Da Du Fi Pavilion Damansara Heights

Da Fu Di – Pavilion Damansara Heights

Da Fu Di – Chinese Restaurant, Pavilion Damansara Heights

Words: Jacob Weber
Photos: Peter Tan

Da Fu Di was hitting the headlines before it even opened its doors back in January.

The red hoardings on the top floor of Pavilion Damansara Heights Mall announced the arrival of the Chairman Group. They run The Chairman Restaurant, a one-star Michelin establishment in Hong Kong crowned Asia’s Best Restaurant in 2021. (The same year, it became the first Chinese restaurant to break into the world’s top 10.)

Foodies in the know were salivating. Was Danny Yip, legendary owner-chef of The Chairman, about to bring his brand of pioneering Cantonese cuisine to Kuala Lumpur?

Well … not quite.

After much hullabaloo on social media and statements from both sides of the South China Sea, it appears it was a curious case of mistaken identity.

Or was it?

It turns out that Arthur Chan, one of the founders of The Chairman Hong Kong, is, in fact, a partner and advisor to the Chairman Group Malaysia. 

Confused? Most people were. 

Perhaps to avoid any more confusion, The Chairman (Malaysia) is now known as Da Fu Di, which means “big mansion” in Chinese.

And mistaken identity or not, we can confirm that there is no mistaking the quality of its food, the craftsmanship in the cooking, or the comfort of the restaurant.

Da Fu Di is a tastefully opulent, intimate space with around 140 diners and five private rooms. It’s ornate but not overpowering, blending classic and contemporary Oriental styles. Huge traditional artworks, almost tapestry-like, bring a calming energy to balance out the marble-look floors and gold accents.

Like its Hong Kong cousin — I think I can say that without getting sued — Da Fu Di is all about Chinese fine dining. The menu is a tribute to traditional Chinese cuisine, and the mission is to showcase that diverse and delicious heritage at its best. Meticulous attention to detail, the finest ingredients, and patience in preparation (some dishes involve some seriously slow cooking techniques) are to the fore. 

And like The Chairman Hong Kong, Da Fu Di does all this without any added MSG, sugar or salt — and we’re delighted to see that controversial items such as bird’s nest and shark’s fin soup are not anywhere to be seen on the menu. 

Da Du Fi Pavilion Damansara Heights pretty dining are with blue chairs and red booths
Da Fu Di
Da Du Fi Pavilion Damansara Heights circular dining table with blue chairs and red velvet booth
Fine Dining Chinese Restaurant KL
Da Du Fi Pavilion Damansara Heights Private Dining Room with round table and lazy susan
Private Dining Area

Chinese Fine Dining at Da Fu Di

We get off to a pretty traditional start with a cup of steaming Chinese tea: Tie Guan Yin (RM16), an oolong from Fujian Province. It’s deep and, smooth and complex, with a natural sweetness and floral aroma.

The Pickled Midsummer Ginger Root Served with Century Egg (RM18) is playfully presented, with fresh red chilli slices forming little butterflies on the plates. The ginger root is fresh and fiery, and the rich and gelatinous century egg is on the right side of pungent.

Da Du Fi Pavilion Damansara Heights Pickled Midsummer Ginger Root Served with Century Egg on white plate
Pickled Midsummer Ginger Root Served with Century Egg

The Crispy Lychee Balls (RM29/2, RM36/3) also look pretty funky, perching on a shot glass on a blue plate adorned with very bright sauces. There’s substance behind the style, as it turns out that these aren’t lychee balls at all — but prawns deep fried in a way that makes the coating look like the bumpy-skinned fruit. The prawn meat is fresh and juicy, with a little cheesy surprise in the centre.

Da Du Fi Pavilion Damansara Heights Crispy Lychee Balls on blue plate
Da Du Fi Pavilion Damansara Heights – Crispy Lychee Balls

The Dragon Tiger Grouper (Fillet RM32/pax, min. 2; Whole RM300) is a fresh and flaky fish from Malaysia served with steamed green vegetables and a pleasantly light soy sauce cooked with Shaoxing rice wine. The fish has been cleverly steamed with crab meat to give it a subtle extra sweetness, and a little egg white on top completes the picture.

Da Du Fi Pavilion Damansara Heights Dragon Tiger Grouper
Dragon Tiger Grouper

One of my favourites is the Dong Po Rou (Braised Pork Belly in Soy Sauce) (RM18/pax; min. 2 pax). It’s a deliciously rich and flavourful dish of succulent local pork drenched in more excellent soy sauce with rice wine. It’s fatty and tender in all the right places and goes down a treat.

