Last week, I got the chance to visit LI FENG, one of the most talked about restaurants in Jakarta which has been trending lately. Li Feng, literally translated as “Beauty in Abundance”, is located on the 2nd floor of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Jakarta, replacing one of the finest Chinese restaurants in Jakarta named Xin Hwa. With renovated looks and bigger space, Li Feng easily captured my heart the moment I stepped out from the elevator, welcomed by such an elegant tranquility that blew my mind away.
Li Feng’s interior is strongly inspired by the history of the spices trade between China and the old Jakarta, Batavia. And let me tell you they are doing it very beautifully, with detailed touch here and there without looking too much. The wall is simple and there is not much decoration but don’t miss the beautiful ornaments on the ceiling representing the ocean waves and all the ships. Simply genius!
As typical fine Chinese restaurants, Li Feng offers 3 private rooms with different capacities (8, 10, and 14 person), each with different minimum spending amount. The private room spaces have rolling doors which can be closed entirely giving maximum privacy for the guests, and I totally love the concept.
Li Feng offers selection of authentic Cantonese cuisine with modern twist. The beautiful dishes are created by Chef Fei and Chef Loy, a deadly combination who clearly know what they are doing. While Chef Fei is the partner chef “borrowed” from Mandarin Oriental Guangzhou, Chef Loy is the Executive Chinese Chef here in Mandarin Oriental Jakarta, and most likely you’ll meet him there if you happen to visit, since Chef Loy is very friendly and always greets guests with his smily “Ni Hao?”.
Okay, so let’s better talk about the food. I hope I made you curious enough to keep reading, teehee! XD As my first visit here was a blogger gathering invitation, we were served some of the menu highlights and I fell in love to this restaurant even before the first course was served. Why?
Baby Chrysantemum Tea IDR 78,000/person
This is the answer of the “why” above. When we were seated, the server would ask you, what kind of tea you want. I opted for Chrysantemum just because I simply love it, but the serving was beyond cute. I don’t think I can use the word “cute” here, but you know the idea. The transparent beautiful tea pot will always be warm because they put the aromatherapy kind of candle on the bottom. It is not extravagant or magnificent, but this is undeniably beautiful.
Crispy Fish Skin with Salted Egg Yolk IDR 68,000
For appetizer, we tried this super yummy crispy fish skin with no annoying smell at all, drizzled in thick, paste-alike salted egg yolk all over the skin. Geez, I was totally addicted! To make things better (for me) is that they put some kind of spices seasoning that made it a bit spicy in a good way, ohhh heaven!
Deep Fried Swan Dumpling with Black Pepper Duck Meat IDR 89,000
The dish that makes Li Feng’s popularity skyrocketing like, for real. This beautifully presented dumpling easily catches EVERYONE‘s heart at the first sight. The black swans are actually deep-fried dumplings made from black charcoal, filled with black pepper duck meat (which taste awesome, BTW!) and are arranged in pairs. So lovely! If you think that’s cute, wait until the waitress pour the water into the plate and white smoke appearing as it resembles clouds to me, so magical. The presentation is definitely eye catching and you can notice other guests in the restaurant will be curious enough to order one for their tables, too, LOL!
Everything of the swan is practically edible but I don’t recommend you to eat the neck and head part because it is a bit hard, but still edible. I actually ate everything and found the head/neck part a bit weird, but I am still writing this post so it means I am still okay. XD If you can’t eat duck, don’t worry because the duck meat is cooked very properly and has no duck smell at all, even our foodie friend who can’t eat duck AT ALL loved this dumpling and reordered this during our second visit.
Spicy XO Scallop Dumpling IDR 32,000 (white)
Squid Ink, Seafood, and Fish Roe Dumpling IDR 32,000 (black)
We also tried 2 others dimsum menu beside the iconic Swan dumpling. While I really loved both of them, I would say I love the white one (spicy XO scallop) where the soft scallop with distinctive XO aroma and hint of spice burst inside my mouth altogether. It was an instant YES in my head, and I had to say that the black one was easily overshadowed by the white one.
