Friday, January 16, 2009

Dim Sum treat for Dogma@Lai Po Heen, Mandarin Oriental KL

Demona: It's hard to sniff out a good restaurant in KL that make good dim sum. You can't put a rating meter for this, it's either cheap-ER (not cheap, don't get me wrong) but gives you an unsatisfactory feeling at the end of your dim sum session , or very expensive, with a vast difference in quality and taste, but you pay through the 'gold' in your nose.

Dogma's bench mark for a good dim sum had been set high since his dim sum days in the restaurants in Singapore. I must say, several places in Singapore do come out with fairly good dim sum, for prices that, before conversion, will only be possible in the kopitiam, non-airconditioned, lesser quality type of dim sum in KL.

I've blogged on this restaurant, I believe several times already. I've been raving for the longest time ever, to treat Dogma at Lai Po Heen.. for.. I don't know, for the fun of treating him with dim sum. Finally, over one lazy Sat afternoon, we took a long drive down to KL city.

Demona: Whether it is my treat, his treat or anyone else's treat... this is my MUST HAVE. Grrrrrr. A 'luong' of char siew "KAI" pao. Lai Po Heen's a halal place, thus no pork dishes are found here. Nevertheless, good job to the chefs who managed to make the chicken meat taste like like the real deal itself.

Demona: Dogma chose this smoked beef dim sum. The smell of the smoked beef slices indeed was powerful, and the tender juiciness of the beef slices brought both aspects into a slurpilicious, yummifying end to each bite! I decided to let him finish the whole bowl, seeing how his facial expression was explaining it all on the deliciousness of the dish.

Demona: This was one of my favourite dishes at Lai Po Heen, deep fried almond slices coated prawns. This dish turned out to be a major disappointment to me. Firstly, the prawns looked and tasted as if they were deep fried with oil that was not fresh, giving a darker brown finish and strong oily taste to it. Secondly, the size of the prawns did look relatively smaller from my previous encounters of these lil' goodies with my aunts back then.

Hard to find big prawns now? Economic downturn? Cost cutting measure? Hmmmm?

Demona: Even the portion of the fried carrot cake dish also seemed smaller this time. The dish was also overly oily, with the taste somewhat similar to the taste of the almond prawns.

Same old oil? Cost cutting measure again? Hmmm?

Demona: The view of the restaurant from where we are. Dogma praised the decoration and ambience of Lai Po Heen, giving him a relaxed spacious feel, with gigantic glass windows allowing the evening sun to shine right through into the restaurant. It was also windy that day, and we could see the leaves of the palm trees, gracefully swirving according to the movement of the wind.
Demona: Total damage: RM 50.60. Our tea was fairly expensive, RM 5 each. But the other dim sum prices were actually fairly similar to the other restaurants around eg: Oriental Pavillion, Marco Polo, Overseas etc. Thus, do not be worried over the fact that the restaurant is inside a 6 star hotel, but the prices are comparable to the others around. Looking at the amount of food that we ate, we could have gluttoned much more with a SGD 50 dim sum meal.

Anyway, this is one fact which we have to face. Currency difference. If the RMs were as strong as SGDs, I believe the food and dining experience in KL will definitely see a major shift in quality, style, ambience, creativity and innovation.

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