It’s been a while since I can truthfully said that I’ve had EXCELLENT dim sum.
The delicate, delicious and (some) unique dim sum here at Kam Lai Heen, the Chinese restaurant in Grand Lapa was well worth the credit.
The fillings for the dim sum are of the very best quality. Every morsel is big and juicy; plump with ingredients and are perfectly cooked, whether it was steamed or fried.
I had the good fortune to dine here and also to have Chef Jordan, a fellow Malaysian as my lunch companion.
We spoke of Malaysia of course, and we spoke of food.
We lamented of the quality of product and the restrictions of ingredients import into Malaysia; which sadly indirectly stunted its culinary growth when it comes to international cuisine and gourmet cuisine.
No doubt our local homecooked/hawker favourites still rocks the world.
Here in Macau, there are no restrictions whatsoever.
Chef Jordan acknowledges that he works with the best ingredients he can get his hands on, with most sourced locally and hence the quality of the food at Grand Lapa (and even Macau in general).
As the main chef in charge of the coffeehouse (main restaurant of the hotel) Café Bela Vista, he ensures an interesting spread of both local and international cuisine alongside authentic Portuguese and Macanese dishes.
What is most interesting was the Malaysian Food Fair, which Chef Jordan said would certainly appeal to the Muslims and Malaysians, should they miss their home cuisine.
I’ll update more on the Malaysian food promotion once I have the details!
The spread of dim sum I had were some of Kam Lai Heen’s signatures. Chef Jordan proudly recommended the Radish cake, the egg tarts (which is sold at Grand Lapa’s The Cake Shop), the Smoked Mandarin Fish in Shanghai Style, the custard bun and the stuffed green chilli.
Let’s begin with the egg tarts.
I have to admit that I’m not a fan of Portuguese egg tarts in general as I find them greasy (the pastry) and overly sweet (the custard).
Chef Jordan assured me that the egg tarts here does not suffer from any of these undesirable attributes and well, after biting into one, I had to concur with him.
It is better than most that I’ve tried (Lord Stow’s included) and I’ll like to share this little secret with you. 🙂
Looking for egg tarts to buy home?
Head over to Grand Lapa Hotel and buy these from The Cake Shop. While you are at it, you can pick up some sandwiches or enjoy some gorgeous cakes with a cuppa in Café Bela Vista.
Breads, muffins, savoury pastries and sandwiches are available too.
Look for this little corner; The Cake Shop. It is just adjacent with the main restaurant Café Bela Vista.
One of the items tahat caught my eye was this Pork Iberico Rendang Sandwich.
It is pretty obvious that the chef here is a proud Malaysian right? 🙂
The egg tarts are 12 MOP each (RM6). Most egg tarts in the city are about 4 – 6 MOP.
Moving on, here are the other dim sum I sampled for that lunch that day.
I wished I could eat more, for there are over 80 items in the dim sum menu including noodles, rice and meat dishes such as beef, marinated goose wings, roast duck and deep fried pigeon.
However I managed only about 7 dishes, and all were delicious!
Shanghai Meat Dumplings with Crab Roe (MOP 40).
The fillings are juicy as expected but unlike the ones I’ve tried in some “specialty xiao long bao” restaurants in KL which oozes grease with very fatty minced meat, this has a good liquid to meat ratio and delicate flavourful broth.
Smoked Mandarin Fish in Shanghai Style. (42 MOP).
Since these are smoked, I was worried it would be salty but the slight coat of sweet sauce balanced out the overall flavours well.
Steamed Custard Buns.
There’s not much to dislike about this! Even the pao itself is good; soft and fluffy.
Steamed spare ribs with black bean sauce (MOP 43).
I love this “pai kuat” dish but almost every dim sum joint disappoints when it comes to this preparation.
Most outlets serve platters of bones (if you are lucky, maybe with a bit of meat around the edges) or pork cubes with more fat than meat.
This pai kuat at Kam Lai Heen was all tender meat around the ribs and most importantly, without any trace of flour coating the meat.
The gravy is lovely, obviously juices from the pork itself after the steaming process and not just a pool of oil.
Stuffed Green Chilli with Pork and Fish Paste served with Black Bean Sauce . (38 MOP)
Chef is proud of this dish and I can tell why.
As you bit into its crispy filigree shell, it gave way to crunchy sweet, spicy green chilli and then finally the bouncy, tasty paste within.
Soft and Crispy Rice Rolls stuffed with Shrimp Paste. (MOP 55)
I couldn’t stop eating this either.
The fillings are so juicy, yet the skin remained crisp. Chef Jordan had said that they never skimp on ingredients, and thus you get what you pay for.
This is seriously of the best radish cake I’ve ever tasted.
In fact, if you are having dim sum here, consider this a “must-order“! The usual carrot cake can be a bit cakey from the use of flour but this is just the opposite with strips of juicy radish, squid and prawns embedded within its soft structure.
Everything is good that I didn’t have a need for the sauces or chilli paste. But it’s noteworthy that the honey coated walnuts and the sauces were all prepared in-house and are of quality in taste.
If I’m ever in Macau again, Chef Jordan can be assured that I’ll be at Grand Lapa for another meal! 🙂
Kam Lai Heen:
LUNCH: 11am – 3pm (Wed – Mon)
DINNER: 6 – 10pm (Wed – Mon)
PHONE: +853 8793 3821
Grand Lapa Macau
956-1110 Avenida da Amizade, PO Box 3016
General:+853 2856 7888/Reservations:+853 8793 3261
Reminder: Buy some egg tarts home! 🙂
*** This is a media trip with the Macau Government Tourist Office Malaysia and other members of the media from Malaysia.