Written by : Annabella Wong
This year marks the 12th edition of Malaysian International Gourmet Festival (MIGF), themed “Classical Chefs – A Symphony of Great Cuisines”. There are 28 Malaysia’s finest restaurants serve up Special Festival Menus at Special Festival prices accompanied by a host of Special Festival Offers from 1-31 October 2012.
Among the 28 restaurants, Mandarin Oriental’s restaurants – Lai Po Heen and Mandarin Grill will be offering their new innovative gourmet creations available for this festival lunch and dinner.
Lai Po Heen is a Chinese cuisine restaurant in Mandarin Oriental which specialises in Cantonese delicacies and dim sum.
Chef Ricky Thein
Chef Ricky Thein, Executive Chinese Chef of Lai Po Heen is no stranger to the connoisseurs of Chinese cuisine in Malaysia. Chef Thein is a Gold Medalist recipient in the 5th World Golden Chef Competition for Chinese Cuisine in 2005 and he is also featured in several international culinary TV shows and events.
Here are the 7 courses from Lai Po Heen Festival Lunch and Dinner menu:
This attractive looking plate of abalone sitting on ice shaved is called Hunan Ice Chilled Whole Baby Abalone. The baby abalone comes with fresh pomelo, fruit salsa (under the abalone) and a caramel sugar stick. I was very impressed with the presentation and was not very sure how to start digging in! After much waiting and looking around at how other food enthusiasts attacked the cold dish, I followed suit. *grins*
Gotta love the delicious fruit salsa of avocado, kiwi, tomato and spicy sesame sauce that goes very well with the abalone.
Thinking that the abalone was impressive, the Double Boiled “Kung Fu” Soup kicked me off. The premium dried seafood, cordyceps, american ginseng, morel mushrooms and baby cabbage served in tea cup while the soup in the tea pot.
Simply pouring the soup into the cup like pouring tea. This is my favourite course among all. Love the soup very much and how we wish we could refill the tea pot! Everything in the cup is superbly good. By far, this is one of the most luxuriously good soup I’ve ever tasted
Seriously, I don’t mind having to drink this as tea everyday.
Trio of Corn Fed Chicken
The trio is made of chicken slices as the base, wok seared szechuan pepper spiced and topped with crispy chicken skin.
The Mandarin Orange Sorbet is served on watermelon ceviche in a martini glass. This is available in the dinner menu and is served in between meal courses (after Trio of Corn Fed Chicken, before the Steamed Dragon Grouper Roll). The sorbet cleanses the palate after having meat and ready your stomach for the next food intake.
The steamed grouper roll with Hong Kong Kai Lan stuffed inside sitting in a pool of hot superior rice wine sauce.
If you see closely, there are wolfberries in the wine sauce which resembles little fishies in a pond. :3
This delicious fragrantful Sun Dried Scallops Glutinous Rice served in Dim Sum basket resembles Lotus Leaf Glutinous Rice (Lo Mai Kai), except that lo mai kai is wrapped with lotus leaf and you need to remove the leaf before eating it. As for this, the rice is wrapped in spinach leaf, which made the whole thing edible.
Unlike lo mai gai, where the rice is sticky and chewy, the sun dried scallops glutinous rice is soft and fluffy! With the scallop sitting in the middle of the rice, making this whole course a delightful dig!
For dessert, we shared this Sweet Sensation of peanut coated butter milk cubic with green tea sauce (front) and passion fruit infused coconut pudding (back).
Lai Po Heen’s lunch menu (5 courses – with everything above except Mandarin Orange Sorbet and a choice between the Trio of corn fed chicken or steamed dragon grouper roll) is priced at RM198++ per person (without wine) and RM228++ per person (with wine), and the dinner menu (7 course – everything above) is priced at RM288++ per person (without wine).
Then, we proceeded to Mandarin Grill which is one floor below Lai Po Heen.
Mandarin Grill is an exclusive and contemporary modern grill restaurant. The restaurant aims to satisfy both local and international gastronomists with a range of classic dishes with a modern twist. Mandarin Grill has a very elegant interior and being said that, I told myself that I must behave elegantly as well. *determined*
Chef Reto Weber
Chef Reto Weber, Chef de Cuisine has worked in various countries across Asia, Australia, Europe and Middle East. This is his second year participating in MIGF. Chef Reto uses all natural culinary creations and emphasizes on perfection in every dish.
