Tucked away on Level 1 of Empire Hotel Subang is Di Wei Chinese Restaurant (next to Popular Bookstore).  The classy casual facade leads the way into an incredibly spacious restaurant beyond.  Inspired by the hotel’s sleek and chic concept (more photos of the hotel below), Di Wei Chinese Restaurant is tastefully decorated with well-crafted Oriental carvings on the walls, floor-to-ceiling windows that let in natural lighting.  The embedded wooden floor panels bring out a sense of warmth and charm.  There’s also a beautiful custom-made glass wine chiller at one end of the restaurant showcasing an impressive range of wines – good news for wine-lovers!

Serving “Modern Royal Pleasures“, the range of dishes and Dim Sum available are traditional, a mixture of Cantonese and Shanghainese delights.

Something different – tidbit dish of braised peanuts & mushrooms

We sampled a few of the restaurant’s signature dim sum items – Steamed Siew Mai and Steamed Shrimp Dumplings.  There’s no doubt about the freshness of the shrimps and pork in the dumplings … but there’s nothing very exciting about these 2 standard items.

The Deep-fried Softshell Crabs with Dried Chillies & Garlic fared much better on the “unique” scale.  And so did the Deep-fried Vietnamese Rockmelon Prawn Roll with Mint Sauce.  The softshell crabs were lightly battered and deep-fried, resulting in crunchy bits while the crabmeat inside was sweet and tender… and decadently rich when you bite into the roe.  The dried chillies and garlic were perfect in blending their tart aromas with the briny crabs – a deadly combo, I would say…. because you just cannot stop munching on these.

I was fascinated with the pretty filigree-like batter covering the prawn roll.  I found out that Vietnamese springroll skin was used to wrap the prawns and rockmelon and before frying, the rolls were dipped in some “magic powder” to get that filigree effect!  I’m not sure what the magic powder is made of but it sure yields some really pretty effects!   The combination of fresh shrimps and sweet rockmelon fried in a roll was really good and that creamy mint sauce accompanying the rolls was superb.

My favourite was the Steamed Codfish with Spring Onions & Coriander Sauce and all my dining companions shared the same sentiment.  Nothing can be faulted with a thick chunk of codfish steamed in a miniature claypot, topped with a delicious paste made from pureed onions and coriander.  For a bit of crunch, the codfish is garnished with a bunch of fried ginger strips.  Delicious.

An all-time favourite at Di Wei is the Mongolian Pork Ribs.  Two big pieces of prime pork ribs, which had been pre-boiled to soften them, are then marinated with BBQ sauce, battered and deep-fried.  Despite the pre-boiling, the ribs retained their juicy porky flavours.

Slice through the tender meat and you’ll get to enjoy well-flavoured pork encased in a thin crispy batter.  Mop up the meat with the sweetish-sourish sauce and you will smack your lips in relish.  The ribs portion is really generous, for a single serving.  We didn’t have any carb dish that evening, yet we were completely stuffed!

For Dessert, we had their signature Lemongrass Jelly with Lime Sorbet.  Lemongrass jellies seem to be the rage in many restaurants here but I don’t mind because it’s my favourite kind of jelly, actually.  I love the refreshing lemongrass aroma and the lime sorbet added a bit of tartness to it, which is good, considering the rich dishes we just had.

If you have not stepped foot into Empire Hotel in Subang, let me tell you that it’s a really chic and cool hotel.  A boutique hotel with 198 rooms, adjacent to the Empire Shopping Gallery, its decor is bright, colorful and modern.  I love the ballroom, with its unique curved wall-ceiling lighting structure… it’s like walking into a multi-coloured futuristic cavern, where the lights change color every few seconds.

Di Wei Chinese Restaurant
Level 1 Empire Hotel Subang
Jalan SS16/1
47500 Subang Jaya
Tel: 603-5565-1388
Open 12.00noon to 2.30pm; 6.00pm to 10.00pm (Monday to Friday)
Saturday & Sunday: 11.00am to 2.30pm; 6.00pm to 10.00pm

website: www.empirehotel.com.my