Imperial Kung Fu Soup IDR 148,000
This cutely-presented soup is basically Stewed Chicken and Quail with Matsutake, Cordyceps Flower, and Dried Longan served in some kind of tea pot, along with the cup. The ingredients literally fulfilled the pot because no matter how many times I dug in, I always got spoonfuls of them. I especially loved the dried longan, which was soft and kinda gooey, it is like having konnyaku jelly inside the soup, so addicting!
So to drink the soup, we can pour it into the cup and drink it like tea. I opened the pot lid and saw that the soup color was kind of transparent, and I thought it would be something light and simple. In fact, the soup was very tasty, rich in flavor, as if many ingredients were boiled in that soup for so long and it absorbed everything! Honestly I am not even a big fan of soupy dish, not to mention, Chinese-style soup that I always find “boring”, but this one was absolutely kicking it! It was delicious, heart-warming, and reminded me of medicinal soup my mother used to make when I was a kid. I certainly don’t mind having this for myself only although this portion can also be shared with your companions.
Sautéed Beef with Szechuan Pepper & Chili IDR 378,000
Love, love, love this super tender beef with bold spiciness here. I don’t even need to say anything about the beef because it was just so good, perfectly cooked resulting in a very tender and juicy beef. The Szechuan pepper was crazily biting my tongue when I tried to enjoy the beef by chewing it a little bit longer in my mouth, this was exactly I was expecting for. It’s a bit expensive, yes, but you’ll get what you pay for. This was AMAZING, period.
Sweet and Sour Chicken with Pineapple and Bell Pepper IDR 98,000
If I have to answer a question like, “What is your favorite Chinese cuisine?”, my answer is always “Sweet and Sour blablabla”, usually chicken or pork will do. And I was so happy that Li Feng presented this dish during our blogger gathering lunch, and better yet, in totally creative first-time-in-my-life presentation like you can see below. The golden threads above are actually made from sugar and they are completely edible! I tried few “threads”, I couldn’t really taste anything but it is something new to see such kind of presentation. What about the chicken itself? It was good but nothing was really special, I personally liked it because I am a fan of anything sweet and sour, but this one got all the points for its rather complicated presentation and it *is* what makes a regular sweet and sour chicken dish become so special.
Wok-Fried String Beans with Dried Shrimp and Garlic IDR 68,000
It is unbelievable that even the simplest dish like string beans can actually taste so good in Li Feng. The crunchy, tasty string beans were greatly mixed with aromatic dried shrimp and garlic that will make you want to snag one plate just for yourself.
Braised Hele Crab with Japanese Rice in Hoisin Sauce IDR 218,000
Excellent presentation of “fried rice” using Japanese rice, which unfortunately, is not my favorite ingredients to make fried rice. Japanese rice is known for its soft, almost sticky texture that makes it a bit “unideal” for fried rice, in my opinion. I love dry fried rice and this one was the complete opposite as it was wet, soggy, and kind of sticky. The taste was amazingly good especially that the crab was so fresh and fragrant, the flavor spread so evenly to the rice, combined with distinctive taste of Hoisin sauce.
Three Dessert Platter IDR 118,000
This dessert platter contains of Deep Fried Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Frog Jelly and Coconut Milk, Blueberry Snow Skin Dumpling, and Chilled Mango with Pomelo Sago Cream. It is recommended to eat the dessert in sequence from left to right, means we start from the glutinous rice dumpling first and end it with the mango. I must say I love them all but since I really, really love glutinous rice, my fave is that dumpling with cute chick shape. Everyone’s favorite is definitely the blueberry snow skin dumpling, which looks like mochi but it is not. The filling is full with blueberry jam and cream, I like it but I think it’s a bit too creamy in flavor. The chilled mango is good especially if you like not so sweet mango because this one is more into sour one.
So those are the dishes we tried in the blogger gathering lunch, and since we really loved them, we decided to come back to Li Feng the next week to explore more of their dimsum menu. I only attended the gathering alone and Mr. K couldn’t join me so I really wanted him to try Li Feng’s dishes as I know he will definitely like them. So last Sunday, we finally had a brunch at Li Feng again and this time we ordered lots of dimsum!
