Monday, 6 January 2014

Chinese New Year Reunion, Lai Po Heen Restuarant, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Lai Po Heen, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, authentic Cantonese cuisine, Chinese New Year set menu, Yee Sang, award winning restaurant, Year of the Horse, superior ingredients,
Delicious Yee Sang

Chinese New Year Set Dinner at Lai Po Heen, Mandarin Oriental

Words and photos by Polly Szantor

As the Year of the Horse gallops madly towards us, it’s time to start thinking about where to celebrate Chinese New Year. One of the truly classic options in Kuala Lumpur is Lai Po Heen at the Mandarin Oriental, which offers superior, authentic Cantonese cuisine in a sophisticated atmosphere.

Lai Po Heen, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, authentic Cantonese cuisine, Chinese New Year set menu, Yee Sang, award winning restaurant, Year of the Horse, superior ingredients,
Lai Po Heen's Chef Ricky Thien
Chef Ricky Thien has created many outstanding dishes to tempt your taste buds, and there are wonderful choices for Yee Sang too. Lai Po Heen has at least five varieties, ranging in price from RM88++ to RM338++ for half and full portions. I tossed salmon with snow pear, which came with a generous portion of soft shell crab. I very much enjoyed the different crunches in this dish: snow pear, crackers and the lightly battered crab and I realised how much I’ve missed Yee Sang. 

Lai Po Heen is offering three, festive set dinners, which include Yee Sang and I sampled dishes from each set: Fortune, Prosperity and Wealth.

Lai Po Heen Restaurant, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, authentic Cantonese cuisine, Chinese New Year set menu, Yee Sang, award winning restaurant, Year of the Horse, superior ingredients,
Abalone Soup that's good for your eyesight!
We moved on to Double Boiled 6 Head Abalone Soup with Fish Maw and “Ming Mu Fish”. You may be as curious as I was about that final ingredient, and it appears to be a Chinese herbal concoction that’s very good for vision problems. The rich, healthy stock was steaming hot and the plump abalone from South America was particularly good.

Lai Po Heen Restaurant, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, authentic Cantonese cuisine, Chinese New Year set menu, Yee Sang, award winning restaurant, Year of the Horse, superior ingredients,
Perfectly Steamed Cod
The next course was Steamed Cod Fish with Yellow Fungus served with a Morel Mushroom and Asparagus. The Canadian cod was perfectly steamed and served in a sauce slightly sweetened with rock sugar. The morel introduced a hint of fusion and added interest to the dish.

Lai Po Heen Restaurant, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, authentic Cantonese cuisine, Chinese New Year set menu, Yee Sang, award winning restaurant, Year of the Horse, superior ingredients,
Chicken in Golden Broth with Sea Cucumber and Baby Pak Choy
The Simmered Corn-fed Chicken with Chinese Herbs in Supreme Golden Broth with Baby Pak Choy was stunningly served on a large, well-garnished platter. The firm yet tender chicken was very tasty while the healthy sea cucumbers that accompanied this dish were cooked in duck broth.

Lai Po Heen Restaurant, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, authentic Cantonese cuisine, Chinese New Year set menu, Yee Sang, award winning restaurant, Year of the Horse, superior ingredients,
Wok-fried Prawns
I loved the Wok-fried Prawns in Chinese Barbeque Sauce with Almonds. The large, white sea prawns were absolutely delicious, and the sweet, slightly spicy barbeque sauce didn’t overpower their flavour. I liked the addition of crunchy chopped almonds too and I felt that this was a very successful dish.

Lai Po Heen Restaurant, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, authentic Cantonese cuisine, Chinese New Year set menu, Yee Sang, award winning restaurant, Year of the Horse, superior ingredients,
Special Chinese New Year Fat Choy with Seafood
Lai Po Heen’s Chinese New Year “Fat Choy” Sun-dried Seafood Pot was another first for me. Fat Choy translates to black or hair moss, and it was easy to see where the name comes from.

Lai Po Heen Restaurant, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, authentic Cantonese cuisine, Chinese New Year set menu, Yee Sang, award winning restaurant, Year of the Horse, superior ingredients,
The Black or Hair Moss living up to its name
When the dish was divided, the moss separated into thousands of little strands. I especially enjoyed the dried abalone in the dish, and the fresh scallops were sweet and tender.

Lai Po Heen Restaurant, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, authentic Cantonese cuisine, Chinese New Year set menu, Yee Sang, award winning restaurant, Year of the Horse, superior ingredients,
Fried Sticky Rice with Seafood and Yam
Up to this point, none of the dishes had been very heavy, but despite this, we were beginning to feel the weight of the meal. I thought the next course, Fried Glutinous Rice with Seafood and Golden Yam, would be my undoing, but it was so delicious that I couldn’t stop eating it. The rice was fried to perfection, the little cubes of yam were crispy, the prawns were juicy and the scallops were plentiful, in fact, this is one of the best, fried rice dishes I’ve ever eaten.

Lai Po Heen Restaurant, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, authentic Cantonese cuisine, Chinese New Year set menu, Yee Sang, award winning restaurant, Year of the Horse, superior ingredients,
Chilled pear and Bird's Nest in Osmanthus Syrup and Fried Nien Kao with Cheese
The dessert was attractively served all together. The Chilled Pear with Bird’s Nest and Osmanthus Syrup was refreshing and not too sweet. I was curious about the Batter-fried Glutinous Rice Cakes with Cheese until I realised it was an innovative way to serve Nien Kao. This traditional Chinese New Year favourite is made with glutinous rice flour and coconut milk, while palm sugar gives the glorious orange colour. The salty cheese was a perfect foil for the sweet Nien Kao, and the chewiness of the glutinous rice cake contrasted admirably with the crispy outer layer – another inspired creation.

Reason to visit: Chef Ricky uses only healthy, natural ingredients that are always of the highest quality. His attention to detail is legendary and without a doubt, Lai Po Heen is the perfect venue to welcome the Year of the Horse. This is definitely a dinner for the discerning diner

The set menus begin at RM198++ per person, with a minimum of 4 people dining, and they are available for lunch and dinner. For dining reservations, call 60(3) 2179 8885 or email mokul-lpoheen@mohg.com

Lai Po Heen Restaurant
Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Kuala Lumpur City Centre
50088 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia


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9 comments:

  1. For all the worthy places to have CNY dinner, I think we'll be celebrating with friends instead at their homes

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  2. food looks lovely!!! happy new year.

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  3. Chilled Pear with Bird’s Nest and Osmanthus Syrup sounds like a perfect dessert to end the meal!

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  4. What a luxurious meal! Now feels like CNY is here already...actually it's not that far off, isn't it, this year? ;-)
    Happy New Year 2014 to you and your family!~ :-D

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  5. Guess you must be busy feasting again during this period. Have you received my stuff?

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  6. Such pretty dishes...LPH has always scored top points for their plating!

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  7. wow! all the good food.. i love it.

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