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If one is ever in the vicinity of the Petronas Twin Towers and is overcome by cravings for a hearty Cantonese spread, then Lai Po Heen is a top-of-mind restaurant that never disappoints. The restaurant is tucked away on the first floor of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, making it an ideal spot for a family feast or an important lunch meeting. The tastefully decked-out restaurant, replete with attention-grabbing chandeliers and parquet floorings, caters to different privacy levels from the common dining area to the private rooms and even a little corner overlooking Suria KLCC.
Lai Po Heen boasts an extensive menu underlined by all things Cantonese and for frequent diners, the double-boiled tonic soup served in a traditional ‘kung fu pot’ – simmered fish fillet with spicy Szechuan pepper oil served in claypot – or the Lai Po Heen wok-fried cubed beef tenderloin tossed in black pepper and onions are perennial favourites.
The imperial hot and sour soup with prawns is a remarkable way to start this Cantonese feast. The fiery broth contains chockfull of prawns and gets two thumbs up for flavour and fire.
One cannot come to Lai Po Heen and not order the crispy fried scallops with salted egg yolk and cereal, for the big, fat, juicy scallops are just too irresistible. And when coated with a strong flavour profile courtesy of the salted egg yolk and crunchy cereal, the sea treasures are bursting with taste.
Also worth trying are the LPH special seafood fried rice with spicy scallop sauce, the fried omega rich grouper fillet with pomelo and Thai plum sauce, and ‘Causeway Bay style’ wok-fried string beans with minced chicken, dried shrimps and garlic hot bean paste.
Some come to Lai Po Heen just for their durian pancakes and it’s really a celebrated fact that this restaurant serves the best version of this pancake. If you love the king of the fruits, you will be back for the LPH Signature “D 24” Durian Pancakes again and again.
Lai Po Heen has an extensive drink menu to satisfy every type of thirsty customer. While it does not have a full wine list, its vino offering is more than sufficient if you want a red or white to go with your meal. It has a wide variety of tea, including the fragrant jasmine green tea, chrysanthemum tea and pu’er tea.
Service is faultless from start to finish. Staff add a personal touch to the service by greeting guests by name as they enter the restaurant. Wait staff are efficient in serving, clearing the dishes and filling the glasses; all without being intrusive.
Appetisers are priced between RM12 (traditional spice-braised ‘Shan dong’ peanuts in claypot) and RM198 (Lai Po Heen’s appetiser platter, which includes four appetisers of your choice, serves four pax).
The soup starts from RM33 (sweet corn soup with millet seed, wild mushrooms and spinach) and can go up all the way to RM258 (double-boiled abalone soup with seasonal dried deluxe seafood and baby cabbage). Treasured ingredients are the driving factor for price here.
Live and fresh seafood is priced according to market price but a wide variety of fish fillet dishes are also available for a lower price while vegetables are mostly priced at about RM46.
For more value-for-money dining experiences, the restaurant has thrown in set menu priced at RM150 onwards.