Review: Cantonese Dim Sum @ Yen, W Hotel Kuala Lumpur

What’s better than dimsum? Dimsum with a view! 

Discerning diners can have the best of both at the newly opened Yen @ W Hotel Kuala Lumpur, the latest addition to the hotel’s culinary destinations. Reinterpreting traditional favourites with a modern twist, the Cantonese resto presents well-loved dim sum fare such as siew mai and har gaw, infused with creative ingredients like foie gras and black truffle.

20181109_120311

Zoom up to Level 11, where the cosy dining spot welcomes diners with a warm atmosphere,  bathed in ambient golden light. Breaking from traditional reds typical of many Chinese restaurants, Yen boasts a clean and modern design of black and grey, wood and metal. Of particular note are the unique honeycomb-shaped ceiling panels and dining dividers.

20181109_120236

20181109_120346

20181109_120255

 

20181109_122157

The Yen Dim Sum Tasting Set Menu is ideal for those who want to try a bit of everything. The set is priced at RM102 per pax, with a minimum order of two persons. The platter above was prepared by the chef for food review purposes, so patrons can expect a larger portion when they order the actual set.

20181109_122203

Start off with the steamed goodies: Sarcodon Asparagus Prawn Dumplings and Chicken Siew Mai with Black Truffle.

The flavour of asparagus was subtle and refreshing, while the chewy green skin was the perfect texture and thickness with the smattering of fish roe lending everything a salty burst. The chicken siew mai was excellent as well, with bouncy, tender meat and the truffle providing a savoury, earthy aftertaste.

20181109_122230

Fried dimsum lovers will enjoy the Crispy Yam with Foei Gras and Chicken, as well as the Cod Fillet with Chilli Padi Cheese and Spicy Sauce. I particularly liked the latter, with its crunchy exterior enveloping tender, sweet fish on the inside. The chilli padi cheese gave it a spicy, creamy kick without overpowering the dish. Good stuff!

20181109_124201

The Yen daily soup changes according to your visit. During our review, we were treated to a nourishing, lip-smacking bowl of chicken, abalone and various Chinese herbs.

20181109_125346

Carb lovers will be glad to know that the set includes Stewed Ee Fu Noodles, with Minced Prawns, Mushrooms and Dried Ground Flounder. The silky smooth noodles, coated in a rich savoury sauce, slips down the throat almost effortlessly.

20181109_130528

Round off the meal with a refreshing Lemongrass infused Ai-Yu Jelly, Natural Peach Resin and Yuzu Pearls. 

20181109_131115

We ordered extra desserts: these tiny egg tarts, made with egg whites, were gone in seconds.

20181109_131315

The ultimate dessert. Like nothing I’ve ever tasted.

Milk Pudding with Truffle might sound like an unusual combination, but it was a marriage made in heaven. The soft, light sweetness of the creamy pudding paired with the earthy taste of truffle was absolutely divine. If anything, I’d come back to Yen JUST to have this. 11/10 

20181109_132920

20181109_133010

Yen has a seating capacity of 50 in the main dining area, with five private dining rooms that can seat up to 12 pax. Some of the rooms are equipped with their own toilet and pantry.

YEN 

Level 11, W Kuala Lumpur, 121, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Open for lunch and dinner.
Tel: 03-2786-8888

 

You Ai Dim Sum, Bandar Puteri Puchong

Update: This restaurant is permanently closed. 

It’s not often I get up early on a weekend when I can sleep in, but when I do, I like to go for morning dimsum. Bandar Puteri is a hotspot for dimsum restaurants, but the fam and I always go to the same few ones. This time around, Mi and I decided to try one called You Ai DimSum. 

20160507_082147-tile

Back in the days, dimsum sessions started as early as 6am – but obviously with lifestyle changes, this is no longer the case. It was 8am on a Saturday morning, and most of the shops were still empty. They only start getting busy at 10am.

The resto was cosy, air conditioned and clean. Instead of the traditional way of having dimsum on pushcarts, diners put down their orders on a slip and have it served to their table.

20160507_082937-tile

Immediately went for my dimsum must-haves, namely: deep fried shrimp beancurd roll. Served with mayonnaise, the crispy beancurd sheets are wrapped around juicy, succulent prawns. The version here was done well and not too oily.

