I have never had a Chinese cuisine meal better than this. Quite a statement to make, and of course I have yet to taste all that the world has to offer; but as a full Chinese individual, with a family that has up brought me under a Chinese food pampered childhood, this, is the best Cantonese meal I have ever had.
I know our photographer would say the same, and from the silence we often came across during the meal, as the group pays all their attention onto the bite that is being gobbled down their throat; I think such statement is not one too big to be made.
What appears to be another fancy Chinese restaurant, with lovely dangling jade shade lamps against a golden background of furniture; we were guided into the private room for our specially cooked up meal of the night.
As our discussion fades out once the starter Barbequed Combination gets served on the table; we know we’re all up for a meal of a lifetime. Consisting of sliced honey barbecued pork, simmered chicken with rose soy sauce, roasted duck and the mouthwatering crispy roasted pork; our photographer and I stared at the piece of pork in awe as we took out a bite from the crunchy skinned meat.
At room temperature or even a little cooler; one would expect the roasted pork to no longer be crispy, to be a bit stale or requires a few more chews before getting it into the system. Yet, this surprising case is that the pork kept itself at its best texture, with just this single piece of bite size literally demanding a trip back for.
Still romanticizing about the barbecued starters which has just been eaten from our plates, Kam Lai Heen builds up the meal next with their braised sea treasure dumplings with a superior stock. As if swimming off an island, the playful little abalone is ridiculously soft and flavorful. Combined with the dumpling of what appears to contain crab meat; the dish is awakening and not at all heavy considering it’s usage of superior stock.
Tainting up the taste buds with a little bit more edge; Wok fried prawns with mango and mixed vegetables was served next. Colorfully appearing, with a lava like sauce glowing against the crunchy texture; the shrimp remains moist within the crispy shell of batter that matches perfectly well with the sour taste of the orange paste.
A dish that the hotel’s representative say she would order if she were to order one dish only was the wok- fried diced beef tenderloin in naming peppercorn and sliced garlic. Tender and very soft, the beef was well marinated and greatly matched with fried slices of garlic on the side that introduces a crunch to the bite.
As one of the mains, Kam Lai Heen welcomes their signature dish on the table – the steamed fillet of silver cod in mini Bamboo basket. Still steaming off as each guest received their serving; the mist that the fish gives off adds to the actual taste of the sea creature, with its meat to its skin both being silky smooth and very easy to swallow.
Last savory dish on the menu was the stir- fried celery, carrots, water chestnuts and mushrooms with macadamia nuts and Fried rice with seafood and pine nuts. A classic in the Cantonese dinner menu, I nibbled off the rice noodle fried tray as everyone went for the rice. Thin and crispy, the macadamia nuts held within also gave off such texture, making the last common dish memorable with its sharp lovely texture.
What’s a complete meal without the dessert? My personal recommendation would definitely be their Rose and ginseng soup with glutinous rice balls. Strong but not too overwhelming with the ginseng flavor, the mouth smells of rose after indulging the dish. The glutinous balls are chewy and perfectly filled with nuts, calming and perfect in rounding off the meal.
Again, what will I say? This is really one of the best meals I have ever had, and definitely requires and worth a trip to Macau for if you have yet to taste the special Cantonese cuisine cooked up by Kam Lai Heen at Grand Lapa Macau.
Kam Lai Heen
956-1110 Avenida da Amizade, Grand Lapa, Macau
Lunch: 11am – 3pm (Wed - Mon)
Dinner: 6 – 10pm (Wed - Mon)
Written by Joyce Tsang