Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Celebrate the Year of the Dragon @ Lai Ching Yuen, Grand Millennium Hotel Kuala Lumpur

Now that Christmas and New Year is out of the way, the next BIG celebration for us is Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year in 2012 falls on the 23rd January and this year is the Year of the Dragon. 

The restaurant interior

We have previously dined in this restaurant when it was still known as Zing Cantonese Restaurant and really liked the food and dining ambience here. So when an invitation came in to sample their Chinese New Year menu, I gladly accepted the invite. Same chef, still serving great Cantonese food, just a different name.

Chinese New Year is the time of the year where we get to partake in tossing the yee sang! To celebrate the Year of the Dragon, Chef Leong Weng Heng of Lai Ching Yuen has meticulously prepared fresh yee sang (prices from RM58++) with either salmon, giant clam, crispy fish skin, fresh scallop, sliced abalone and many others for either dining in or as gifts. 

We were served the Prosperity Yee Sang with Fresh Scallops, mango and crystal pear (RM118++ for half portion, RM228++ for full portion). I usually like the act of tossing yee sang, not so much eating it but the yee sang here looks totally mouthwatering (anyone who's been reading this blog knows that I love scallops a lot!). The scallops were huge and fresh, just lightly blanched . Instead of plum sauce, the chef has cleverly used a unique strawberry sauce instead... this has to be one of the best yee sang I've ever tasted. Light and appetizing, making you want to go back for more. 

Big, juicy scallops!

First time for me having yee sang with fresh scallops but it really works!

Those crackers are very addictive!

Hubby with his long chopsticks, getting ready to toss!

Toss toss toss for good luck!

Yummy yee sang

Our favorite dish of the evening was the Roasted Crispy Duck Hong Kong style (RM68++ half duck, RM128++ whole duck). It smelled fantastic.. we were still tucking in to the yee sang when the duck arrived and instantly all our eyes were on the glistening duck! The duck meat was succulent, fair to say we could easily have eaten a whole duck simply cos it was so good.

The pronunciation of fish ("yu") means abundance in Chinese, so you will always see fish served during Chinese New Year. I thought it was quite clever of the chef to serve this to the diners in individual portions. Although the cod fish was just lightly steamed with soy sauce and topped with coriander, I loved it. The freshness and natural sweetness of the fish just shone through. And just how fresh, well-cooked cod fish is meant to be, beautifully flaky.

Steamed Cod Fish with light soy sauce (RM38++ per piece)

The baked pork rib marinated with lemon grass (RM25++ per piece) is a dish worth getting your hands dirty for. It was placed on a bed of chicken floss and a cute carved out onion decorated the plate. It looks a little like a pumpkin, don't you think?

We also enjoyed the stir fried prawns and asparagus in golden basket (RM38++ for small portion, RM80 for big portion) -- the prawns were big and juicy! 

I love the umami-ness of the gravy from the braised dried oyster and bean curd skin with black sea moss (RM98++ for small portion, RM196++ for big portion). One of those dishes that my mum often makes during  second day of Chinese New Year :) Lots of good meaning in this dish -- "fatt choy" (black sea moss) for prosperity and "hou see" (dried oyster) for good luck. 

I'm not a huge fan of waxed meat, but all my fellow diners were singing praises for the Claypot Rice with Waxed Meat (RM25 per person). The chef uses premium waxed meat specially imported from Hong Kong. I did try this, the lap cheong had a very nice fragrant aroma from the Chinese wine.

To finish, we had the simple and satisfying black sesame rice dumpling with ginger tea (RM12 per portion). Perfect cure for a rainy day. 

There are also Reunion Dinner menus at RM1,280++, RM1,480++, RM1,680++ and RM1,780++ and served for 10 persons. For enquiries and reservations, please call Lai Ching Yuen at +60 3-2117 4180.

Full set of photos available to view here.


Opening times: Lunch; Monday to Friday 12.00pm - 2.30pm, Sat & Sun 11.00am - 2.30pm. Dinner; 6.30pm - 10.30pm daily.

Location: Lai Ching Yuen, Grand Millennium Hotel, 160 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: 03-2117 4180

GPS Coordinates: 3.147694, 101.712338


  1. The scallops look really good !!!!

  2. shit! i'm hungry reading now...

  3. Hey, don't you think it is better to put a disclaimer.... just saying. :D

  4. This year's CNY is really fast...
    BTW..I'm drooling looking at the fat & juicy scallops!!

  5. Fujiko: Yes, the scallops made the yee sang truly special.

  6. Jiashinlee: Hehe still 3 more weeks to go sample this!

  7. Melissa: Yea first time eating yee sang with scallops for me! Definitely yummy.

  8. ooo, i don't think i've ever seen such big, bouncy scallops used in yee sang before. must add quite an interesting texture to the dish! and i'm a major fan of lap mei fan, so i'd definitely order that waxed meat rice. it's actually ironic though ... before it was called zing, this restaurant was named lai ching yuen. wonder why they decided to change it back to its former name. lai ching yuen used to have this amazing pan-fried foie gras dish, where you could order six slabs of liver served on a big platter for about RM120. back in 2004 or so, when everything was cheaper, heheh :D

  9. Oooo...looks like you all had more scallops than I did. How many of you went for the review?

  10. The yee sang is really appetizing! what with the scallops and the strawberry sauce.. I can tell that this must be your favourite dish that night! :D

  11. Sean: They changed from being a halal restaurant back to a halal restaurant and from what I've heard, Lai Ching Yuen sounds more like a Chinese restaurant than Zing.

    I wonder if they still do that pan fried foie dish!

  12. Bangsar Babe: There was 10 ppl during our review. Think each person got abt 2 pieces of scallop each.

  13. iamthewitch: Actually it was my 2nd fav dish of the evening. My fav was the roast duck... super yummy!

  14. Wow everything looks to die for! Especially the roast duck and scallop Yee sang, never tried those before. Too bad it's too expensive for us huhuhu

  15. oh my God...so so so delicious.

  16. Sean: I meant halal to non-halal.

  17. Ronnycakes: The scallops yee sang was a first for me too, makes a really pleasant change from the usual salmon yee sang. Price is slightly higher but the scallops were really good.

  18. Spiky: I have to agree with u on that :)

  19. Nice to finally get to talk to you! It was a lovely evening of great food and new friends! :0)


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