, Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur, Cantonese, best Chinese in KL
Double-boiled Kung Fu Soup
Double-boiled Kung Fu Soup with baby abalone, cordyceps, fish maw, morel mushrooms and baby cabbage – was served steaming hot protected with a lidded fine ceramic bowl and speckled with scarlet goji berries spotting the broth with flecks of colour.

Lai Po Heen, Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur, Cantonese, best Chinese in KL
Oven-Baked Black Cod Fillet
Oven-Baked Black Cod Fillet with butter and cheese crust – enlivened with virescent crisp asparagus and deep fried mushrooms, this unique take on a difficult-to-get-right fish was my pick of the night.

Lai Po Heen, Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur, Cantonese, best Chinese in KL
Jasmine Tea Leaf Smoked Chicken
Jasmine Tea Leaf Smoked Chicken with ginger and spring onion dip – the most delicately flavoured dish of the evening came as thick strips of breast, which partnered well with the sharp grated ginger side.

Lai Po Heen, Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur, Cantonese, best Chinese in KL
Seared Prawns 
Seared Prawns with spicy lemon grass sauce – the giant shrimp, hubby’s favourite, balanced out their chili kick with a sweet deep fried sauce.

Lai Po Heen, Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur, Cantonese, best Chinese in KL
Stir Fried Seasonal Vegetables
Stir Fried Seasonal Vegetables with honey and crispy preserved olive tree leaves – this oleaginous and vivid palette supplied the health conscious with their nutrients for the day.

Lai Po Heen, Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur, Cantonese, best Chinese in KL
Fresh Durian Crepes
Fresh Durian Crepes with whipped cream wrapped in a thin crepe – I just can’t DO durian. I’ve been fooled previously into trying some desserts made with this pungent fruit through words of encouragement from local friends saying that an infusion in a cream/ mousse/ cake is an easy introduction… AND they were right… the initial bite is always palatable but it’s the repetition of the powerful character that continues to linger for hours later that I have yet been able to manage. My Malaysian co-dinner guests however, rapidly devoured the house's speciality with moans of satisfaction.

Even, with more than 10 years in Asia, I still feel as though I’m only scraping the surface of the enormous wok of Chinese food. With thanks to the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur though, my palate is rapidly expanding.

Reason to visit: Seared Prawns with spicy lemon grass sauce, Oven-Baked Black Cod Fillet with butter and cheese crust

Previous posts on Lai Po Heen:

Lai Po Heen at the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur is open Monday to Saturday for lunch from noon until 2:30pm and 11am to 3pm on Sundays and public holidays. Dinner is served daily from 7pm to 10:30pm.

Lai Po Heen
Level 1
Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur City Centre
50088 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
+6 03 2380 8888
+6 03 2179 8885
mokul-lpoheen@mohg.com

12 comments:

  1. hehhee.. well at least you gave durian a try. My brother hates durian, but I love it, it is an acquired taste.

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    1. That's funny isn't it - two people with the same genes and growing environment - yet turn out so differently. My sister and I are the same - not with durian - it's a no go for both of us - but in many other things we're totally opposite. ;-)

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  2. everything always looked really good at Lai Po Heen... especially the soup! :)

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    1. I agree. High quality ingredients. I'm a bit of a soup fan of theirs too.

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  3. Wow that cod looks good! Celestial court really know how to meld traditional with modern without being superfluous. And its always tasty!

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    1. They sure do. The cheese was an unexpected but great idea.

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  4. Congratulations on winning the gold award! Much deserved for your excellent blog about places to eat. I won the silver award in Malaysia and I'm quite happy with that. We should team up some time...let me know what you think...
    Duncan In Kuantan

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    1. Yes please! I always feel lost when I go to Kuantan - not knowing what to eat or where to go so usually end up staying at the hotel. Now I know where to look! :-)

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  5. what an interesting presentation for the soft-shell crab roll. brilliant for whetting the appetite. oooh, and i want the tea-smoked chicken, that never fails to please at chinese restaurants :D

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    1. Oh yes, I thought the presentation was pretty special too. :-)

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  6. I recognized baked cod fish is Chef Ricky's signature dish~

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  7. He does well with fish doesn't he. :-)

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