Lai Po Heen@Mandarin Oriental

source site

Demona: Lai Po Heen. Famous for its dim sum. Apparently, the place is packed almost everyday, and queueing up is common during weekends. I had been here a few times already, but this was the first time my brother came to eat here. A promise between my aunt and him. As you walk in, you could see the talented chefs cooking in their open-for-all-viewing kitchen on your left. The ambience of this place was really relaxing, yet you get a feel of being in a chinese eatery. You could see many foreigners eating there as well.

Demona: This is the pict of the 4 types of chillis presented to us. Green chillis, red chillis, and two types of chilli paste. Next to it was the steamed ground nuts. No steam ground nuts can beat my late grandma’s Mooncake festival steamed giant ground nuts.

Demona: The chilli paste! GOBBLES. It was a little too salty though. Lai Po Heen got lucky this time. I did not request for another cupful of chilli paste.

Demona: This is the pict of the “Har Kaus”. Har kaus, siew mais and char siew paos are a must-present-on-the-table dishes when it comes to dim sum meals. However, my aunts had forgotten to put a “tick” on the char siew pao section this time (Sobs. No CSP CSP CSP.) The har kau was a major let down. Upon my first bite, I realised that the skin was a little too dry. Maybe they had been steamed a few times already. The prawns were also bland, despite having parsleys in it (you can see them in the pict). Probably har kau chef’s bad day.

Demona: This is the pict of the “Siew Mais”. According to my aunt, there should be 3 colours, instead of 2. Green, yellow and red. Wasn’t too sure why they were left with 2 now. The siew mais were pretty tasty. The pork meat was very well minced (you can taste the porkiness) and mixed (smooth), therefore you would not find pieces of meat stuck between your teeth eating it. The only downside was the “economical” amount of crab roe on top of each siew mais.

Demona: This is a pict of the fried carrot cake. It was only average tasting for me. Quite oily alright, but most fried carrot cakes are anyway. It lacked spicyness as well. I would not order this dish again on my future trips here. The best one I ate so far was from a pasar malam in Bukit Beruang, Melacca and the dimsum restaurant in Summit USJ.

Demona: This is a pict of the deep fried prawn rolls. I had no say on this, as I did not get a chance to try this dish out. It was finished up by the rest while I was busy trying to get Dogma’s camera to work.

Demona: This is the “Chee Cheung Fan”. Major disappointment. It came looking really tasty alright, but to my dismay, its taste is a total opposite. I have no idea why they fried the cheung fans, making the dish very oily. Not to mention, it lacked meat fillings.

Demona: This was my favourite dim sum! Prawns wrapped in a fish cake, rolled on with almond flakes and deep fried. The mixture of the chewy prawns and fish cakes and crunchy nuts in your mouth was just plain delicious! Although I could see oily deposits on the almond flakes, I did not mind it at all. Let loose the cholesterol level for now.

Demona: This is a pict of durian cakes. Lai Po Heen’s “JIU PHAI” dessert. I have not eaten a durian since my highschool days, no idea why, but the interest in eating it died away. Initially, I turned the dessert down. After much persuasion from my aunts to give it a try, I finally gave in. I chose the smallest piece from the lot. (BTW, a serving comes in 3 pieces of durian cakes).

Demona: This is a close up shot of the inside of the durian cake. It is basically, durian flesh, blended with whipped cream, and wrapped into bite sizes using its skin. It was already pre-refridgerated, thus, the feeling was like eating chilled durian flavoured souffle. Not as bad as I thought it would be (as I dislike the taste of durian), but one piece was more than enough for me. If I were to eat alone, I would definitely left the other two pieces behind. The after taste of it lasted really long. There was still smell of durian after burping many hours later. YIKES.

