Li Bai Fusion Cafe is the latest eating
establishment in the Padungan district. The Padungan area is fast
becoming a catalyst for concept gastronomic outlets and Li Bai Fusion
Cafe just opened its doors to the public less than a month ago. I went
to check it out with Yie Hui last night after meeting her at bing!
Li Bai Fusion Cafe (sometimes spelled Lee Bai) has a great signboard
at the establishment – it features a caricature of Li Bai (a famous
Chinese poet) followed by the Chinese characters spelling out his name
and the words fusion cafe is small font at the bottom. It is owned by Grick Liew from Kitchen Asylum Sdn. Bhd. – a friendly guy who told us about the operations of the place.
Li Bai Fusion Cafe has a small glass encased alcove at the ground
floor which has nice bamboo features (the bamboo theme is central to
the Li Bai Fusion Cafe decor) and a cohesive theme which includes
Chinese style wood paneling and cordons as well as Chinese style tea
ceremony seating. The open ground floor area is a smoking zone and
there are waitresses to seat you upstairs at the no-smoking air
conditioned dining area.
The dining area on the first floor is much larger and features a lot
of Li Bai (the Chinese poet) writings on the walls and bamboo shoots in
a glass feature at the center wall. The seating arrangements are
similar to the Chinese style tea ceremony seating at the ground floor
and there’s a small staff area which includes a dumb waiter for the
kitchen downstairs to deliver the food up.
Li Bai Fusion Cafe has bright florescent lighting (and even a
streetlamp!) with halogen lights angled down to feature the writings of
the Chinese poet which the place is named after. The bright florescent
lighting feels cold, but it imparts a feeling of sanitization and
cleanliness (which is next to Godliness, or so I hear).
There is also a VIP seating area (or private dining area) at the
back of the eating establishment – and the unusual aspect about Li Bai
Fusion Cafe implementation of this space is that it’s semi-open. The
dining area is built inside a wooden structure with sliding doors and
the patrons and tables are visible from the outside.
Fresh Juice (RM 3.80)
I think this is apple juice. Yie Hui ordered this one and she said it was good.
Nyonya Style Chicken (RM 10)
This is the main dish that the waitress recommended. The fusion cafe
moniker is very apt in this case – Li Bai Fusion Cafe serves up Chinese
cuisine with influences from a lot of other disciplines of cooking. It
tastes great – the chicken is spicy and sweet at the same time.
Yin Yang (RM 6)
Yin Yang is a dish which comprises flat noodles (kueh tiaw) and rice
vermicelli (bee hoon) mixed in equal parts (which gives it the name).
The rice vermicelli is deep fried before being soaked into the flat
noodles (kueh tiaw) gravy so it maintains its crunchiness at the
beginning and becomes soggy towards the end.
The Yin Yang dish has a mixture of ingredients such as chicken,
prawns and crab sticks, as well as vegetables. It was rather bland –
that’s the verdict from the both of us.
“Jin Zhen Tou” (RM 7.50)
This rice based dish has heavy influences from Indonesian cuisine –
it’s basically a version of nasi pattaya (fried rice wrapped in an
omelet) served with a side of orange chicken (chicken cooked with
orange). I like the orange slices arranged on the dish…it gives it a
bit of presentation flair. The rice dish is not just topped with an
omelet but completely wrapped inside a large omelet.
This is what the dish looks like inside – you can definitely tell I
wasn’t the one who started eating it from the clean break. ;) The fried
rice has oatmeal mixed into it and that gives it a sweet texture at
times. I like the orange chicken too, it tastes great, but Yie Hui is
not a big fan of sweet gravy with rice. I am though. This comes highly
recommended from me.
Snow Frog (RM 10)
This is one of the desserts we ordered – it’s a traditional Chinese
herbal drink that’s supposed to be “cooling”. It tastes sweet.
Fresh “Xi Mi Lu” (RM 10.50)
This dessert is a milk based concoction with an assortment of
ingredients inside. The desserts at Li Bai Fusion Cafe is available
either chilled or hot. This is the chilled version.
There is an assortment of fruits and jellies inside this dessert and
that distinct evaporated milk taste which predominantly dominates the
dessert. I like evaporated milk (a thick and creamy milk) so this went
down really well with me.
Li Bai Fusion Cafe is worth checking out if you’re
around the Padungan area and is interested in Chinese style dining with
influences from other cuisines. Li Bai Fusion Cafe also has a large
repertoire of dishes on the menu from double boiled soups to fish.