Li Feng is a new restaurant that just opened recently at Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Jakarta. The restaurant features traditional Cantonese cuisines served with a slight modern twist.
Many of the menus served at Li Feng was personally hand-crafted by the famous Chef Fei, who owns a famous and top-tiered Chinese restaurant at Mandarin Oriental Guang Zhou – Jiang.
I was invited to a food tasting session with Li Feng, and it was truly one of the best food tasting session I’ve ever had!
Li Feng boasts a classic and elegant concept, originating from the time during spice trading and voyage to and from China and Batavia (old Jakarta), thus this explains the many sea-related ornaments at the restaurant.
Li Feng meant ‘Beauty in Abundance’. This is a very suitable name as the chef believes that food should not only taste good, but also looks good. All the chef and management’s effort was very much apparent in the presentation and execution of every dish laid out – eating delicious food with unforgettable experience.
Crispy Fish Skin with Salted Egg Yolk – IDR68,000++
For all salted egg cuisine lovers, this is a MUST TRY item. For all those who neither like nor dislike salted egg yolk, you MUST try this too!
The chef uses salmon skin that was deep-fried to perfection with salted egg yolk. This was simply PERFECT! The texture from the crunchy fish skin was satisfying, the salted egg yolk used was perfectly blended, and it was a bit spicy to give your taste buds a little kick. It was very addictive!
Although this was the first menu to come before the long list of other awesome menus, it doesn’t fail to stand-out and leave a long-lasting memory because several foodies stated that it was their favorite dish at the end of the meal!
Spicy XO Scallop Dumpling – IDR32,000++ || Squid Ink, Seafood, and Fish Roe Dumpling – IDR32,000++
The normal portion of these dumplings would be 3 pieces, but for food tasting purposes, we were given one each to try.
Both dumplings were perfectly executed – thin elastic skin with thick, fresh, juicy, and well-seasoned filling!
Imperial Kung Fu Soup – IDR148,000++
Aside from the unique presentation, this was undoubtedly (without the lisghtest bit of exaggeration) one of the most memorable soup I’ve ever had in a Chinese restaurant!
The soup was made out of chicken broth – very mild, pure and flavorful! Inside would be the stewed chicken and quail with Matsutake, Cordyceps Flower, and Dried Longan. They say that this soup was stewed for more than 4 hours long, that explains why the chicken was so tender that i could literally chew and eat the bone!
The tremendous amount of effort put into this ‘simple’ soup was definitely worth it!
Swan Dumpling with Black Pepper Duck meat – IDR89,000/6pcs
Here comes the highlight of the meal, the ‘Belle’ of the table – the BLACK SWAN DUMPLINGS! It has been a true hype recently in lots of social media, and I was so excited to try and personally experience the execution of this dish!
Truly beautiful, isn’t it? If you come over here, please order this even though it is just for the experience!
Personally, I would prefer using chicken or pork instead of duck meat, but it was still very fresh and flavorful in overall. The skin was made out of puff pastry – very soft yet crunchy, really like it!
Sauteed Beef with Sze Chuan Pepper and Chili – IDR378,000++
I am never a big fan of sauteed beef in Chinese restaurants, mainly because I am not a big fan of beef (if not cooked properly, the smell of beef would be too unbearable for my taste), or it is simply too ‘main-stream’.
However, this dish in particular successfully changed my general view of ‘beef’! The beef used was diced Angus beef. Believe me, it was VERY TENDER and thick! Cooked at medium-well, the seasoning was just PERFECT! Not too spicy nor too salty, the natural flavor of the beef was still preserved while still highlighting the signature flavors and fragrances of a classic Cantonese cuisine.
Sweet & Sour Chicken with Pineapple and Bell Pepper – IDR98,000++
The fried sweet & sour chicken cubes was very tender. Usually sweet & sour chicken have tastes that are very strong and overlap each other, but this one doesn’t. The seasoning was at a perfect blend, you could eat this on its own without white rice and not worry about tastes that are ‘too sweet’ or ‘too sour’.
Even a simple sweet & sour chicken would be served in style at Li Feng! The string-like stuff on top is actually made out of sugar, so fellow foodies with an acute ‘sweet-tooth disease’ would definitely love it!
Wok-Fried String Beans w/ dried Shrimp & garlic – IDR68,000++
Another simple dish that is practically served ‘everywhere’, yet Li Feng managed to execute perfectly.
The string beans was cooked perfectly – not under or overcooked. They still retain the flavor, crunchiness, and juice of a natural string bean while seasoning it to perfection! The use of ebi (dried shrimp) was also in moderation, so I believe that people who doesn’t like the smell of ebi would still enjoy this particular dish!
Braised Hele Crab w/ Japanese Rice in Hoisin Sauce – IDR218,000++
You could customize the serving size of this dish according to the number of people you are eating with. When it was served to me, however, it was HUUGEE! I think it could feed 4-5 people in one plate!
What’s unique is the use of Japanese rice instead of regular Jasmine rice for this fried rice. Quite a few people praised this dish and fell in love with it on first bite. The savory flavor from hoisin sauce and natural sweet flavor from the crab blends perfectly!
In addition, the use of Japanese rice makes the texture much softer and fluffier than your regular fried rice.
Three Dessert Platter – IDR118,000++
All good things must come to an end. Rest assured, because Li Feng managed to once end this with a touch of elegance and perfection once again.
The three dessert platter consists of deep-fried Glutinous Rice Dumpling with frog jelly and coconut milk, blueberry snow skin dumpling, and chilled mango with Pomelo Sago Cream.
The Glutinous Rice Dumpling looks cute and tastes nice and mild. It is filled with frog jelly and coconut milk, so it wasn’t too sweet and very fragrant in return. FYI, they literally use FROG JELLY inside, it’s the stuff inside a frog’s throat (I don’t really know what that’s called). They say that the frog jelly have medicinal purposes.
No worries because unless anyone told me of the use of Frog Jelly, I won’t even notice it!
The Blueberry Snow Skin Dumpling was several of my friend’s favorite dessert. It looks like mochi but it wasn’t. It is much softer than your regular mochi, with very soft and mild cream filling inside. A dash of pineapple pieces for a twist of flavor was added. Very nice!
The Pomelo Sago Cream was my favorite! It was creamy but not too thick and not too sweet. The natural sweetness from the mango was still retained. Delicious!
To end our lovely lunch for today, let’s take a quick picture with Chef Loy – one of the key person behind these amazing dishes!
Overall Li Feng had truly lived up to its name to describe ‘Beauty in Abundance’. Every dish was carved and executed perfectly both to the eyes and to your taste buds. As a Cantonese Dish, the flavors was all in moderation and nothing is too much, everything is just right.
This is particularly important because usually in a conventional chinese-style shared dinner table, you ended up eating without the accompaniment of white rice. Flavors that are too strong (too sweet/salty/sour) may ruin your taste buds, yet Li Feng managed to solve this problem by adjusting the seasoning down to perfection!
Without a doubt, a very fine experience dining at Li Feng. I would recommend it to anyone for any occasion – family gathering, business,-etc!