20160507_083149-tile

The hargau (shrimp dumplings) was a tad disappointing. The flour skin was thin but a bit too sticky and dry for our liking. Shrimp was sizable and juicy though.

20160507_083646-tile

Siew loong bao (Shanghainese meat dumplings) was also disappointing. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. What I did like about it was that they served the dumplings in little aluminium ‘bowls’ which prevented the broth from leaking.

20160507_082932-tile

Mi had some cheese tarts as well as shrimp chee cheong fun (didn’t manage to take a picture coz we were rushing for an appointment and she had already tucked in lol).

The bill came up to RM30.

Overall, quality of food was so-so, but service was really good compared to the nightmare that is Zok Noodle House down the road (especially when their boss isn’t around!). Among the many dimsum restos in Bandar Puteri, I still think that Taiji and Foo Hing is the best.

YOU AI DIM SUM 

31G, Jalan Puteri 2/5, Bandar Puteri Puchong, Selangor, Malaysia.

Opening hours: Mon-Sat 730am – 9pm, public holidays: 730am – 3pm

Dimsum at Foh San, Ipoh

SAM_6712-tile

While in Ipoh, one of the not-to-miss places is Foh San (pronounced as Foo San), a famous dim sum restaurant in the heart of town which has been around for many years. I haven’t been back here since I was a teenager because my parents, both Ipoh-ites, find it too commercialised and overrated.

Much has changed from the shop’s humble beginnings. Today, it is a large double-storey building occupying several shop lots, with a nicely decorated interior and high, airy ceilings.

SAM_6716-tile

Unlike conventional dimsum stalls, Foh San has done away with ladies pushing carts laden with tantalising dimsum, where patrons can pick the dishes they want when it passes by their table. Instead, there are self-service counters where you go up to them and pick up what you want.

SAM_6718-tile

First order of the day was chao lor bak gou, or stir fried spicy radish cakes! This is one of my dad and brother’s favourite dishes and a must-have when we have dimsum. Cooked with crunchy beansprouts, chilli, dried shrimp and topped with chopped spring onions, the radish cakes have a soft and chewy texture. Alternatively there is also the fried version without vegetables.

SAM_6719-tile

Siew mai (pork and shrimp dumplings). They were okay, but I’ve definitely had better.

SAM_6722-tile

The lotus-leaf wrapped glutinous rice was not too shabby. Sticky and savoury, it came stuffed with peanuts, Shiitake mushrooms, chicken and egg yolk at the center. The leaf wrapping gave it a fragrant flavour and smell.

SAM_6726-tile

One of the best dishes that we ordered was the century egg porridge. Not too watery and with just the right consistency, the porridge was flavourful enough without needing to add pepper or soy sauce. The serving was generous for two people, and it was chock full of century eggs and tender pork belly. The pork belly was awesome – chewy, melt-in-the-mouth – it was almost like eating fish.

Not everyone can stomach century eggs, but I love that stuff. It’s basically made by preserving duck, chicken or quail eggs in a mix of clay, ash, salt, quicklime and rice hulls, which turns the egg white a translucent black and the yolk into a creamy center. Some people have said it smells/tastes like ammonia + sulphur. Westerners might find it gross, but for someone who grew up with it, I don’t find it weird at all. Like durian, it’s an acquired taste.

SAM_6725-tile

SAM_6720-tile

For dessert, there was lotus paste mochi…

SAM_6721-tile

Flaky egg tarts,…

SAM_6724-tile

And Ma Lai Gou‘, steamed Chinese sponge cake which is fluffy, light, porous and filled with chopped almonds.

The bill came to just over RM60, which is very cheap considering we ordered quite a lot of food.

So what is the verdict for one of the ‘granddaddies’ of dimsum shops in Ipoh? Some of the dishes were hit and misses, but the overall quality is alright. We went during a quiet time so there weren’t many customers, but I wouldn’t line up for a few hours just to eat it.

FOH SAN DIM SUM RESTAURANT

51, Jalan Leong Sin Nam, 30300 Ipoh, Perak Darul Ridzuan