Food review: The Regent Chinese Cuisine

Fine Chinese dining without having to step into an established chain of restaurants or a five-star hotel.

The Regent, a new-ish Chinese restaurant that has conveniently opened in Mont’Kiara (Photo: IRC)

It’s been a while since KL got treated to an independent new joint that prides itself on fine Chinese cuisine. Yes, we have the famous chains — and very good they are too — but, sometimes, it’s nice to just step into a place that’s not designed to double up as a thousand-pax banquet hall or a noisy dim sum arena where you have to holler for service or just to make yourself heard. Enter The Regent, a new-ish Chinese restaurant that has conveniently opened in Mont’Kiara — ideal for those who live in the vicinity or folk who are unwilling to trek into the bowels of the city for a good meal.

The dining room seats about 60 although another area at the back, past the open kitchen and tanks of live seafood, will fit another 20-odd. There is also a single, precious private room for those who really appreciate eating without being overheard. Although three chandeliers and a bright red lantern in the middle of the set-up add a touch of opulence, The Regent is simple and welcoming. Even the wait staff are attired in civilian threads.

It’s easy enough to pop in as and when you like and order off the menu but regulars who want to know what’s fresh, in season and available will WhatsApp Kim Leong, one of the bosses. It’s a good idea to begin all meals here with one of the nourishing soups. There’s chicken with hog maw, conpoy and pepper (RM108); pork rib with papaya, pumpkin, peanut and dried octopus (RM88); or spider crab soup with topshell and mushroom (seasonal, and has to be ordered in advance). Once your tummy has been suitably warmed up, move on to interesting starters like the ice vegetables with clams in sesame sauce (RM48) or the deep-fried fish skin prepared Typhoon Shelter-style, that is, topped with fried garlic and scallions.

Chicken with hog maw, conpoy and pepper (left) and deep-fried fish skin prepared Typhoon Shelter-style (Photo: Diana Khoo)

It is the main dishes, however, that make The Regent’s star shine brightest. For those on a low-carb diet, it can be agony as the stir-fried hor fun with Angus beef in black bean sauce (RM148) is so lusciously soft and the meat is dreamily tender, while the braised Hong Kong yee mee with black truffles and fresh water prawn (RM138) places the restaurant a few notches above traditional joints. The same goes for the superlative grilled Iberico pork ribs (RM33.80 per piece), by far the best in town.

As its name bears regal connotations, eating well at The Regent doesn’t come cheap. We didn’t dare order any of the groupers and the one time we tried the truffled Dungeness crabs and salt and pepper lobster was when a friend invited us to dine. But don’t let the steep prices stop you from experiencing the full glory of The Regent’s cuisine. It’s well worth the potential damage to both wallet and waistline.

Grilled Iberico pork ribs (left) and deep fried pork intestines

There isn’t much in the way of dessert here, staying true to the traditional Chinese restaurant model, but if you do have a sweet tooth, you shouldn’t miss the chilled Thai coconut with sago cream and avocado (RM23.80 each for a minimum of four orders) and the guilinggao with honey (RM8.80 per bowl). One is rich and indulgent, the other silky-smooth (the Cantonese would pronounce it hou wat) and cooling. If you can’t decide, I would strongly advise you to have both lest you regret it afterwards. And, as we all know, regret is oftentimes the worst form of punishment.


The Regent Chinese Cuisine, Lot A-G-01, Block A2, Jalan Kiara Plaza, Mont’Kiara, KL. 03 6211 3331. Daily, 12noon-2.30pm; 6-10.30pm. This article first appeared on July 30 in The Edge Malaysia.


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