Dimsum here in Li Feng is served in typically 3 pieces per portion, and the prices are very affordable. They have selection of pork and non pork menu for siu mai or xiao long bao, and usually the pork dishes have higher price. I think we tried almost everything of their dimsum menu so you can always check the photos below before you decide to order yours!
Chicken Siu Mai with Mushroom and Fish Roe IDR 24,000
If you prefer pork version, you can opt for the Pork Siu Mai which is topped with scallops (IDR 32,000). I forgot to take the photo of pork siu mai but it is a bit similar to this one. I personally like the pork siu mai because it has crunchy scallop that complimented the aromatic pork.
Har Gau IDR 30,000
Angus Beef with Ginger Onion Dumpling IDR 32,000
What is a dimsum without har gau? Here they put bamboo shoots inside with the shrimp, you can feel the crunch whenever you eat them, so fun! The red dumpling has Angus beef as filling, it is pink and it is cute, but personally, I couldn’t really taste anything special about it.
Steamed Rice Rolls with Shrimps and Bamboo Shoots IDR 27,000
Another pink dish. The rice rolls were literally stuffed with shrimps and bamboo shoots as you can see in the picture, this was easily one of the best rice rolls in any dimsum restaurants in Jakarta. Bravo!
Steamed Mushroom Bun with Foie Gras Filling IDR 39,000
The cutest dimsum menu award goes to…. this mushroom bun! Yes, upon seeing this on the menu book, we decided to order this although none of us is really a fan of foie gras. To our surprise, the mushroom buns are literally fulfilled with foie gras, and as usual I couldn’t really enjoy this because honestly, foie gras is never, ever, my cup of tea. For 5 of us, we ordered 2 portions of this and these were the only ones left on the table when we went home. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t bad at all. If you are a fan of foie gras, you won’t be disappointed because they put lots of them in the bun.
Chicken Xiao Long Bao IDR 28,000
Loving the xiao long bao here, a skin that is thin yet not fragile, juicy soup, and unusual presentation. There is not much difference between chicken and pork ones in term of flavor, so even if you don’t eat pork, you won’t miss anything.
Xiao Long Bao IDR 29,000
BBQ Pork Char Siew Bun IDR 29,000
My favorite! If you opt for non pork version, try Chicken and Black Truffle Bun (IDR 34,000).
Pork Ribs with Minced Garlic and Black Pepper Sauce IDR 29,000
I really love how they cut the pork ribs into smaller size and we can eat them with no hassle. The thing I hate the most when eating ribs is when I lose my feminine side and have to look barbaric eating the meat off the bone. But well, here I don’t have to worry at all because not only the size is friendly, the pork ribs are cooked so well and the meat can be effortlessly taken off the bones. Thumbs up!
Homemade Egg Tarts IDR 21,000
Amazed by the plating, although it was difficult to take photo of it. ;P The egg tarts are relatively small (we want bigger ones!) and a little pale in color. But! The first bite was absolutely mind blowing and I just wanted to grab them all and forget that my friends were all on the table waiting to have one for them too! XD The texture of the egg was so soft and smooth, the taste was milky and not overly sweet. The skin was crispy, not flaky, but solid in the perfect way. I probably sound weird and don’t make any sense, but this is definitely a MUST TRY!!!
Custard and Egg Yolk Bun IDR 21,000
Another dessert not to miss is this bun with custard and egg yolk filling. Oh man, I am literally drooling on my keyboard looking at these pictures and remembering how delicious the filling is! This is not the typical lava-alike egg yolk but more solid one because it is mixed with custard. You got the result of egg yolk flavor with hint of sweetness from the custard, and I am telling you, it is frikkin’ DELICIOUS! Without you realizing, you’ll find yourself licking your own fingers when eating this. Because it is simply THAT good.
Okay, so those are what we tried last week and we were totally fans of Li Feng. We admire the place, the food, the chef, and the service. For a Chinese restaurant in a hotel, Li Feng sets a very competitive price, and we urge everyone who like dimsum or Chinese (especially Cantonese) cuisine in general to visit this restaurant to experience its greatness. This has been a long post and we hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading!
* All prices are subject to 10% service charge & 10% government tax
** This review is written based on our visit on 24 September & 2 October 2016.
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