Saturday, January 15, 2011

Extravagant 8 Menu @ Li Yen, Ritz-Carlton Hotel KL

A CNY dinner filled with lucky numbers....

Hello!.... :)
Just to give you a head's up, this is an invited review:
(Here are my usual disclaimers)
1) I have not been paid to write this, but neither have I paid a cent for my meal,
2) I will still be as objective as possible re. the food/ restaurant, and
3) If I go back to the restaurant incognito and find that the food/service is horribly different from this experience, I will amend my ratings here...

I'd never been to the Ritz-Carlton KL Hotel & Residences before... so, I was thrilled to accept an invitation from Mr Timothy Johnson of Standard Charted, to sample their upcoming Extravagant 8 Menu at Li Yen (the Chinese restaurant on the 2nd floor of the Ritz.
Enter the dragon! (Classy touches everywhere)....

Walking into the hotel, just off the bustling Bukit Bintang area, I was charmed by its old world, classic European feel... and as for Li Yen, it had a sophisticated but strongly Asian ambience, which I found really nice:
Looking into Li Yen....

- Of course, we started off the night with the CNY essential, the Prosperity Yee Sang:
Toss for prosperity and happiness :)....

Overall it was nice, with the fresh slices of raw salmon mixing well with the crunchy, sweet, juicy and tart medley of vegetables and fruits.

- Next, we had the Double Boiled Assorted Seafood Soup with Bamboo Piths:
Great soul food on a cold day....

The heartwarming soup was clear but slightly "heavy" in texture from lovingly stewed seafood (like prawns and fish) melding together into a bowl of piping hot umami-ness.

- We also had Peking Duck with Steamed Sesame Pancakes, which I haven't had for a while:
Perfectly roasted duck....


The attentive staff quickly sliced up the fowl and prepared the little pancakes in the traditional way - filled with a generous strip of the skin (crispy and not too fat) with a swab of sweet dark sauce.
(The duck meat is saved for a later dish - I think they mentioned it can either be fried with noodles or rice)

- Also served that night was the Steamed Patin Fish with Superior Soya Sauce:
Good protein....

My serving of fish....

The patin fish flesh was fresh and fairly tender, accentuated with the soya sauce base.
(Would have loved to have doused it over some white rice)

- Next, we had the Braised Dried Scallops with Dried Oysters and Sea Moss:
My serving of the scallopes....

The scallops were fairly sizeable, fragrant and tender enough - tasted nice enveloped in the savoury thick sauce.

- Stir fried Assorted Mushrooms and Asparagus:
Vegetables are good for you!....

This was the simplest dish that night, a good balance against the other richer dishes - the asparagus stalks were tender and the mix of mushrooms were fresh, simply stirfried with garlic.

- Hokkien fried rice:
My bowl of rice....

This felt very wholesome in a homecooked manner - fragrant cubes of chicken, duck meat fried with rice and doused with a slightly thick and savoury sauce. :)

- Lastly, lucky dinner course number 8: We had the Deep fried Yam with Lunar Cakes:
Crispy golden brown parcels of yam....

They were perfectly crispy, not too sweet (nice natural flavours from the yam), not starchy (yay!) and with a slightly sticky bite from the nian gao.

Overall, I enjoyed the meal but found that the food there was more on the delicate flavour spectrum, as the very VERY experienced chef Leung Kwai Hong** says that he puts emphasis on preparing quality ingredients in a healthier manner (eg. less oil, less salt, etc).
(** Hailing from the food paradise Hong Kong, he is > 60 years old and said that he has been cooking / involved in F&B since he was 12!)

- Only for Standard Charted credit card holders
- Available from 20 January 2011 till 17 February 2011
(Note: They have a "black out" date on 2 Feb, when this promotion doesn't apply)
- Reservation required
- Price: RM 888++ per table of 8 people

Last but not least - SHOUT OUT:
- Thanks to Oliver of Ritz-Carlton Hotel for hosting us that night,
- Thanks to Mr. Tim of Standard Charted for inviting us,
- Thanks to Meena for extending the invite,
- and to all the others there that night *HUGS*: Nice meeting you all - always fun to meet new friends who love food! :)

Summary Sheet:

Li Yen @ Ritz-Carlton Hotel, KL

2nd Floor, Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 168 Jalan Imbi 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Telephone No.: 03-2141 8000
Opening Hours:
Mon to Sat, 12noon - 2.30pm, 6.30pm - 10.30pm
Sunday, 10.30am - 2.30pm, 6.30pm - 10.30pm
Parking: OK


- I am the Witch
- KY Eats
- Pillow Talk with Bangsar-bABe
- Food Point of Interest
- lionel ong's phlog

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  1. gasp! since i stalk your blog, i know that this is your SECOND yee sang for this year already! and it's barely mid-january! sniff sniff, i still haven't had my first yet for 2011.
    less oil and less salt would probably please plenty of families! i guess li yen is a good option for health-conscious diners who still want to celebrate with great food! :D

  2. Gasp! If what Sean says is true, you're already two yee sangs ahead of me this year! :P

  3. to sean:
    lol. What a great friendship based on mutual stalking :p
    (yeah, 2 yee sangs already. Actually 3 including one that I haven't posted on yet...)

    to life for beginners:
    Well I'm actually ahead by 3! So u better start lou-ing soon if u want to catch up. :p

  4. Like Sean, I've been yee sang-less until Friday when I had the most amazing yee sang ever!Envious of you getting to eat yee sang so many times already - think of all the amazing prosperity you will get with all those well wishes.

  5. to boo_licious:
    I wish the number of yee sangs eaten was directly correlated to the amount of prosperity! :)
    (*wistful sigh*)

    Ooooh. Where did you have your amazing yee sang? Do share, please.... :) :)

  6. Need numbers ma. We were a threesome for dins tonite - Devil, Diva and me - but we figured we'd rather stuff ourselves with real food than just tossing some salad. :P

  7. to Life for Beginners:
    Well, if we make it a foursome instead then is it enough numbers? ;P

  8. Hehe. This dinner will go down as the one where I didn't taste anything thanks to the flu! Thanks for describing the food to me. You're the best!

  9. to Lyrical Lemongrass:
    My pleasure, lovely Lemongrass.

    I was hoping by some power of suggestion, I could compel your tastebuds to work! lol :)
    (Poor you on that night! Am so glad you are feeling better now)

  10. A 60 yr old chef?
    Sounds like my kind of chef! Experienced and wise (food-wise la ;p


Appreciate your thoughts, opinions and feedback. :)