The Chinese delicacy of bite-sized portions of food served in bamboo steamers, also known as dim sum, is usually related to the presence of pork. There is wide perception that dim sum without pork is not dim sum at all, but let’s not generalize too soon. Situated in the relatively quiet Maju Junction Mall is the Maju Palace Restaurant, one of the many restaurants belonging to Oriental Group, serving dim sum made from Halal certified meat. I initially had my doubts, and asked my friend to go to the other Oriental restaurant that’s not pork-free, but he insisted that I should give it a try. So that was where we were on one Saturday morning, together with our guest from Germany.
The interior boasted of classy tables with white tablecloth and chairs with chair covers tied around by gold ribbons. The environment was not overly noisy too, perfect for a relaxing meal of dim sum and Chinese tea without being rushed at, like many other dim sum outlets. This was how a good dim sum experience should be on a weekend morning.
Flower decoration in the restaurant
The 3 different sauces
As with usual practice, we ordered a pot of Chinese tea to go with the dim sum, with the general belief that the tea would help to ‘wash away’ the excessive oil from the food.
Without further ado, we ordered the item that is synonymous with dim sum itself – the Imperial “Har Kau” or Prawn Dumplings. There was nothing but praises for this dish, for the prawns were large and succulent, bursting with juices upon every bite. Another point to note was how perfectly thin the translucent skin was, just enough to wrap the prawns without tearing and not too thick that it was cloying. Loved it!
Imperial ‘Har Kau’ (RM8)
The same praises went to the Siew Mai Yunan Style. Traditionally, siew mai is prepared with pork, but in this case chicken thigh meat and shrimp bits were used, giving it a nice and savoury bite. The pork was certainly not missed here.
Siew Mai Yunan Style (RM7)
As for Char Siew Bao or BBQ Meat bun, chicken meat was used here too. In fact, I thought the advantage of using chicken meat was the lack of fatty layers that usually come with pork. I’m personally not a fan of fatty layers, so I was not too fussed about the absence of pork here, as long as the marinade and gravy were tasty.
BBQ Meat Bun / Char Siew Bao (RM6)
The Large Bao or Dai Bao was one item that we were looking forward to, served in a huge size enough for at least 2 persons. The dumpling was fluffy and warm but we found the filling to be too wet such that the bottom part of the bao became soggy. It was quite a challenge to eat this without making our fingers dirty, if you get what I mean. Otherwise, the portion of meat and ‘sar kot’ was quite generous.
Large ‘Bao’ / Dai Bao (RM8)
Sloppy and messy Dai Bao
The one dish that I felt was lacking in terms of taste was the Porridge with Shredded Chicken and Century Egg. Somehow, the lack of flavour here was quite apparent, and the porridge tasted a little bland even though pieces of chicken were visible. Perhaps this was the one time where I missed pork. 😛
Porridge with Shredded Chicken and Century Egg (RM8)
Raymond ordered the Braised Egg Noodle Village Style, saying that it’s his favourite dish and he had to have this every time he eats here. We were surprised to see that it came in a big portion, meant to be shared by 4! This was not unlike wan tan mee, except with thicker strands. The noodles were firm and bouncy, and the combination of soy sauce, mushroom and bean curd skin was excellent.
Braised Egg Noodle Village Style (RM24)
My favourite dim sum dish is the Pan Fried Radish Cake but Saucer mistakenly ordered the Stir-Fried version for me, which I found to be a tad oily. I much prefer the Pan Fried version which we did eventually order – crispy skin and soft warm insides. I also found it to be less oily compared to the stir-fried version.
Stir-Fried Radish Cake (RM6)
Pan-Fried Radish Cake (RM6)
Apart from the mainly steamed items, we also tried some of the deep fried items from the menu, such as the Crispy Fried Mango Roll (so-so) and Deep Fried Yam Puff (quite good).
Crispy Fried Mango Roll (RM6)
Deep Fried Yam Puff (RM6)
For desserts, we had the Baked Egg Tarts and Thousand Layered Cake. No prizes for guessing which one was my choice. I loved the egg tarts which were served hot off the oven, with crumbly pastries and rich, smooth egg custard. If I was not so full, I would have eaten more of these.
Baked Egg Tart (RM6)
Thousand Layered Cake (RM6)
Some of the dim sum we had!
It was a meal to remember, steamers and steamers of food more than we could finish, in a comfortable environment with amazing company. We sat there talking for hours, taking our time to nibble on our food when we were already full, while sipping the hot Chinese tea. In the end, we were so stuffed that we did not eat anything until past dinner time!
Stuffed to the brim with Andreas and Saucer
True enough, the absence of pork was felt in one or two of the dishes we had here, but for most of the other items, they were just as good if not better. I’m glad to have found a nice dim sum place that I can suggest to my Muslim friends in the future.
Dining environment at Maju Palace
Maju Palace Restaurant
Promotion: 30% discount on dim sum lunch during Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays.
Maju Palace Restaurant
Level 5, Maju Junction Mall,
1001 Jalan Sultan Ismail,
50250 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Tel No.: +603-2691 8822