Saturday, 23 March 2013

Hunanese Cuisine @ Restaurant Xiang Li Place, Damansara Utama

There was a mini gathering with KS friends at the Restaurant Xiang Li Place @ Damansara Utama, which serves some authentic Hunanese cuisine.  I was looking forward to it, not only for the meeting of some new friends, but because I have never tried any Hunanese cuisine.  There were barely any reviews about this place and hence, I didn't have much expectations.  Luckily, the overall experience was not too bad.

The first to arrive is the Pork Ribs with Seaweed Soup.  The soup is quite decent and light although I find the pork flavours are not very intense.  I suspected it could be because the soup had turned cold while we were waiting for some late-comers.  The soup was whitish, which I am not very sure why as it didn't really taste as though milk was added in.

Then, it's the Mao’s Signature Red Braised Pork, which is pork belly braised with potatoes in a spicy sauce.  This dish is very delicious and definitely one of my favourite dishes.

The chunky pork belly is juicy and tender, with the right amount of fattiness that practically melts in your mouth.  Then, of course, are the pan-friend chunks of potatoes that did a very good job in soaking up the nice, spicy sauce, filled with the fragrance of garlic and spring onions.  Although this dish is very hot as you eat, but it is that kind of hot-ness that makes you wanna have more.

Next comes the Spicy Steamed Tilapia Fish, topped with cut chillies and fermented black beans, served with soy sauce.  Overall, the fish is quite fresh but the taste is a bit lacking some saltiness.  It felt as though the fermented beans were not steamed together with the fish, and hence, most of the flavour did not combine into the fish very well.

We also ordered the Signature Bridge Tofu.  The name describes it - steamed minced meat with egg is separated by thinly sliced silky tofu that resembles a bridge over a river.  It looked quite interesting but I find the flavour was a bit bland.  The minced meat was lacking some saltiness and the soy sauce was of little help to bring the flavours out.  But the tofu was nice and smooth.

While visually, this Dry Pot Mushroom Stew looked very bland with not much variety of colours, it is a very nice and flavourful dish.  Definitely made it to our list of favourite dishes.  There were a variety of thinly sliced mushrooms cooked with sliced pork belly and leek, and coated witha sweet gravy.  It is not a hot dish, but just be careful of those tiny, unsuspecting cut chillies.

The next dish which I liked very much is the Stir-fried Beans with Minced Meat.  The name is a bit misleading as I could barely find any beans - mostly minced pork with chopped salted radish and black fungus.  This crunchy dish has a nice sweet and salty taste to it and goes very well with plain rice.  Too bad it came almost towards the end when I had barely any rice left.

The last dish to arrive was the Stir-fried Cauliflower, which is has nothing much to shout about.  As the name suggests, it was only cauliflower and nothing else.  Visually, it was not appetizing and hence, I barely ate it.

Another thing to watch out is the pre-packed sterilized utensils which are charged at RM1 per set - pretty costly to the meal.  So, if you’re unwilling to actually pay for it, do make an effort to request for a set of normal utensils which don't incur extra charges.  I don't think there will be any significant differences in hygiene level.

Overall, Xiang Li Place serves pretty decent food, some memorable while some are just so-so.  Would definitely come back for the braised pork & mushroom pot stew.

Restaurant Xiang Li Place
No 74G & 76G
Jalan SS21/62
Damansara Utama
47400 Petaling Jaya

No comments:

Post a Comment