Jade Pavilion: Refined Cantonese Cuisine 玉亭軒

Open Kitchen | Jade Pavilion | Food For Thought

With the lifting of the MCO in early March this year, Pavilion Hotel celebrates new beginnings with the opening of its pork-free Chinese restaurant that serves traditional and modern Cantonese cuisine, the Jade Pavilion. Lending inspiration from the legends of ancient Chinese palatial aristocracies, Jade Pavilion displays an architecture of intricate floral and wavy cloud motifs (云纹图)representative of an aura of auspiciousness and a generous flow of good fortune which gives diners a regal and opulent dining experience under the roofs of a grand pavilion.

Private Rooms | Jade Pavilion | Food For Thought

Helmed by industry connoisseurs Chef Kenny Lee and Chef Dino Lee – the former a Chinese Masterchef and the latter with a string of career experiences in similar luxury hotels in town, Jade Pavilion’s menu showcases an array of Chinese gourmet dishes and dim sum specialties.

Jade Pavilion  Chrysanthemum Menu  秋菊套餐

Amuse Bouche
Sichuan Tofu and Cordyceps Mushroom 四川豆腐和蟲草花

The Sichuan tofu has a meaty and savoury bite covered in minced meat with bean sauce. Meanwhile, sour and spicy cordyceps mushroom immediately piques the appetite of the diner in preparations of more dishes to come.

Traditional “Beijing” Duck Served with Condiments 北京片皮鴨

It is imperative for us to share with our readers the difference between a traditional Peking duck and a traditional Beijing duck which is categorically a classical Cantonese dish. The traditional Peking duck is a delicacy of the Chinese capital city. Meanwhile, the latter merely bears the name of ‘Beijing’ as a tribute to its place of origin but is actually an improvisation of the dish made in the Cantonese way.

The traditional Peking duck is sliced vertically or in angled cuts accompanying its flesh together with the skin. Jade Pavilion’s rendition is sliced horizontally and only contained trimmings of the skin and fat underlining, which is the classic Cantonese way of preparing the Beijing duck.

Professionally sliced by middle-aged lady servers, the roasted duck skin is crisp and paper thin which had clean, elegant flavours of five spice and caramelised sugar on it. Wrapped within aromatic egg rolls with thin scallion shreds, hoisin sauce and house-made red vinegar chilli oil, the duck roll delivers a mouthful of diverse textures.

Double Boiled Black Chicken Soup with American Ginseng and Sun Dried Scallops 花旗參瑤柱烏雞湯 | Jade Pavilion | Food For Thought

Double Boiled Black Chicken Soup with American Ginseng and Sun Dried Scallops 花旗參瑤柱烏雞湯

Boiled twice in the process for six to eight hours, this double boiled chicken soup yields multiple facets of deep and lingering umami – each of black chicken and seafood umami arising from the dried scallops accompanied with a grand orchestra of burdock roots, premium sea cucumber, Solomon’s seal (玉竹), goji berries, and, finally – glossed over with notes of medicinal bittersweetness from the American ginseng. The herb and premium food ingredient packed soup gave our throats a soothing and moisturising sensation and definitely brought warmth to the belly.

Jade Pavilion | Jade Pavilion | Food For Thought

Jade Pavilion’s Dim Sum Specials 玉亭軒精緻點心

Easily championed as the main event of the Chrysanthemum menu, we were greeted with classics of dim sum – the har gow, siew mai, deep fried yam puffs and mango shrimp rolls.

Spinach Har Gow (Steamed Shrimp Dumpling) 蝦餃Traditional “Beijing” Duck Served with Condiments 北京片皮鴨 | Jade Pavilion | Food For Thought

Spinach Har Gow (Steamed Shrimp Dumpling) 蝦餃

This could be regarded as the best embodiment of dim sum-making craftsmanship. Chef Dino charmed us with his meticulous dumpling skin making and wrapping skills – the har gow skin was sheet thin and translucent, but had just the right thickness that was enough to bolster the shrimp paste within the parcel. The green hue was made to resemble the colour of jade to resonate with the restaurant’s name, which was spinach-flavoured.

