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.]]>