Thursday, November 22, 2012

Lai Po Heen @ Mandarin Oriental KL

Lai Po Heen is Mandarin Oriental KL's award-winning Chinese restaurant, serving both Cantonese and Szechuan cuisine. We were invited there recently to sample some of their a la carte menu selections. Chinese Executive Chef Ricky Thein explains that they have revamped about a third of their a la carte menu with new items. Every month, they will also feature 3 types of special set menus for diners to choose from.

Other than the new menus, Lai Po Heen has also recently undergone a facelift and sports an elegant look. The grand decor was inspired by the homes of Chinese tycoons with high ceiling complete with wooden and glass panel sliding doors embellished with intricate classic Oriental designs. The dining area is decorated in rich white and gold tones and adorned with ornate chandeliers, Oriental artwork and artifacts. Diners can also admire the skilled chefs in the open kitchen. 


We started off our meal with the Seven spices scented soft shell crab rolls with ginger jelly. The presentation is inspired by the Japanese temaki, but instead of the temaki holders, Chef Ricky cleverly presents his roll in hollowed-out melon rounds. The soft shell crab was crispy and flavorful.. a great start to our meal.




Chef Ricky is famous for his soups and he certainly impressed us with his double boiled kung fu soup with baby abalone, fish maw, scallops, morel mushrooms, cordyceps and baby cabbage. The superior stock has been boiled for 4 hours resulting in a clear yet flavorful soup, filled with many sea treasures. Loved it.

Dried scallops


Baby abalone


The oven baked black cod fillet with butter and cheese crust was one of my favorite dishes of the evening. This is a fusion dish using Western ingredients such as Parmesan cheese and turkey ham. The cod was perfectly cooked - fresh, flaky fish complemented well by the cheese crust. The fish is served with asparagus and tempura mushrooms.



Flaky and yummy


The key to cooking a good vegetable dish is using fresh vegetables and it has to be cooked very quickly. Though it looks simple, timing and skill is important, explains Chef Ricky. The stir fried seasonal vegetables (4 types depending on availability) with honey and crispy preserved olive tree leaves is as it should be - crunchy and fresh.



The wok fried prawns were huge and juicy, which was nicely coated in a spicy lemongrass sauce. Chef Ricky used a Vietnam chilli powder to give this dish a subtle heat and the Thai basil leaf for a nice fragrance.

Wok fried prawn with spicy lemongrass sauce


The Jasmine tea leaf smoked chicken served with a ginger onion dip was delicious. We certainly could smell and taste the tea which has been infused into the meat of the chicken by smoking. The taste of tea leaves in this dish is further enhanced by some deep fried tea leaves as garnish. Chef Ricky explains that in Cantonese cuisine, chicken should always be paired with ginger. He uses corn fed free range chicken for the best taste and succulent meat.



To end the meal on a sweet note, we were served Lai Po Heen's signature dessert, the durian pancake. Fresh D24 durian is mixed with whipped cream and wrapped in a thin crepe, resembling the durian fruit. This was good, and Hubby who is a non-durian lover also found this delicious. Luscious.





Chinese Executive Chef, Ricky Thein


All photos above are taken with the Leica V-Lux 3, a camera that we won from Mandarin Oriental's "What Mosaic Are You?" contest. Below are also some shots taken with the Leica of the world-famous Petronas Twin Towers and also KL Tower.


Petronas Twin Towers at night







KL Tower


Join Mandarin Oriental's Facebook page here for latest updates and contests.

Opening times: 12pm to 2.30pm for lunch (Mon-Sat), 11am-3pm (Sundays & public holidays), 7pm to 10.30 for dinner (Mon-Sun).

Location: Lai Po Heen, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: 03-2179 8885

Website: http://www.mandarinoriental.com/kualalumpur/

28 comments:

  1. I love their durian pancake very much!
    Only been there twice since I joined their membership, should go and try out their new menu. :)

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    Replies
    1. Hehe I also like it very much - I had 4 of them! Lucky me, cos someone else at the table didn't want it ;)

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  2. Everything looks so good! But I'm especially attracted to the cheesy cod fish and giant prawns!

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  3. that camera is certainly awesome! the photos are just gorgeous...

    CHef Ricky's creations are delicious... especially his Soups!! :D

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    1. Agreed... usually I find it hard to finish a whole bowl of soup, but we drank Chef Ricky's soup to the last drop.

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  4. My fav was the cod with cheese too!

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  5. Did you get invite for the food tasting again, yoh, so "hor mia." I had been to this restaurant once many many years ago. Couldn't remember wheat we had! Love the soup!

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    1. LOL! Actually I cut down on food reviews a lot, just do when I have time.

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  6. Never mind the towers...I want to food!!! Oooo...durian pancake! Slurpsss!!!!! The chicken, the prawns, the fish...everything looks just great!

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  7. Wahh...I want that bowl of double boiled kung fu soup! Hiak hiak hiak...
    Nice photos of the twin tower. Sharp and clear!

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    1. Thanks Melissa! I love those photos tooo..... but still need to practice with the food shots. Not really used to it yet.

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  8. Wow! Superb shots of the Twin Towers at nite! =)

    Love the oven baked black cod fillet with butter and cheese crust too...hehe =)

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    1. Haha thanks for the compliment. :P We were stuck in a super crazy jam... move so slow (standstill at parts) hence can take the shots without shaky hands. :P

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  9. y'know, in all these years, i think i've only eaten at lai po heen once, and that was in 2005 or 2006. i do remember having a very, very good lunch there, and i loved the ambiance. i guess my recollection though was that prices were quite high, though justifiably so, all things considered. anyways ... i want tea-smoked chicken! :D

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    1. I think their prices are still quite high, but it's normal for hotels plus I think the chefs source for good quality ingredients. The tea smoked chicken was good, I like that you can actually taste the tea that's been used to smoke the chicken.

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  10. I'm not a huge durian lover but after seeing the photo of that pancake, I think I'd really like it! It looks so light and fluffy :D

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    1. My hubby usually will not touch durian but he likes them in desserts, esp when it's mixed with cream or custard. He actually ate two of them in this dinner. :)

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  11. Wow, I really love this post which is urging me to eat this right now.

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  12. The cod fillet and the soup looks very good...

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    1. Yeah the cod fillet was definitely my fav dish of the evening. :)

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  13. Wow.. you are invited to so many places for food tasting?! Envy Envy... do u need one more critic to tag along? :)

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  14. I spied Chef Ricky's signature baked Cod fish!
    PS: Great shots of KLCC!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Choi Yen! The cod fish was very tasty indeed!

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