Ingredients like fish (surplus and prosperity), prawns (happiness), the combination of sea cucumber, abalone and shiitake mushrooms (symbolising prosperity) and pineapple tarts (ong lai in Hokkien referring to welcoming luck and the fruit’s golden colour symbolising wealth and prosperity) are often included by chefs when curating a festive menu.
The scene is no different at Lai Po Heen in Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur as new executive Chinese chef Michael Wong is conscious of having ingredients deemed prosperous and considered lucky on the menu to welcome the Year of the Rat.
The good thing about the Lunar New Year menus here is that those wanting to enjoy these prosperous dishes will be thrilled to know that the promotion is until Feb 29.
Wong said the reason for having an extended Chinese New Year promotion is to widen the window of time for diners to savour festive delicacies.
A toss to abundance, good fortune and health is a must and the dish that kicks off the celebration for many is none other than yee sang.
The MO Signature Yee Sang (with shredded treasures and blackcurrant plum) has a medley of seafood ingredients such as salmon, tuna, butter fish and jelly fish presented in a fan-shaped design that is synonymous with Mandarin Oriental’s fan emblem.
Other yee sang here are Abalone Yee Sang, Canadian Surf Clam Yee Sang, Yellowtail Yee Sang, Salmon Yee Sang and Vegetarian Snow Pear Yee Sang priced from RM98 to RM476 for half portion and full portion, respectively.
Three set menus namely Fortune, Prosperity and Wealth priced at RM288, RM398 and RM518 per person, are available for diners.
The Double-boiled Wild Matsutake with Morels and Fish Maw Soup (on the Wealth menu) is a clear offering with the ingredients’ fresh flavours coming through in each spoonful.
The traditional taste of Braised Abalone with Mushroom and Japanese Kanto Sea Cucumber and Brown Sauce and Oven-baked Honey Cod Fish Fillet on a bed of Milky Clouds are also from the same set menu.
With little orange tobiko pearls dotting the prawns, the Crispy Prawns coated with Lemon Dressing garnished with Tropical Fruit Salsa and Tobiko (Prosperity menu) is a delightful plump and contemporary offering for the occasion.
The Salted Brine Corn Fed Chicken with Ginger and Onion Dip is the restaurant’s take on the popular steamed chicken dish served during Lunar New Year.
This dish and the flavourful Wok-fried Rice with Diced Lobster, Tobiko and Bonito Flakes enrich the Prosperity menu.
Wong also presented a medley of flavours in the Stir-fried Assorted Vegetables with Scallops and Wild Mushrooms that was prettily presented.The combination of Batter-fried Glutinous Rice Cakes and Chilled Mango Puree, Plum Seed, Pomelo Drops and Vanilla Ice Cream lent sweet notes at the end of our lunch, making it an enjoyable experience.The restaurant also has the Longevity Dim Sum and Happiness Dim Sum, available for lunch only, priced at RM188 and RM238 per person respectively with a minimum of four diners.
LAI PO HEEN, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur City Centre. (Tel: 03-2179 8885). Business hours: Noon to
2.30pm (Monday to Friday), 10.30am to 2.30pm (Saturday and Sunday); 7pm to 10.30pm, daily. Pork-free.
This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.
Lai Po Heen in Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur
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