In the dining scene it’s always a good sign when you see a full house and locals lining up to get into a restaurant. This is such the case for Lai Po Heen at the Mandarin Oriental. Hungry families are happy to line up for some of the best dim sum and Cantonese dishes in town. The ambience is lively with upbeat background music, buzzing chatter from diners and sprightly entertainment provided by chefs tossing, turning, flipping and smiling for customers from the glass-walled kitchen. For someone who is new to the wonders of dim sum and having a limited experience with Cantonese cuisine the staff are extremely helpful. Each take their time in answering questions, making suggestions and describing ingredients. I graciously took recommendations and found success in every plate presented. My mouth merrily capitulated to an exhilarating roller coaster ride of texture adventures. Crunchy, chewy, creamy, smooth, course, flaky, velvety, moist, succulent – a contrast was found in every dish. Take the popular dim sum item, Crispy Prawn and Squid Dumplings Coated with Almond Flakes, for example. Brittle almond flakes encrust a dense and succulent prawn, topped with a moist sweet chili sauce giving a depth of structure that allows a good few chews before completely disappearing in the mouth. The Crispy Yam Dumplings Filled with Minced Chicken and Shrimps are another texture sensation – a delicate lace like fried encasement surrounds a thicker glutinous inner lining filled with a juicy wet protein centre. My whole mouth was confused (in a very pleasant way) by a deliberate composition of unexpected textures of a number of selections from the dim sum menu. Other highlights are found in Lai Po Heen’s Signature Dishes. Two of memorable note are, the Beef TENDERLoin with Black Pepper, and the Tiger Prawns in a Lemongrass Nonya Style Sauce – lightly fried local prawns in a tangy aromaticly addictive lemon grass sauce – with head Chef Ricky heralding from a long line of culinarians from Malacca this is one outstanding dish not to be missed. While the menu might not be in everyone’s ideal price range, Elite card holders receive 50% off when dining in two making a delicious lunch more than reasonably affordable .
Lai Po Heen
+6 03 2179 8881