With Chinese New Year just around the corner, restaurants are offering their special festive set menus complete with Yee Sang for good luck. This year, Chef Ricky from Lai Po Heen in Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur showcases some of his best dishes which I was fortunate to sample, starting with the yee sang with soft shell crab and snow pear.
The combination of crispy soft shell crab, assorted fruits and vegetables, and special house made sauces was not only pleasing on the eye, but also the palate. I liked how the sauces were nicely balanced to not overpower the overall flavour of the yee sang.
Lai Po Heen has always been known for its double boiled soups, and the eight slow boiled abalone soup with black chicken and sun-dried top shell didn’t disappoint. The soup was light, yet full of umami from the chicken essence and top shell – I relished every sip.
I expected a steamed fish with light soy sauce, but was pleasantly surprised when I was served a red snapper, steamed with salted plum and dried tangerine sauce. This had a nice balance of sweet and tangy, to complement the freshness of the snapper.
The poached corn fed chicken with Hong Kong kai lan was good stuff, served with an addictive young ginger dip. I liked how smooth and firm the chicken flesh was; it was good on its own and even tastier with the ginger dip.
No Chinese New Year menu is complete without a prawn dish and Lai Po Heen does it in style. The prawns were fried to crispy, and then coated in mango puree for a tangy-sweet flavour. The prawns were lovely and still retained a juicy crunch within.
Lai Po Heen’s Chinese New Year “Fatt Choy” sun-dried seafood pot was decadent stuff, served in a mini claypot to keep hot. I really like how the chef steered away from the norm of Chinese New Year sets – this was tastier and more interesting compared to the usual broccoli with mushroom and fatt choy.
After a generous portion of rice with sun-dried sea treasure, we tucked into a refreshing dessert of Osmanthus jelly and Mandarin orange sorbet to offset the rich dishes we indulged in. Thank you Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, for the preview!
The yee sang is available for both lunch and dinner (from 3 January 2015 to 3 March 2015), priced from RM88++ onwards, while the set menus (Fortune, Prosperity and Wealth) are priced from RM218++ onwards per person, with a minimum of four diners for lunch and dinner. For dining reservations, contact 03-2380 8888 or email [email protected]
Food: 7.5/10 (pork free)
Verdict: Not your typical Chinese New Year set menu, and tasty too!