Date of review: December 1, 2016 | Reviewed by:
Old World Shanghainese splendour meets contemporary décor at Le Mei, establishing it as a refined haven for contemporary Chinese cuisine. Plush underfoot carpet and matte gold hues with occasional splashes of red are complemented by tasteful, custom-designed wallpaper and timber-clad backlit pillars. A modern overhead chandelier in the shape of an auspicious Chinese symbol draws attention as the central focal point. Spacious enough to accommodate small groups for business lunches and large familial gatherings, Le Mei also has private dining rooms for corporate and personal entertaining.
The crystal jade shrimp dumplings (har kow) and chicken mushroom and shrimp dumplings (siew mai) are excellent choices in the pork-free dim sum spread here.
The a la carte menu is no less impressive, bearing testament to the resident culinary team’s prowess in dishing up familiar Chinese specialties infused with inventive interpretations of their own. Some notable examples include chilled sliced abalone with asparagus and marinated jellyfish perked up with minced garlic and bird’s eye chilli dip, and the scrumptious ying-yang prawns in which shelled, succulent crustaceans come tossed in two different sauces: zingy Asian-style dressing and garlic pepper sauce.
Vegetarians and health-conscious diners will find the simple but pleasantly rustic lo hon-style braised vegetables with assorted mushrooms as manna for the soul whilst comfort food seekers should be able to draw ample succour from partaking hearty offerings of doubled boiled sun-dried scallops with seafood dumpling soup, and fried kway teow with fresh shrimp, eggs and crab roe.
Dessert veers between the classic – think Chinese herbal jelly served with honey – to the new-fangled such as salted egg ice-cream with red bean paste. Both exceeded expectations in terms of taste, with presentation leaning towards unfussy minimalism.
Although the beverage list is rather concise, the array of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks served should be enough to slake the thirst of most patrons. Wine by the glass includes Spanish and Chilean labels in addition to the de rigueur French and Australian vintages. Bottle pricing tends to be within the realm of most five-star establishments’. When it comes to whiskeys and other liquors, the list covers most recognisable names. Chinese tea connoisseurs will be pleased to find seven types of fine tea leaves including an eight-year pu erh listed for their selection.
Service is on point and every member of the frontline team is courteous and responsive throughout, patiently and conscientiously fulfilling various requests of guests. Tea cups are kept full whilst used or empty tableware are swiftly cleared away without request.
The prices are fair considering the highly commendable food quality. Savvy diners should derive more bang for their buck by opting for Le Mei’s dim sum or chef’s special set menus.