A good har gow is supposed to be in the shape of a crescent rather than round, and has about 9-13 pleats with a translucent, plump, even finish that resembles the texture of a crystal, hence the title “crystal skin har gow”. This dumpling has ticked all the boxes which very clearly reflected the skill set Chef Dino has in honing the art of dim sum making. With such an outstanding dim sum workmanship, it brought bouncy and chewy textures with a bountiful of shrimp perfumes and flavours together in one bite.

Unlike mass produced har gow that is constantly reheated from repeated steaming, Jade Pavilion’s shrimp dumplings were handmade and steamed a la minute. The result is that when it is picked up with a pair of chopsticks, the dumpling skin will not crumple, nor did the shrimp filing spill out of the wheat starch parcel – the usual consequences of reheating dim sum over and over again causing the dumpling to be frail and brittle upon pressure. More importantly, this dumpling did not stick on the tip of the chopsticks, which signified clean and crisp textures, which may be seen from commercial shrimp dumplings. As a result, it takes minimal effort to slowly chew on this piece of dim sum, rather than  scrambling to smudge it into a mouthful for fear it would disintegrate.

Siu Mai (Open-faced Chicken and Shrimp Dumplings) 燒賣Traditional “Beijing” Duck Served with Condiments 北京片皮鴨 | Jade Pavilion | Food For Thought

Siu Mai (Open-faced Chicken and Shrimp Dumplings) 燒賣

This dumpling equally spoke of Chef Dino’s fine handicraft in dim sum making. They were evenly filled with a plentiful portion of chicken and shrimp paste. Yet owing to exquisite dim sum making skills, it did not overflow as if it would burst. It was well-intact within the bright yellow siu mai skin and the dumpling stood upright throughout. It is common to find badly crafted open-faced dumplings to slant sideways and carry a wobbly structure, which was a complete opposite of what was showcased here in Jade Pavilion.

Fried Mango and Shrimp Roll 酥炸芒果鮮蝦卷Traditional “Beijing” Duck Served with Condiments 北京片皮鴨 | Jade Pavilion | Food For Thought

Fried Mango and Shrimp Roll 酥炸芒果鮮蝦卷

Fried dim sum was traditionally regarded as a higher hallmark of dim sum making skills, as it tests the dim sum chef’s grasp of the right oil temperature and blending in the appropriate timing to deep-fry the dim sum to perfection.

Chef Dino’s rendition of the fried mango and shrimp roll hit all the right notes of a good fried dim sum – light, crispy and flaky upon each bite, with a warm filling of shrimp and melty mango tucked within the fritter. No traces of grease were detected on the surface of our pristine white plates, which again reflected Chef Dino’s masterly skills in frying the dim sum just at the right temperature, so as to give it a crispy texture yet not soaked up with excessive oil and grease.

Yam Puffs with Foie Gras 鵝肝芋角Traditional “Beijing” Duck Served with Condiments 北京片皮鴨 | Jade Pavilion | Food For Thought

Yam Puffs with Foie Gras 鵝肝芋角

Just as its fried counterpart above, this yam puff is fried light and crispy, with fine and even bubbles on the batter which signifies uniform heating of the puff in its entirety. The topping of foie gras marinated with oyster sauce gave a contrast of textures to the crisp and mushy yam puff with a moreish, fatty texture.

Golden Fried Silver Whitebait Fishes with Spices Salt and Chicken Floss 金絲椒鹽白飯魚Traditional “Beijing” Duck Served with Condiments 北京片皮鴨 | Jade Pavilion | Food For Thought

Golden Fried Silver Whitebait Fishes with Spices Salt and Chicken Floss 金絲椒鹽白飯魚

Originally a classic from the Shunde (順德) district in Guangzhou / Canton, this fried silver whitebait has salty and spiced flavours, which can be fitting as an addictive titbits or a suitable accompaniment with fragrant white rice.

