BEING able to dine out, albeit with restrictions, is a welcome change compared to the past few months when restaurants were shuttered in compliance with the government’s movement control order (MCO).
Not being able to enjoy Chinese cuisine proved challenging to those who lack the skill and know-how to cook even the simplest of dishes.
I am sure many are glad that their favourite dining spots have reopened during the recovery MCO phase.
Dim sum, double-boiled soup and battered prawns are some of the dishes I relished when Lai Po Heen opened for business.
Only upon complying with the necessary standard operating procedure can a diner proceed to sit down to a meal.
This involves recording one’s temperature and filling up a form with the required details.
We started with a small selection of dim sum.
Pretty little morsels featuring Roasted Duck and White Radish Charcoal Dumpling, Steamed Scallop with Shrimps and Chicken Siew Mai and Steamed Prawn and Water Chestnut Dumplings teased the taste buds with their appealing flavours.
The chef’s creativity in presenting a dim sum resembling an elegant swan got all of us at the table marvelling at the edible art piece.
Needless to say, the swan was worth photographing.
Not only was it visually appetising, it also revealed a harmonious blend of flavours that masked the duck’s gaminess, if any.
The light Clear Chicken Soup, Double-boiled with Fish Maw and Bamboo, which came next, gently caressed the palate with its harmonious blend of ingredients.
Bolder flavours in the form of the Wok-seared Diced Wagyu Sirloin offered a contrast in taste and texture.
The Wagyu’s lean appeal against its marbling of fat required very little seasoning.
For this dish, the meat is briefly seared with a dash of oyster sauce lightly coating the beef cubes with salty caramelised flavours.
Honey-coated walnuts add an earthy and buttery taste, not to mention added texture to the juicy and tender beef.
Lai Po Heen’s Sauteed Shelled Prawns with Oriental Butter Sauce is not to be missed.
Expect that crunch in the mouth when biting into the large meaty prawns that are fried to golden crispiness.
Wok-fried Ten Perfect Vegetable with Black Bean Spicy Sauce and Refined Dried Shrimp Fried Rice with Seafood and Sepia Ink joined the line-up to complete our Chinese lunch experience.
Chinese executive chef Michael Wong Fook Meng said adding squid ink to fried rice helped elevate its taste.
“We are constantly being creative in the kitchen and squid ink shares some resemblance to eggs, but is slightly bolder, ” he said.
A signature at Lai Po Heen for more than a decade is the unmistakable durian pancakes.
Here, dim sum head chef Wu Chee Hong prepares thin crepes and adds a spoonful of durian flesh against fluffy whipped cream.
He gently wraps the crepe to form square parcels for a mouthful of goodness to end your meal with.
Durian pancakes are a staple on the menu and in paying homage to it, dim sum chefs will prepare the dessert before guests.
LAI PO HEEN, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, Kuala Lumpur. (Tel: 03-2179 8885) Business hours: Noon to 2.30pm, 6pm to 9pm, daily.
This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.
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