Da Fu Di honours the heritage of classic Chinese cuisine in Pavilion Damansara Heights

April 16, 2024

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Our favourite new Chinese restaurant of 2024, Da Fu Di embraces an elegant, exhilarating exploration of China's culinary heritage, marshalling Hong Kong and Malaysian collaborators with a mastery of timeless traditions.

From Pickled Midsummer Ginger Root with Century Eggs to the Signature Herbal Braised Chicken inspired by Hong Kong's Eighteen Flavour Chicken, every recipe takes patience and painstaking skill to prepare, elevating the essence of exceptional meat, seafood and vegetables.

Flavours and textures are fine-tuned to pure perfection, free of MSG or artificial additives - Da Fu Di's Hong Kong-born primary founder infuses decades of experience from travelling throughout China into a delicious diversity of regional masterpieces, relying on remarkable Malaysian produce such as Sekinchan rice noodles and Penang mantis prawns and poultry.

If you're craving one of KL's most impressive Roast Ducks, classics like Wu Xi Spare Ribs, comfort food such as Black Truffle Shrimp Stir-Fried Noodles. or rarities like Fish Broth with Pig Skin and Choi Sum, Da Fu Di is a pleasurable experience in Pavilion Damansara Heights.

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Da Fu Di's setting is sleek and soothing with a serene sense of art and architecture, illustrating the lush loveliness of China's landscapes. The main dining space is bright and welcoming, while six private rooms promise intimate exclusivity for celebrations of up to 40 persons.

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Appetisers prove alluring, with an intriguing range to choose from. Patrons can order these a la carte or in combinations of two or three on platters.

Each dish is hand-crafted to order - recommended highlights include the Signature Roasted Barbecue Pork, luscious with a light caramelised sweetness that enhances the meat's memorable juiciness, harnessing prime pork shoulder and belly flesh, marinated in Da Fu Di's Hong Kong-inspired seasonings. Divinely delectable.

Also richly nuanced are the Pumpkin Shrimp Soup with Scallops, with the pumpkin's natural taste shimmering in each mouthful with a fresh, full-bodied scallop ball in shrimp broth, and Crab Meat with Crispy Corn, charmingly served in a cone for a bite-sized beauty that brings together land and sea in crunchy, captivating harmony with salted egg yolk.

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Pickled Midsummer Ginger Root served with Century Egg is a must - Da Fu Di's founders have scoured Malaysia's markets for marvellous century eggs, delicate with a smooth creaminess, coupled with gorgeously tender ginger steeped in Japanese rice wine and vinegar. 

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A variety of double-boiled soups will warm the soul and lift the spirit, spanning Cordycep Flowers with Conch and Pork Trotters, Morchella Mushrooms with Fish Maw, Aged Yellow Cucumber, Coconut Milk and Huadiao Wine Fish, and much more. 

The Green and Red Radish Corn Pork Ribs Soup is vibrant with the colours of the earth, gently slow-simmered for up to five hours, nurturing an authentic soup experience that requires plenty of top-quality carrots, radish, corn and pork to create.

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The Signature Herbal Braised Chicken is a flagship, currently available by preorder.

Da Fu Di sources plump, premium Ma Cao chicken, the free-range breed known for its pure, clean flavour, marinated in the kitchen overnight in an aromatic soy-based broth that speaks of star anise, liquorice, bay leaves, fennel, cassiacloves and more.

The effort without shortcuts is worth it. The meat is sumptuously succulent with a fragrant penetration of soy sauce laced with uplifting herbs and spices - a testament to Da Fu Di's custom-blended sauce, showcasing different types of soy for a distinctively subtle umami.

A Signature Braised King Duck is another to relish - the master sauce requires a full day to prepare before the meat is slow-cooked in it on the second day, saturated in complex herbs and spices that permeate every layer of meat, fat and skin.

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Duck devotees can devour the Roast Duck too, a two-kilogram feast of fowl for families and friends, marinated for several hours in 17 herbs and spices, crisped up with hot oil on order. While roast duck might seem like commonplace fare, Da Fu Di nails the fundamentals for a fulfilling rendition - we'd happily return to the restaurant simply for this.

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Wu Xi Spare Ribs are a tribute to the most renowned recipe of China's Wuxi City - top-tier pork, moist and mouthwatering, glossy with the goodness of soy sauce and ginger. Addictively compelling to the final thick-cut chew.

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Moving on to Xinjiang Province, the Spring Onion and Cumin Stir-Fried Lamb bolsters the marvellously marbled New Zealand lamb shoulder in a wonderfully wholesome preparation with a savoury, springy punch that perks up the palate.

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Fish Broth with Pig Skin and Choi Sum pays homage to a Chinese coastal legacy where fishermen formerly preserved their fish with salt. Robustness takes centre-stage with flounder in a thick, milky soup, sensuously laced with Shaoxing wine, gelatinous with pork skin, balanced with leafy stalks of choi sum for spoonfuls of slurp-worthy satisfaction.

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Steamed fish dishes are a triumph too, served in fillets or whole, including choices such as Dragon Tiger Grouper, shining in sheer simplicity to showcase the silky, flaky catch of the sea.

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For carb cravings, the Black Truffle Trio Shrimp Stir-fried Noodles makes for a hearty Hong Kong-style hit, brimming with the crustacean luxuriousness of truffled shrimp, shrimp oil and shrimp soup, deepened with fermented bean curd to flavour the yee mee, with no added sugar or salt necessary whatsoever.

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Da Fu Di
Lot 5.26.00, Level 5, Pavilion Damansara Heights, Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur.
Open Daily 11am-3pm, 6pm-10pm. 
Tel: 012-342-7028