Review: A Lunar New Year Feast @ Li-Yen, The Ritz Carlton Kuala Lumpur

Famed for its award-winning Cantonese cuisine, Li-Yen at The Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur welcomes the Lunar New Year with a specially designed menu by Executive Chinese Chef Leung Kwai Hong, featuring the resto’s signature dishes alongside a seasonal selection of dainty Dim Sum. Was privileged to be invited to a preview tasting of some of the dishes they have on offer!


Kicking off with a must-have at CNY luncheons/dinners – yee sang! Li Yen’s Prosperity Yee Sang comes with the option to include tuna, abalone or salmon. We were served the latter, made into two beautiful rosettes. Presentation was exquisite, with the different ingredients – purple cabbage, red and yellow pickled vegetables – forming a colourful tapestry on the plate. When it was time for the tossing, restaurant staff poured the crunchy flour snacks on top, drizzled a generous amount of sweet and sour plum sauce and a battle of chopsticks ensued. Lou hei! 


Carnage – and a wonderful mix of salty, sour and sweet flavours with different textures.


For starters, a trio of delicate dimsum: steamed siew mai with crab meat, steamed oyster with sea moss and deep-fried meat and minced prawn roll. My favourite was the siew mai, which had a smattering of salty crab roe on top. The thin, sweet egg wrapper perfectly encased a mix of crab and meat, perfectly seasoned. Also commendable was the roll, which was crisp and slightly crumbly on the outside without being greasy.


Stir-Fried Prawns with Chili Paste came with green beans for added crunch.  Personally, I find the sauce lacking in spiciness and a bit too sweet/starchy for my liking, but the prawns were fresh and juicy nonetheless.


Steamed Bamboo Fish with Sliced Chinese Ham had fresh, thin slices of seafood infused with the natural fragrance and sweetness of bamboo, as well as bokchoy swimming in a clear sweet broth, balancing out the saltiness of the cured ham.


Li Yen’s Special Roasted Chicken was a crowd favourite: juicy meat cooked to perfection, with a thin crisp skin that crackled with each bite.


A traditional Chinese New Year favourite is the Steamed Clay Pot Rice with Chinese Waxed Meat. Comprising various waxed meat cuts, such as pork liver, blood sausage, Chinese sausage and duck, it’s a rare treat to have this dish beyond the festive season! The Chinese sausages are specially flown in from Hong Kong, and the entire dish takes up to 45 minutes to prepare in order for the flavours of the vegetables, herbs and meat to fully infuse into the rice.


After the filling meal, we wound down with something soupy, namely the Double Boiled Chicken Soup with Abalone and Mushrooms. 


Huge, meaty piece of abalone, and the soup was lip-smacking-ly good. Could really taste the richness which can only be fully brought out by long hours of slow double boiling.


Last but not least, wrapped up the meal on a sweet note with Black Sesame Dumplings in Red Bean Soup. I liked that it was not too sweet, and the dumpling had a lovely, chewy texture that contrasted well with the smooth mix of black sesame paste on the inside.

Li Yen is the perfect place to usher in the New Year and the flavours are well suited for all the family, since the dishes are very traditional and authentic.

There are three specially curated menus for lunch, so expect other dishes such as Chicken Simmered in Bouillon, Roast Duck, Deep Fried Glutinous Rice with Yam and Stir-Fried Prawns with Haw Sauce. Dinner will see a delectable selection of culinary offerings, including Braised Soup with Shredded Superior Fish Maw, Bird’s Nest and Minced Chicken, Sea Cucumber and Dried Scallop, Steamed Dragon Tiger Grouper with Cordyceps Flower, Deep Fried Prawns with Salt and Pepper, Braised Pork Knuckle with Dried Oysters and Sea Moss, as well as Barbecued Crispy Suckling Pig. For dessert, there is Fried Nian Gao with Deep Fried Sesame Balls, Double-Boiled Red Bean Cream with Glutinous Rice Balls, and Double Boiled Glutinous Rice Balls in Almond Cream.

The menu is available from 15 – 18 February 2018. Lunch set menus are priced from RM1,388 nett per table of 10 persons, while dinner set menus are priced from RM1,888 nett per table of 10 persons. Guests who wish to enjoy these menus before the stipulated period can do so by advance notice.

For reservations and enquiries, call +60 3 2782 9122 or send an email to


Level Two, Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur, 168, Jalan Imbi, Pudu, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

*I was invited to this review session as a member of the media. Views here are entirely my own.


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