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.
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:
- Of course, we started off the night with the CNY essential, the Prosperity Yee Sang:
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:
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:
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:
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:
The scallops were fairly sizeable, fragrant and tender enough - tasted nice enveloped in the savoury thick sauce.
- Stir fried Assorted Mushrooms and Asparagus:
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:
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:
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!)
DETAILS OF THIS SPECIAL FESTIVE MENU:
- 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! :)
Li Yen @ Ritz-Carlton Hotel, KL
2nd Floor, Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 168 Jalan Imbi 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Telephone No.: 03-2141 8000
Mon to Sat, 12noon - 2.30pm, 6.30pm - 10.30pm
Sunday, 10.30am - 2.30pm, 6.30pm - 10.30pm
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TAGS: Food, Blog, Weblog, Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Restaurant, Chinese, Bukit Bintang, Ritz Carlton Hotel, Reunion Dinner, CNY Set Menu, Chinese New Year