Yee Sang with sliced abalone and salmon
|Tossing the Yee Sang|
Braised sea treasure soup with American ginseng and Chinese cabbage
Steamed golden pomfret fish with spicy brown bean sauce
Simmered fortune duck with mushrooms and iceberg lettuce in yam sauce
Wok-fried lobster with sweet basil, spicy lemon grass sauce
Braised money bag filled with sea treasures and wok fried garden greens
Fried glutinous rice with fresh mushroom and chicken floss
Double boiled snow pear with Aloe Vera, honey date and sun-dried longan in osmanthus syrup
Deep fried glutinous rice cakes with red sweet potato, yam and honey lemon
Chinese New Year Menu at Lai Po Heen, Mandarin Oriental
Words by James Gibbs
Photos by The Yum List
Simply spectacular, slippery and smooth treats to usher in the year of the snake are being offered during the New Year at the Lai Po Heen Classic Cantonese Restaurant Mandarin Oriental Hotel Kuala Lumpur. The Mandarin Oriental needs no introduction when comes to providing some of Kuala Lumpur’s finest Chinese cuisine. For this New Year however, the resident masters of food here are pushing the envelope of culinary innovation to tempt all to come and test the results.
Right from the curtain-raising event of the Yee Sang, through to the finale of the Double Boiled Snow Pear with Aloe Vera, Honey Date and Sun Dried Longan, the dishes were full of surprises. The Yee Sang was wonderful. I was interested to hear of some of the significance of the ingredients… the salmon representing prosperity or money, the olive oil to lubricate the wheels of business and the plum sauce was the sweetener for friendships. Perhaps a tiny touch too sweet for some tastes though the overall effect was wonderful – especially with the addition of abalone and soft shell crab to the mix!
If you were seek the perfect dish to settle the nerves after all that frantic Yee Sang tossing, the Braised Sea Treasure Soup is just oozing with Qi that will be sure to perfectly realign any Yin and Yang. A hint of ginseng and some tasty steamed items from Davey Jones Locker complemented the yellowish coloured delicious soup. I especially enjoyed the sea cucumber here, one of my favourites.
The next event was a perfectly steamed square of Pomfret with a Spicy Brown Bean Sauce. One doesn’t think of melting fish though this sure did when eaten. I loved the endorphin rush caused by the tangy chili sauce! This dish was followed by the Simmered Fortune Duck with Mushrooms which had a pleasant barbecue flavour adding a surprising twist to this dish. Needless to say the duck was impeccably cooked. Had to go back for seconds on that one; thereby throwing caution to the wind that I may not have enough space for the remaining goodies. Have to also mention the presentation here – wow what artistry – our dish had a tiny garden created with vegetables; ginger, parsley and a carved tree complete with bird – nice!
And now, for the main performance, the Wok Fried Lobster with Sweet Basil and Spicy Lemongrass Sauce! The golden fried lobster was dramatically presented with a carved dragon guarding one end of the plate. The tastes were even better than the presentations! The Yum List and I thought the flavour here was a little like a curry with a hint of lemongrass – most interesting.
Almost deliriously, we pushed ahead with the final dishes, Braised Money Bags, and Glutinous Rice that also had a few taste surprises hidden within that caused you to stop and think for a second or two. The dessert was a spectacular finale that I managed to slurp down in entirety despite have having reached my zenith point several courses before.
If you too think you deserve a little quality indulgence in a grand environment to celebrate the year now past, or to honour the year to come, then the Mandarin Oriental should definitely be added to your destination list this festive season. Prices for both lunch and dinner are, predictably, from RM 88++ to 338++ for half and full portions respectively. Don’t miss this sensual culinary experience.
Reason to visit: Wok Fried Lobster! Deliciously decadent options to bring in the New Year.
Lai Po Heen
Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur City Centre
50088 Kuala Lumpur
+6 03 2380 8888
+6 03 2179 8885