Continuing with my Malaysia International Gourmet Festival 2009 food journey, I had the privilege to observe first hand preparation of dishes at Lai Po Heen. This award-winning Chinese restaurant at Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur serves classic Cantonese cuisines, specializing in fresh traditional delicacies and contemporary dim sum assortments.
Besides Pacifica Restaurant, Lai Po Heen is also one of the participating restaurants under the MIGF 2009 which is running throughout the entire month of October.
A photo with the Lai Po Heen culinary team
This restaurant led by Executive Chinese Chef Bong Jun Choi has seven private rooms with eloquent Oriental design. The walls are adorned with artifacts, artwork and with beautiful chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.
Main dining area of the restaurant opening to an outdoor view
The restaurant has fine table setting with tablewares in classic black & white with cherry blossom patterns and utensils incorporated with pewter.
We were overwhelmed by the invitation of Chef Bong to watch his art of cooking in the kitchen. It was a pleasure to go behind-the-scenes especially in a Chinese restaurant which is indeed a rarity. The kitchen is an inviting place and is separated from the dining area by glass panels.
Chef Bong started with the Combination of Steamed Chicken and Abalone Pau with Lai Po Heen’s hand rolled Aromatic Duck.
Delicate, high-end artistry dish
Chef Bong prepared the Chicken and Abalone Pau by mixing the dough and subsequently filling them up with the marinated chicken, abalone and chicken ham.
Chopped carrot and Chinese parsley decorated the pau
The steaming hot pau has a light and chewy texture and goes well with the goodness taste of its fillings which have me craving to have another one.
The second part of this dish is the hand rolled Aromatic Duck. The duck marinated with cinnamon stick, Sichuan flower peppercorn, star anise together with ginger and spring onion was left to stand for an hour before steaming for three hours. The steamed duck was later deep fried for a final time after it has completely cool down. Indeed a long process…
At the meantime, the pancakes with consistent size and thickness were being prepared and cooked in a pan until slightly char-grilled.
The meat is then removed from the deep fried duck, and then cut into thick strips and served together with cucumber, chili, spring onion & a little bit of sweet bean sauce in the pancake. The pancake was rolled up and held together with a thin slice of cucumber.
The Aromatic Duck has great texture and the subtle and aromatic taste of the marinating ingredients. The sweet bean sauce added a lovely flavor to this hand roll too.
Steamed Chicken and Abalone Pau with hand rolled Aromatic Duck
Not often do you get on-hand advice and tips from both Sous Chef Mok and Executive Chef Bong on getting the right texture and taste. I am delighted that I had the privilege to do so.
Chef Mok and Chef Bong sharing some great cooking tips