Verdict: The meal came up to RM 178, for 6 of us. A person cost about RM 30 each. Pretty steep pricing, but alas, we were eating in a restaurant in Mandarin Oriental. It was only NORMAL to pay such a sum for a meal here. I thought it wasn’t too bad anyway, since we had 8 baskets of dimsums, 1 plate of chee cheung fan and fried carrot cake, and 3 servings of durian cakes, and the miscellaneous such as towels, steamed ground nuts, teas etc. A pleasant place to have a relaxing lazy Sunday brunch once in a while ($$$), but do skip certain dimsum dishes which you are not highly keen on, as they do not come cheap and you do not want to overstuff yourself.

Seng Kee Loh Shue Fun@Petaling Street

Demona: One of our managers guided us to Seng Kee, at Petaling Street for dinner. We had just completed our badminton practice. According to this food venturer manager of mine, Seng Kee is famous for its claypot Lou Shue Fun. We were terribly exhausted and hungry but we had to brace through the terrible jam passing by the Pudu bus station to get into this place. Thus, our minds were set with high expectations towards our coming dinner since we had to go through so much hassle getting there.

We left the food ordering to him. The pict above showed the hokkien mee (for 1 pax portion). Though it was quite oily, with the mee fried along with chunks of pork fat (This ingredient is a must!), squids, pork slices and vegetables, the taste turned out pretty good. Somehow, it had a nice burnt aroma to it. I could not figure out on how the chef managed to incorporate the unique smell in it. But of course, hokkien mee is a NO-NO without a kick-ass spicy sambal paste (Being a chilli gobbler, I am bias to this). I remembered finishing the whole cup of sambal paste, as well as the leftovers from my colleagues.

Demona: The shop’s “JIU PHAI” (trademark) dish. The claypot Lou Shue Fun (for 3 pax). All of us were sitting on the tip of our stools, anxiously waiting to have the first taste of it. After the shue fun was properly stirred to mix the egg and other ingredients well, each of us took a bit from the claypot and started eating.

Much of the excitement immediately mellowed down. The shue fun was too dry. In fact, some of the shue fun strips had burnt marks on them. The chef did not put enough sauce on it to make sure they did not get burnt. Needless to say, the shredded pork meat also ended up being dry. Although there were five of us here (and this was a 3 pax portion,) we could not finish eating it. Almost half of its content was left behind.

We ordered a plate of potato leaves vegetable fried with garlic and dried shrimps as well. I have always liked potato leaves, thus I enjoyed the dish. The vegetable was a little bit too oily though. Nevertheless, this dish still gave us a bigger satisfaction than the famous lou shue fun. I apologise, this pict is missing because my colleague had missed out this shot during dinner. (YES, I’m still using my colleagues’s handphone camera to take goodie woodie foodie picts because Dogma’s camera is still broken).

Demona: This dish was the garlic roast pork yee mee (for 3 pax portion). This (SLURPS!) was delicious! The roast pork meat was well coated with a sticky sauce, filled with small bits of chopped aromatic stir fried garlic and they were dressed on top of the yee mee. All of us were busy digging for “gold” (the roast pork meat). However, I personally think that the garlic roast pork yellow mee which I ate in Mama’s Kitchen (TTDI) still bags the trophy, compared to this dish. We licked this dish clean, well, my colleague licked it clean of course, MM SI WA.

Verdict: My mind could have influenced my verdict a little bit here (was extremely hungry at that moment, and as everyone knows when one is hungry, any food will be a notch higher in terms of its tastiness).

The garlic roast pork mee is definitely one dish you should order the next time you drop by for a meal here.
I would give the lou shue fun another try the next time around, maybe by then, the chef will be in a better mood and its taste may take a full 360 turn.
Although the hokkien mee was tasty, I had tried better versions of it in other places.
The meal cost us RM 9 each, inclusive of a drink. I thought that the price was pretty alright for KL pricing as we had quite a variety of dishes to eat. The only problem which I had noticed was the limited flexibility which we had for parking. You only have three choices, park in the parking lot opposite the restaurant, which cost you RM 6 for 2 hours, or park illegally by the yellow line, or take a LRT to the nearest stop and walk over.