Fine Dining Chinese Restaurant KL Dong Po Rou
Dong Po Rou

The Double-boiled Abalone and Chicken Soup (RM78/paxl min. 2 pax) is equally rich and intense in flavour; a deeply comforting and flavourful bowl of traditional soup well-seasoned with lots of herbs and natural flavours from the chicken meat. There is no added sugar or salt here — but there is some pork in the broth for extra depth.

Fine Dining Chinese Restaurant KL Double-boiled Abalone and Chicken Soup
Double-boiled Abalone and Chicken Soup

The Stir Fried Fish-flavoured Eggplant (RM38/pax; min. 2 pax) is a Sichuan speciality, and it’s excellent. Eggplant in sweet and savoury sauces and seasonings is stir-fried, served in a clay pot for extra flavour, and topped with minced pork for a little extra treat. 

Fine Dining Chinese Restaurant KL Stir-fried Fish-flavoured Eggplant
Stir-fried Fish-flavoured Eggplant

Pine Nut and Corn Fried Rice with Scrambled Eggs (RM15/portion) is a high-quality side dish with a lovely texture and crunchy finish from the nuts. We’d recommend a couple of servings to spin around on the Lazy Susan. (What’s Lazy Susan in Chinese?)

Fine Dining Chinese Restaurant KL Pine Nut and Corn Fried Rice with Scrambled Eggs
Pine Nut and Corn Fried Rice with Scrambled Eggs

(The rotating tray at the centre of the table, for those who still don’t know what I’m talking about.)

The Braised King Duck (RM188) is one of those dishes I was referring to when I mentioned slow cooking techniques. This takes a minimum of eight hours to prepare; a dark, rich and complex sauce is a welcome result of the signature duck braising process, and then slowly cooked back into the meat alongside 18 herbs and spices. (Colonel Sanders, eat your heart out.)

This ain’t just finger-lickin’ good — it’s lip-smackingly excellent. The fatty and tender duck meat is deeply flavoured with the sauce, and the quality of the cooking shows in every juicy bite.

Fine Dining Chinese Restaurant KL Braised King Duck
Braised King Duck

We’ve been washing all of this down with a delicious white wine: a Barton & Guestier Chablis Chardonnay (RM265/bottle). B&G is a Bordeaux winehouse founded in 1725 and has done wonderful things for the world of wine ever since — literally, as their labels can now be found in 130 countries. This tart and fruity Chardonnay is on the dry and acidic side, which complements the rich flavours on the table perfectly. Pear, green apple and plenty of citrus notes are present, grounded with some minerality in every medium-bodied sip. 

Da Du Fi Pavilion Damansara Heights Barton & Guestier Chablis
Barton & Guestier Chablis

First up for dessert is the Ice Blended Green Willow (RM15/pax; min. 2 pax) — a curious concoction of blended vegetables with pineapple, plum sugar and cubed fruits for a welcome sweetness against the earthy greenery.

Fine Dining Chinese Restaurant KL Ice Blended Green Willow
Ice Blended Green Willow

The Osmanthus Cake (RM18) is actually jelly, and very good jelly it is, too. It’s made fresh every day, and you can tell. There’s a natural sweetness and fragrance that just wouldn’t keep overnight. It’s a traditional dessert that’s the perfect finish to our classical Chinese culinary journey.

Fine Dining Chinese Restaurant KL Osmanthus Cake on decorated plate
Osmanthus Cake
Da Fu Di Menu and Prices - Executive Tasting Plate
Da Fu Di Menu and Prices – Executive Tasting Plate
Da Fu Di Menu and Prices
Da Fu Di Menu and Prices – Directorial Gourmet Tasting

Reasons to visit Da Fu Di: excellent Chinese fine dining that prioritises both quality and sustainability through traditional techniques and locally sourced ingredients; varied menu that celebrates the eight major Chinese cuisines, with a nod to modern sensibilities such as avoiding unnecessary MSG, sugar and salt; exceptional cooking skill on display, with expertly and thoughtfully prepared dishes; luxurious but unpretentious ambience — elegant, not excessive! Also, three cheers for refusing to sell shark fin!

Da Fu Di
Lot 5.26.00, Level 5, Pavilion Damansara Heights
Bukit Damansara, 50490 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
+6 012 342 7028
*private dining rooms available

Da Fu Di Opening Hours
Daily 11 am-3 pm & 6-10 pm

Find more Damansara restaurants here and the latest happenings around Malaysia here and here.


  1. Oh, looks so yummy.

  2. This food is so beautifully served up it seems a shame to spoil the artistic effort but I bet they
    taste as good as they look.

    Cheers Diane

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