Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dim Sum at Tai Zi Heen, Prince Hotel

According to my aunt and also the Prince Hotel website, Tai Zi Heen is an award-winning restaurant famous for dim sum and other Chinese cuisine. Since the whole family was around that weekend, we decided to give this place a try. After eating at Zing, it would be difficult to match the standards, I'd think.

When we reached the hotel, I took some time to snap pictures of the surroundings. The place was very well-maintained with a classy style exuded by the decor. Of course, we could not expect anything less from a 5-star hotel.

Staircase to Tai Zi Heen

Even though it was a weekend, the restaurant was quiet, with just a couple of other tables occupied. This gave an indication of how expensive the restaurant was, I suppose. Meticulous service, great environment and no need for standing by to wait for vacant tables really come with a price eh?

Nice view

The menu was very informative, detailing exactly what you would expect for each type of dim sum. Sure, the prices were on the steep side too, with most dishes costing at least above RM10. *gasp*


Table settings

I was intrigued by this cute and heavy dragon ornament to hold the chopsticks.

Majestic dragon as chopstick holder

One of the distinctive features of Tai Zi Heen and of Prince hotel was the abundance of fresh flowers everywhere you go. I could spot at least 3 large vases from our table alone, not mentioning those hidden from my sight. The best part of it was, when you walked past the flowers, you could actually smell the very strong and pleasant scent of flowers. I never thought fresh flowers could be this pleasant-smelling. Now, I wouldn't mind to stop and smell the flowers whenever I'm here. :)

Fresh flowers

Now, moving on to serious stuff, Food. Started off with porridge and boy, was it good! I think porridge was one of the 'cheapest' at RM8 per bowl, but definitely it beat the one from Zing hands down. There was just something special with this porridge, extra smooth and delicious. Sufficient amount of century eggs and chicken meat, I couldn't have enough of it even after finishing a bowl. Carrot cakes looked appetizing, but I think I've tasted better.

Porridge and carrot cake

Now, one thing the people at Tai Zi Heen must take note. Being a restaurant in a 5-star hotel that charges exorbitantly for the food, they simply fail when it comes to siew long pau (meat dumplings)! The most important feature of a siew long pau is the firmness of the skin. It has to be such that it will never tear with gentle handling of these pieces using chopsticks. As most of you already know very well, the specialty of the siew long pau lies in the broth that is enclosed within the skin. The feeling is such that when you take a bite into the siew long pau, it will give you an explosion within your mouth, with the broth flowing out generously. Now, pray tell, how would you get that feeling if the skin is already torn before you put it in your mouth? It would end up like eating a normal dried meat dumpling (siew mai). Anyway, we gave Tai Zi Heen a few chances, we really did. First it was my brother, then it was me, and followed by my grandma. Whenever we picked up the siew long pau gingerly, the skin just stuck to the base of the carrier and would tear in front of our very eyes. *sigh* On the other hand, the shrimp dumplings were GOOD. Exceptionally fresh and succulent prawns with nicely wrapped skin. A tinge of transparency from the skin provided the growing anticipation of the wonderful fillings within.

Meat dumplings (siew long pau) and shrimp dumplings (har kow)

One of the Hong Kong specialty is the chee cheong fun. There are many variations to chee cheong fun, but the way HK people do it would be to have stuffings within each piece, either prawns or meat. If you look at the picture, each piece of the chee cheong fun is stuffed with something. Every single one! It is unlike the other chee cheong fun you would find, where only a selected few contains fillings inside, so as to maintain a low cost. Well, not here in Tai Zi Heen! Everyone gets a fair share!

HK Chee cheong fun

A special dish I managed to try was chicken siew mai with scallops on top. As expected, the scallops were fresh and the combination of chicken and seafood was perfect. The next dish has orange-coloured skin (apparently coloured from carrots) with a blend of shrimp and vegetables inside. Just so you know, Tai Zi Heen claimed that they never use any artificial flavouring or colouring at all in their food.

Scallop siew mai & some kind of shrimp + vege dumpling

Char siew pao (in this case made from chicken meat) was delicious and fluffy, albeit almost meatless. *LOL* Seriously, I think it is the most basic dish for a dim sum restaurant and it should never go wrong. The next dish was fried shrimp rolls, with the expected fresh shrimps again.

Char siew pao & shrimp rolls

Now the following dish must deserve special mention because I loved it to bits! It's also another form of fried shrimp rolls, only that this time, it's not in a roll, but in a flat cake form. The skin used here was also different from that of shrimp rolls, and it's thicker and crispier. Couple that with juicy shrimps, voila! Perfection.

Fried shrimp wrap

Spring rolls were nothing to shout about. Probably the taste became bland in comparison to above fried shrimp wrap. *LOL* The glutinous rice with chicken and mushroom definitely looks appealing to the eyes. It was very flavourful without the rice being too sticky.

Spring rolls & glutinous rice

We also ordered yam meat dumplings. Basically, the skin was made from yam paste, with the fillings of meat and gravy, and the whole combination fried to perfect crispiness before being served. For people who love yam, this would be the dish for you! Moving on the char siew sou, which is my all-time favourite. Here, they sprinkled generous amount of chicken floss above each piece, which made it all the more exquisite and tasty. Although the pastry skin was slightly on the thick side, the delicious meat filling and chicken floss more than made up for it, in my humble opinion. :)


Yam meat dumpling (
wu tao kou) & char siew sou

Dessert time! Never should one miss the egg tarts! In Tai Zi Heen, they only had the mini version of egg tarts, but they were good nonetheless! Especially when they're served right off the oven. Crispy soft skin which crumbled with your gentle bite, and the fragrant egg paste that almost melted in your mouth. Don't believe it if anyone ever tells you the egg tarts in Tai Zi Heen are not good. Try them for yourself before judging!

Mini egg tarts

Finally, there was this special dessert which was recommended by the waitress herself. I remember very well that it cost RM15. Anyway, it was a combination of mango, mango puree, sago, pomelo and a scoop of ice-cream. Overall, the combination was pretty well-balanced. For instance, the sweetness of mango and ice-cream was balanced out by the slight bitterness of the pomelo. Fabulous for people who are not into very sweet stuff.

Mango puree + ice-cream + mango + sago + pomelo

Prince Hotel & Residence Kuala Lumpur
Opposite Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
No.4 Jalan Conlay,
50450 Kuala Lumpur,
TEL: +603-2170 8888
FAX: +603-2170 8999


soo sean said...

That is a very common hong kong dessert with a very nice chinese name, 杨枝甘露. But I do not know what the English name for it.

cc of Quaint Melody said...

Now I have to go eat dimsum this weekend! :P

Happy weekend!

CK Lam said...

Everything would be perfect if not for the torn siew long pau.

But this is definitely a nice and comfortable place for dimsum which are nicely presented...just like Shang Palace back in Penang.

Everyday Healy said...

Oh! you make me think of Tim Sum. Luckily, tomorrow is weekend. Can go for a jog, Then, again tim sum time! hehe...

MisSmall said...

Woman! You're making me hungry! I'm drooling over your pictures!

iamthewitch said...

soo sean: Hmm, too bad I can't read Chinese! :(

cc: Hope you had a nice dim sum for the weekend already! :)

ck lam: Yea, I agree with you. Shang palace in Shangrila hotel?

everyday healy: Hehe... Jogging before eating definitely will make you feel less guilty. :))

missmall: Haha go ahead and indulge my dear! :)

zewt said...

i had lunch... but now i am hungry again....

iamthewitch said...

I know how you feel, because I felt it before... sigh