This is review #8 out of a 13-Part Food Blog Post Series from my recent trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from the 4th – 9th August 2011 🙂
It was lovely indeed to only be outside for a few seconds before entering this beautiful and somewhat luxurious looking restaurant. We got there pretty early – the restaurant only opened at 11.30am and I think we got there just before 12pm so just before the lunch hour rush. The restaurant was very spacious and even had a stage – so I’m guessing this was also a popular venue for wedding receptions.
|A sweet and spicy tofu appetizer|
We were promptly served and presented with the menu and a little tofu appetizer thing which was quite tasty. This place was slightly different from the usual Dim Sum / Yum Cha restaurants because they didn’t have trolleys of food roaming around the restaurant for you to grab whatever looks good at the time, instead we were given a full menu of all their dim sum dishes available and we just ticked the ones we want. Hhmmm… not leaving much room for impulse eating I say!
|BBQ Pork “Chee Cheong Fun” aka Steamed Rice Paper Rolls – RM 8.50|
The BBQ Pork Chee Cheong Fun I thought was pretty average. It didn’t blow my mind or anything, and the portion was actually quite small compared to some other Yum Cha places I’ve had in Melbourne. For the price (in Malaysian ringgit from a local’s perspective – not converting to AUD!) I expected more. It was still tasty nevertheless – just felt a bit ripped off.
|Steamed Dumpling with Prawn – RM 6.80|
If you ever plan to visit Imbi Palace Restaurant, do not confuse the “Steamed Dumpling with Prawn” with the “Steamed Prawn Dumpling”! So deceiving! I was expecting “Har Gao” which turned out to be the Steamed Prawn Dumpling but due to a technical error of ordering the Steamed Dumpling with Prawn – we ended up with this weird looking dumpling that looks nothing like Har Gao, the true Prawn Dumpling. Instead of having the entire dumpling filled with a nice big chunky prawn, this dumpling only had little bits of prawns in amongst other things like chopped spring onions, mushroom and some minced meat. Quite disappointing and the dumpling didn’t taste all that spectacular either.
|Special “Siew Mai” – RM 7.30|
Also, do not think ordering the “Special” Siew Mai would mean getting three little upgraded Siew Mais – it literally comes out as something completely different. I wanted Siew Mai! You know, the beautiful little dim sims made of soft minced pork and whatever else they put it in to taste delightfully delicious – and I thought ordering the “Special” version would mean maybe they are bigger and have more flavour – an improved version, not a completely different version that looks like it’s mean to be just a serving for one person. Although in the end, after getting over my “shock” of not seeing actual Siew Mais on the table – we shared this dish and got a little taste of something. Again, it wasn’t spectacular. Just some steamed meat. Geez I am yet to be impressed what is going on?!!
|Steamed Egg Yolk Soft Cake – RM 5.80|
Then my sister ordered one of her favorite dishes – the Steamed Egg York Soft Cake. Now THIS was a pleasant surprise! I’ve never had this before so didn’t know what to expect. I actually really, really liked this one! We actually ended up ordering another serve but they never brought it to our table so we thought we’d just let it go – see?? They could’ve sold us so much more food if they actually presented the food in trolleys and tempted us constantly, because we were so in the mood to eat and money wasn’t an issue when you’re spending AUD – but noooo they decided menu is the way to go and even when we ordered extra, things never arrived. Their loss!!
|Chicken Feet with Black Bean Sauce – RM 5.80|
Then came my favorite Dim Sum / Yum Cha dish of all time – Chicken Feet!! I was so excited I ordered 2 serves of the chicken feet. Unfortunately the flavors of this dish was a let down! Although the chicken feet was cooked perfectly – as in it had the right texture, the SAUCE was a disgrace. I mean, who makes almost tomato / chilli flavored Black Bean Sauce? Why did it come out red? It should so be a lot darker and browner. It just seems like all I could taste was Sweet and Sour Chicken Feet, not Chicken Feet with Black Bean Sauce. Argghhh… geram.
|Steamed Chicken Glutinous Rice – RM 8.00|
Just to throw something different in the mix, and hoping for something that would fill us up – I thought the Steamed Chicken Glutinous Rice sounded very appealing. I love glutinous rice and what we got on our table looked like an open “bak zhang” so I was very happy. It tasted pretty good too (thank goodness!) so I cannot complain about this one.
|Fried Chicken Wings with Prawn Paste – RM 8.50|
And finally, some deep fried goodness to end on a semi-decent note. The fried chicken wings were pretty regular, you can’t really go wrong with fried chicken wings and these were nice and crispy and had some flavor in it although I doubt the chicken’s actually been marinated properly before they were deep fried. The flour used for deep frying was OK, nothing amazing but it was okay.
Overall, this restaurant in Malaysian money standards is basically quite expensive and offers food that doesn’t match up to its price. We are probably paying for its location and nice interior and the many waiters / waitresses they hire to serve the many customers they anticipate during peak meal hours. I was glad to walk away with a full tummy, but my taste buds weren’t actually blown away. I am sure we can do better elsewhere, but again due to location and convenience it was fine for a satisfying brunch.
Imbi Palace Restaurant SDn Bhd
No. 8 Jalan Barat
Off Jalan Imbi
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603-2145 4822
Fax: +603-2143 3295