Sauteed Duck Meat with Water Chestnuts Served in Iceberg Lettuce 生菜片鴨崧

Sauteed Duck Meat with Water Chestnuts Served in Iceberg Lettuce 生菜片鴨崧

The remains of the ‘Beijing’ duck meat were used to stir-fry into this dish. With condiments of corn, peas and carrot that were sautéed together, the wrapping into cold and crisp iceberg lettuce slices immediately cools off the heat and grease from the sautéed duck meat’s wok hei.

Stir Fried Sliced Prime Beef Sirloin with Garlic and Beansprout 蒜香醬爆牛肉Traditional “Beijing” Duck Served with Condiments 北京片皮鴨 | Jade Pavilion | Food For Thought

Stir Fried Sliced Prime Beef Sirloin with Garlic and Beansprout 蒜香醬爆牛肉

A simple and rustic stir fry beef with sweet bean sauce, this dish bears origins from Sichuan, thus giving it a mellow hint of heat beneath the sweet-savoury flavoured beef fillets. The pairing with scalded beansprouts gives the dish a refreshing balance of textures.

Crispy Egg Noodles with Tiger Prawn and Ginger in Lobster Broth 薑蔥龍蝦湯虎蝦煎生面

Yet another star of this set, Chef Kenny gave diners a maximum sensation of crustacean umaminess with a lobster broth boiled with lobster heads and shrimp shells. In within the wholesome broth lies firm and meaty tiger prawns, and fresh button scallops. The egg noodles could be consumed two ways, either crispy or bouncy, depending on how much one would soak it in the lobster soup gravy. The garnishing of leeks adds on to a green pungency that complements the flavourful lobster broth.

Chinese Herbal Jelly with Tropical Fruits and Osmanthus Syrup 桂花蜜龜苓膏Traditional “Beijing” Duck Served with Condiments 北京片皮鴨 | Jade Pavilion | Food For Thought

Chinese Herbal Jelly with Tropical Fruits and Osmanthus Syrup 桂花蜜龜苓膏

Osmanthus is a seasonal flower that only blooms during the Autumn season. In resonation of the Chinese original of the Chrysanthemum set menu, the Autumn Chrysanthemum (qiu ju,秋菊) is a direct translation of Autumn Chrysanthemum and hence it is very befitting to incorporate osmanthus syrup in the black herbal jelly. Bearing distinct floral perfumes, it contributes to both sweetness and aroma to the bittersweet jelly.

Jade Pavilion ExperienceTraditional “Beijing” Duck Served with Condiments 北京片皮鴨 | Jade Pavilion | Food For Thought

The Jade Pavilion Experience

Jade Pavilion is one of the best Cantonese restaurants to go to for fine dim sum and classic Cantonese dishes. Equally, they cater to modern tastes by incorporating foreign concepts such as Korean lettuce wraps and mango filled prawn rolls, which is perfect for the widest spectrum of preferences for both conventionalists and the avant garde.


Jade Pavilion 玉亭轩
8th Floor,Pavilion Hotel Kuala Lumpur
170, Jln Bukit Bintang,
55100 Kuala Lumpur
+603 2117 2823
Opening Hours:
Daily, 12.00 pm to 2.30 pm; 5.00 pm to 10.00 pm

| PHOTOGRAPHY: NICHOLAS NG & JADE PAVILION | WEBSITE: JADE PAVILION |

Chloee Lee

A now-unemployable law graduate pursuing her license to be employable, who finds all sorts of things related to food fascinating. A part time Mandarin food writer, photographer with neo-noir aesthetics, and a Traveler’s Notebook user who finds her passion in food through drawing, journaling and creating ASMR food making videos. Hoping to bring a new ground of understanding of food and gastronomy to revamp the ordinary perception by people about the concept of a foodie by her writings in order to cultivate better respect and taste for food.

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