Mandarin Grill Wines and Champagnes
Mandarin Grill also offers an extensive selection of champagne and wines from both the old and new world. Lucky for us, we get to pair our meals with some good wines.
Seated with all equipments and tools ready to be used to dig into our meals :3
Tried my best to behave elegantly the entire night, but seeing these horn-looking salt and pepper shakers, I couldn’t resist myself from doing this:
Well, I tried. Teehee..
P/S: No harm was done to the salt and pepper shakers. Also, none of them touched my hair, in case you’re hygiene alert about it.
I don’t normally take bread before meals, especially after having a few courses before at Lai Po Heen, as I would like to leave my tank half empty for the next few dishes that we’re about to enjoy. But, everyone said that these homemade breads are so lovely, I decided to give in and grabbed the smallest bread there is. With the butter spread and sour cream, this bread should come in as a course on its on! It’s really fresh and fluffy! *yums*
From the Mandarin Grill Festival Menu, Rabbit Loin “Perigord” is one of the two choices of appetizer, the other is Coral Dusted Bretagne Scallop.
The Rabbit Loin “Perigord” is served with lamb lettuce, cep mushroom and truffle juice.
There are two choices from the lunch menu for the intermediate course, Doversole Fillet or Duck Leg Confit “a la orange”. The Doversole Fillet is served with salsify, baby spinach and grenobloise sauce. It is said that Doversole is the smallest flathead fish in the world! :O
The Duck Leg Confit “a la orange” comes with braised apple red cabbage and roasted potato dumpling. The duck leg is cooked to perfection. On its own, it tasted well seasoned, tender, juicy and succulent. Then, I tried the duck meat with the braised apple red cabbage which tasted like pickled Chinese cabbage (in a way), also a sip of red wine. Such mixture blends in the mouth and I finished the duck within seconds. No time to update this on Instagram at that moment. This is a citrus-fruity duck for me and enjoyed it over a glass of red wine.
I like how the Chef plays with the food presentation. It’s like having to admire a piece of art (food) before eating them.
The Halibut Fillet “Winemaker Style” is served with white foam, champagne choucroute, pomme chateaux and caramelized grapes. It is said the halibut is the biggest flathead fish while doversole is the smallest flathead fish. So, here you get to taste 2 of the biggest and smallest flathead fish in one full course!
The foam on the fish is actually tasteless. Heehee.. I enjoyed the caramelized grapes as it reminds me of raisins! *nomnom* I find the fish slightly overcooked but still good with all the companions on the plate.
There are two choices for the main course; Halibut Fillet “Winemaker Style” and Pure Black Angus Tenderloin “Saliou”. The Pure Black Angus Tenderloin “Saliou” is served with foie gras, brussel sprouts, smoked celery puree garnish bourguignon.
Don’t you wish you could chomp that thick juicy yet succulent looking piece of meat?!
For dessert, there are two choices of either White & Orange or Chestnut Honey Sentenced Reblochon. Here we have the White and Orange – white sacher sponge, bourbon vanilla bavarois, and orange custard . This serving is actually for 2 persons.
Enjoyed this dessert as I arranged both the white and orange side by side and eat them together. Easily finish them within seconds!
As for the finale, we had this Petit Fours along with coffee and tea. Super love the Macaron <3
Mandarin Grill’s lunch menu RM165++ per person for 2 courses meals and RM195++ per person for 3 courses meals, both without wine. The dinner menu is RM345++ per person (without wine).
This is my first time experiencing MIGF and I’m thrilled! It was my great honor and privilege to be able to taste and experience dining in these two exclusive restaurants in Mandarin Oriental in one evening. Thank you Mandarin Oriental for the great food and hospitality. Also, many thanks to Ken for extending the invite.
For reservations, contact these numbers: +603 2179 8885 (Lai Po Heen); +603 2179 8960 (Mandarin Grill)
Kuala Lumpur City Centre
Telephone: +603 2380 8888