TERENCE Foong, the executive Chinese chef of Lai Ching Yuen, is marking his one-year work anniversary with the restaurant in Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur by debuting a new menu.
The 49-year-old, who specialises in Cantonese and Sichuan styles of cooking, tapped into three decades of culinary experience to create new a la carte dishes for the menu.
“I spent months to plan, prepare and refine the menu that was introduced early this month,” said Foong.
The restaurant wanted to introduce a new variety of dishes to diners, although favourites such as Traditional Peking Duck has been retained. About 70% to 80% of the dishes are new, ranging from appetisers and soups to main courses and desserts.
The meal began on a promising note with the Smoked Duck Breast with Chef’s Special Dressing.
The cold appetiser was nicely smoked to not have a gamey taste, and was complemented with a sweet, sour and slightly spicy dressing.
“I used the duck breast as it’s a healthier cut of meat. It’s a light appetiser and the dressing opens up the palate for the rest of the meal,” said Foong.
Another dish that did well was the Wok-Fried Bei Fong Tong Style Prawns, which was also Foong’s personal recommendation.
The seafood dish had a fiery and crispy texture, thanks to the combination of bird’s eye chilli, curry leaf, dried chilli, chilli powder, ginger, homemade XO sauce and almond slices, all fried together.
Foong revealed that other new dishes that were well-received by diners included the Baked Pork Ribs with Lemongrass, Stewed Stuffed Sea Cucumber with Shimeiji Mushrooms and Beancurd as well as Braised Crab Meat and Fish Maw Soup.
“The pork ribs are marinated overnight using a blend of lemongrass, curry powder and garlic, then baked to order,” he said, adding that the fragrant and citrusy flavours of the lemongrass were popular among local diners.
The Stewed Stuffed Sea Cucumber with Shimeiji Mushrooms and Beancurd featured a stuffing comprising pork belly, prawn, water chestnut and Chinese parsley.
“The beancurd is made in-house. We have one chef solely designated to make the beancurd daily, as it has to be carefully and meticulously prepared.
“The trick is to ensure the steaming is done correctly,” he said, adding that limited trays of beancurd are prepared daily to ensure freshness and quality.
Other dishes served at this menu preview were the salty and tangy Stuffed White Mushroom with Pork and Shrimp in Marmite Sauce as well as the flavourful and crunchy Fried Rice with Goose Liver Paste and Pine Nuts.
The Crispy Fried Cuttlefish with Salt and Pepper was personally a miss, as I found the cuttlefish rather chewy.
Additional highlights from the new menu are the Crispy German Pork Trotter and chef’s signature Ombak Style Tiger Grouper Sauteed with Soy Sauce.
For a sweet yet cold ending to the meal, Foong created the Cream of Black Glutinous Rice with Almond and Vanilla Ice Cream – the chilled version of the traditional black glutinous rice dessert.
“The cold dessert is popular among the lunch crowd, probably due to the hot weather in the afternoon. The traditional hot version, which comes with an additional tang yuen option, is favoured by the dinner crowd,” said Foong.
Dishes at Lai Ching Yuen are priced from RM28nett onwards for appetisers, RM42nett for barbecues and roasts, RM48nett for meat and poultry, RM88nett for seafood, RM33nett for vegetables and beancurd, RM48nett for speciality rice and noodle, and RM14nett for dessert.
Live seafood and crustacean dishes are based on market prices.
LAI CHING YUEN, Level One, Grand Millennium Kuala LUmpur, 160 Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. (Tel: 03-2117 4180, email: firstname.lastname@example.org). Business hours: Lunch, noon-2.30pm (Mon-Fri), 11am-2.30pm (Sat, Sun and public holidays); dinner 6.30pm-10.30pm. Non-halal.
This is the writer’s observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.