I have always believed that eye-appeal is as important as taste and if looking at pictures of food makes the mouth water, then seeing the real thing is even more tantalising. It is rare these days to find the old style Dim Sum restaurant where the items are pushed around in a trolley and you pick the dishes which appeal, usually when they are fresh out from the kitchen. Zui Le Xuan is one of these.
It is also rare to find one where they make their own Dim Sum rather than steam or fry up prepared ones from the factory. Zui Le Xuan is one of these. And Dim Sum is hard to make, what with the variety of items, the need for freshness and the delicacy of the various fillings, pastries and wraps. But this is all a snap for the owner Chan Kam of Zui Le Xuan as he comes from years of experience in Dim Sum making having worked as #1 chef at Foh San for many years.
Now with his wife Lam May Foong (Ah Foong) and a partner Cheong Chee Loon, to whom he’s imparted the techniques, they have been running Zui Le Xuan very successfully for more than five years.
The variety here is endless with items changing every day. All the classics of Har Gao, Siew Mai, Char Siew Pau and Wu Kok are here and are top notch but its the specials which I found exciting. Like the large Phoenix Balls, redolent with 5-spice powder, and generously lardy for a smooth mouthfeel, RM5; ginger chicken pao which was excellent at RM2.50 each; Tsang Fah Gao or meatball rolled in rice krispies and deep fried, RM4; Gai Woh (Chicken Nest) Pao with glutinous rice, black mushrooms, carrots and chicken RM5; excellent fish balls at RM4.50 for two; Steamed Minced Pork topped with century egg RM5; charcoal custard swans with a yam crust, RM2; Bamboo Charcoal Pao filled with oozy salted egg yolk and milk, RM2.50 each. And the list goes on and on. Each one as good as the one preceding. Changing daily.
And finally for many the pièce de résistance, and I admit to not being a fan but I was converted: the “Malai Gao” a 4-layered steamed sponge cake that was wobbly, light and fluffy and one of the best I have eaten. The Tseen Tsang Gao (1000 layer cake) with salted egg yolk and dessicated coconut is one level down in taste and texture but nevertheless excellent, RM4 each.Zui Le Xuan Dim Sum 28 Jalan Ng Seong Teik, Taman Pertama, 30100 Ipoh. (First Garden next to GP Food Court) N 4° 36.262, E 101° 3.368 7am-2pm, Tuesday closed