Thursday, July 14, 2016

Flavours of Szechuan + Mooncakes @ Lai Po Heen, Mandarin Oriental KL

For lovers of Szechuan cuisine, look no further as Lai Po Heen in Mandarin Oriental KL does Szechuan in July. From 4 to 31 July 2016,  diners will be in for a spicy treat as Executive Chef Ricky Thein has come up with an ensemble of signature dishes which will showcase his vast experience in preparing Szechuan cuisine.

Szechuan dishes are known for their incredible complexity in flavours. There are a total of 12 dishes to choose from in the Flavour of Szechuan promotion - you will find them in various preparations and guises, using a wide range of quality ingredients such as Hokkaido scallops, prawns, fish, mutton and beef. Most of the dishes displayed the spicy characteristic of Szechuan cuisine, but not overwhelmingly so - we actually found the spiciness to be pretty addictive, and we couldn't resist going back for extra servings.

One of my favourite dishes of the evening was the Barbecue mutton skewer with chilli and cumin powder (RM168 for 6 pcs). This mutton was flavorful, juicy and tender, and is the least spicy dish from this promotion. Wrap the meat in one of the steamed mini pancakes, add a dollop of lime yogurt sauce, pop it in, and get ready for an explosion of flavours in your mouth :)

Another stellar dish was the Braised Australian short ribs with fragrant Szechuan peppercorn (RM168). The short ribs were braised until tender, along with radish, beancurd (fu chuk) and dried chillies. Spicy, but not overly so.

For something spicy and tangy, you can try the Spicy poached sliced beef, served in a claypot (RM168).

Chilled marinated cucumber with vinegar

There will be 3 chicken dishes on offer - wok-fried diced chicken with chilli and pepper (RM68), Chongqing style spicy chicken (RM68) and spicy poached chicken (RM98), with the latter being the most spicy of them all.  The Chongqing chicken is one of Szechuan's most famous dishes, also known as 山城口水雞 (directly translated as saliva chicken), was poached and topped with a spicy chilli sauce and is a dish served cold.  Utterly delicious.

Wok-fried diced chicken with chilli and pepper

 Chongqing style spicy chicken

Chef Ricky tells us that in Szechuan, this spicy braised chicken is cooked with mountain spring water. To replicate the same flavour, he uses mineral water to braise the chicken along with dried chillies and then topped with copious amount of spring onion. Very spicy, but very good. 

Another popular dish from Sichuan province is ma po tofu (RM78). The tofu is cooked with a spicy chilli bean based sauce, along with minced meat. Great with plain rice.

Diners will also find a variety of seafood options, such as the stir fried Hokkaido scallops with sweet and spicy sauce (RM198). As the name suggests, the sauce is mildly spicy and does not overpower the delicate scallops.

Pawns can be served in two ways - either wok fried with a sweet sauce and mixed fruit (the prawns are peeled for easier consumption), or fried with spicy sauce (the prawns are deep fried with shells intact, so extra work is needed to eat this one).

And finally, the spiciest of them all is the poached sliced fish in preserved vegetable soup (RM158). Thanks to the preserved vegetable used, the soup was a combination of sourish, spicy and savory flavours. Loved it!

After a feast of Szechuan dishes, we then moved on to Mandarin Oriental's famed handmade mooncakes. Available from 7 July to 15 September 2016, guests can choose from traditional baked mooncakes, snow skin flavours as well as Mandarin Oriental's signature chocolate mooncakes. These delicacies comes in elegant two-tier gift box with intricate motifs, making it exquisite gifts for the season.

Returning for the second year as well is the limited edition gold coated lotus paste with single yolk mooncake (RM58) which is guaranteed to impress and add a touch of luxury to this year's celebrations.

For the traditional baked large mooncakes, you can find them in these flavours - white lotus paste (RM30), red bean with lotus paste (RM30), creamy milk tea paste (RM30 - new flavour), lotus paste with single egg yolk (RM32), diced chicken ham with mixed nuts (RM33) and pandan with single egg yolk (RM32). The latter is a firm favorite of ours :)

The traditional baked mooncakes are also available in medium size, in these flavours - low sugar white lotus paste (RM22), dragon fruit lotus paste (RM22) and durian with melon seed (RM22).

The chocolate mooncakes get a makeover, hence this year you will find delicious new flavours such as Fruity dark chocolate with orange (RM33), Raspberry ganache with lime crunch (RM33), and Pecan with macadamia milk chocolate (RM33).

 Raspberry ganache with lime crunch

Pecan with macadamia milk chocolate

Fruity dark chocolate with orange

Snowskin fans can indulge in two brand new flavours this year - Custard and oats (RM20), and Pandan and cheese (RM20). And fret not, the bestselling durian paste snow skin mooncake (RM22) is available too.

The Flavours of Szechuan promotion dishes are available for both lunch and dinner.

For mooncake purchases, please call Lai Po Heen at 03-2179 8885 or email . All purchases made by 5 August will receive 15% early bird discount. All mooncakes sold at Lai Po Heen are pork-free.

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


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  1. The food looks great! Oh my, mooncake festival coming again. Time flies!

  2. This is a famous kitchen cooking show and i love this because it give us too much idea about recipe and you share have to share nicely your blog thanks! restaurant in satya niketan delhi

  3. Oh my!!! It's that time of year again??? When is the festival...exactly?


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