If you have come across the culinary creations of Chef James Ho, you would find some of them to be incredibly beautiful – too beautiful to eat, that’s what I say. Remember those adorable miniature nasi lemak, chicken rice in sushi form at Ruyi & Lyn? They were so gorgeous and immediately rocked social media with their appearance and everyone was sharing those photos!
Well, Ruyi & Lyn has expanded its wings and hence the birth of YU took shape in The Gardens Mall just late last month. YU offers pork-free Chinese cuisine and occupies an intimate dining space, complete with a cosy cocktail bar. Chef James Ho and his team have once again shown their mettle, coming up with modern Chinese dishes, injected with their usual brand of creativity.
Uppermost on my mind is the lovely Flower Pillow, a slab of house-made tofu infused with green tea crowned with colourful toppings like salmon roe, caviar, fragrant crunchy oats, toasted walnuts and edible flowers. It reminds me of a little Japanese rock garden – the whole ensemble so delicately put together that I really hated having to dig into it! But dig into it we did and we savoured an explosion of clear flavours and crunchy textures on the tongue.
Flower Pillow (RM38)
The Pekingnese Princess is a platter of aromatic crispy duckskin sandwiching swirls of foie gras mousse and caviar, certainly upping the level from a regular Peking Duck.
Pekingnese Princess (RM88)
YU serves fresh dim sum and high tea from 11am till 4pm daily, introducing eclectic modern Chinese creations which you certainly won’t find elsewhere. From the careful melding of ingredients to the meticulous plating, each dish is executed with close attention to details. We tried a couple of items from the dim sum selections. The Golden Puffs and Imperial Lobak echo familiarity yet there are certain nuances which lift them apart from regular dim sum. Foie gras added to the filling of the pastries and crispy conpoy for the Imperial Lobak are subtle variation to the norm.
The Golden Puffs (RM18)
Imperial Lobak (RM28) with crispy conpoy
For more finger-licking goodness, the Monggolian Boxer and Szechuan Tendon-cy will add some sizzle to the tongue, for sure.
Monggolian Boxer (RM28) sweet spicy chicken drummets
Szechuan Tendon-cy (RM28) beef tendon rolls with peppercorn and chilli oil
Crab lovers will be happy with the selection of crab dishes on the menu. Yes, I get it – the elegant surroundings of Yu don’t really call for you to dig in with your bare hands. So, take the easy way out and get some Dancing Crabs and Hands-free Singapore Chilli Crab served with a mantou/french breadstick. The crabs are fabulous – and I wish there was more. Crab lovers: here’s a tip: don’t share the portion, have it all to yourself!
Dancing Crabs (RM48)
Hands-free Singapore Chilli Crab
The highlight for me is the Steamin’ Crabilicious – a huge bamboo basket of glutinous rice steamed and flavoured in the most amazing way. A whole mud crab bursting with roe, patties of chicken dotted with salted fish are all laid on top of a layer of glutinous rice.
Steamin’ Crabilicious (RM108)
While you are at YU, be sure to check out their cocktails. At RM38 each, they are beautifully concocted, presented and with some pretty quirky names too.
God is a Woman: vodka, cointreau, mangosteen, thyme syrup and lime
Mother’s Tea: pandan-infused gin, pandan tea syrup, cincau syrup, lime & cincau
Bruce Lee: licor 43, maraschino liquer, jackfruit puree, basil syrup & lime
Beautiful People, Beautiful Problems: vodka, red dragonfruit, cold pressed strawberry syrup, elderflower syrup & lemon egg white
Bringing sexy back to Chinese cuisine – that’s YU’s tagline. Looking at the pretty presentations and with portions which are mostly “fine-dine” style, it’s a memorable experience dining here. Like its parent, Ruyi & Lyn, the diversified pork-free modern Chinese menu is crafted with the philosophy of bringing all races, nationalities and beliefs harmoniously together in a good meal.
YU by Ruyi
G-243 Riverview Entrance of
The Gardens Mall
Opens Monday to Sunday
12.00pm-3.00pm & 6.00pm-midnight