Lai Po Heen,
Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur,
Jalan Pinang,
Kuala Lumpur City Centre,
Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2179 8885/email:
Business hours: Weekdays: Noon to 2.30pm,
7.00pm to 10.30pm.
Weekends and public holidays: 10.30am to 2.30pm,
7pm to 10.30pm.

TO ENTICE the taste buds of diners at Lai Po Heen, executive Chinese chef Ricky Thein has included a combination of chilli, lemongrass and fermented soybeans to add excitement to some of his Chinese New Year creations.

The Steamed Golden Pomfret Fish with Spicy Brown Bean Sauce for instance, opens up the palate with its combination of whole fermented soybeans, chilli, ginger, garlic and seasoning but this piquant sauce does not drown the fish’s freshness.

Another conversational piece here has to be the Wok-fried Lobster with Sweet Basil, Spicy Lemongrass Sauce.

Fresh: Steamed Golden Pomfret Fish with Spicy Brown Bean Sauce has whole fermented soybeans, chilli, ginger, garlic and seasoning in its ingredients.

Aromatised with onions, the colourful lobster dish is eye-catching and quick to woo diners.

For this dish, chef Thein combines lemongrass, chilli, tomato sauce, chilli sauce and sweet basil to create a hot, spicy and tangy sauce to coat the lobster, while the cubed onions and capsicum add crunch in each mouthful.

In the Simmered Fortune Duck with Mushrooms and Iceberg Lettuce in Yam Sauce, chef Thein thickens the duck jus with yam starch, giving the dish its savoury and delightful flavour.

The duck which is braised, is tender with the lettuce’s crispiness, adding delicate flavour and texture to the dining experience.

These are just some of chef Thein’s new dishes for the Year of the Snake, and he spent a considerable amount of time designing recipes that would appeal to both local and foreign guests.


Eye-catching: Wok-fried Lobster with Sweet Basil, Spicy Lemongrass Sauce is a colourful dish with lots of capsicum in different hues, adding crunch to the dish.

“This year, I have included spicy flavours in some of my dishes because locals enjoy a little bit of chilli in their meal but the chilli in the pomfret is not too overpowering as I wanted diners to be able to savour the fish as well.

“The taste of lemongrass in the spicy lemongrass sauce in the lobster dish is just right, so you get the hint of the herb as you enjoy the meat,” chef Thein said.

Of course, a Chinese New Year celebration has to start off with the customary tossing of yee sang and here, there are five varieties to choose from – Yee Sang with Sliced Abalone and Salmon, Yee Sang with Japanese Style Seafood in Wasabi Sauce, Yee Sang with Soft Shell Crab and Snow Pear, Salmon Yee Sang with Assorted Vegetables and Condiments and Yee Sang with Assorted Vegetables and Shredded Fruits.

The yee sang platter is priced from RM88++ to RM338++ for half portion and full portion, respectively.

To warm up our palate right after tossing the yee sang, we relished a serving of Braised Sea Treasure Soup with American Ginseng and Chinese Cabbage.

A medley of seafood ingredients – abalone, fish maw and sea cucumber braised with American ginseng, enriches the soup, giving it its robust flavour.

The soup which has superior stock among its ingredients, is also new on the festive menu, and this simple looking dish in fact, requires four hours to prepare.

Fans of the Braised Money Bag Filled with Sea Treasures and Wok Fried Green Garden and Fried Glutinous Rice with Fresh Mushroom and Chicken Floss will be happy to know that these signature items have returned for another year.

The tofu money bag is stuffed with diced sea cucumber, prawns, fresh and dry scallop, dried oyster and fatt choy (sea moss) to help diners, feast on all things considered prosperous so they may have a wonderful year ahead.

The Fried Glutinous Rice with Fresh Mushroom and Chicken Floss is toothsome with barbecued chicken meat giving a pleasing smoked flavour to the overall dish.

There are also three festive set menus – Fortune Set Menu, Prosperity Set Menu and Wealth Set Menu, priced from RM1,880++ onwards for a minimum of 10 diners, available for lunch and dinner.

Diners who prefer picking ala carte options off the Chinese New Year specialties menu, will be able to sample six festive dishes priced from RM88++ onwards, for lunch and dinner.

Dim sum enthusiasts can opt for the Longevity Dim Sum and Happinesss Dim Sum sets during lunch, priced at RM98++ and RM138++ per person respectively, with a mini-mum of four people dining.

When it was time to slow it down a little, a combination of sweet and savoury desserts – Double Boiled Snow Pear with Aloe Vera, Honey Date and Sundried Longan in Osmanthus Syrup, and Deepfried Glutinous Rice Cakes with Red Sweet Potato, Yam and Honey Lemon – were perfect to end our experience at the restaurant.

This is the writer’s observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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