Friday, 7 June 2013

Cantonese Cuisine at Wan Li 万丽轩 Restaurant in Renaissance Johor Bahru Hotel, Permas Jaya


Today, I was in JB's newest Chinese fine dining restaurant, Wan Li 万里 in Renaissance Johor Bahru Hotel at the invitation of Ervina.

At the entrance of Wan Li 万丽轩, we were greeted by 8 large gorgeous Arowana fish. I love Arowanas because to me, they are symbols of elegance, distinction and good fortune. 


Inside, Wan Li 万丽轩 is well appointed - the decor is contemporary minimalist, tasteful and has an understated kind of elegance. It is classy yet warm and welcoming. 

Executive Chef Foong and Ervina graciously accompanied us throughout our meal despite their busy schedules.

Xiao-Long-Bao-Wan-Li 万里-Restaurant-Renaissance-Johor-Bahru-Hotel
Wan Li Foie Gras Xiao Long Bao RM12++ for 4 pieces

Our first appetiser was the Wan Li Foie Gras Xiao Long Bao. This is set apart from ordinary xiao long baos with the additional touch of French inspired foie gras (savoury goose liver) added into the soupy meat filling.


Executive Chef Foong who has worked in restaurants and hotels in Japan, UK, Australia, China, Indonesia and Singapore likes to innovate and create. These foie gras xiao long baos are served in elegant glass cups instead of the traditional baskets.

Chef's Special Coffee Chicken RM42++ for small serving

The second appetiser was Chef's Special Coffee Chicken. The pieces of boneless chicken were marinaded in rich, robust bitter-sweet smooth white coffee. This is especially appealing for coffee lovers like me :) I love the aroma of coffee entertaining my nose while my taste buds enjoy the tender savoury chicken.

Signature Durian King Prawns RM48++ for small serving

Our next appetiser was extra special - Wan Li's Signature Durian King Prawns. Savoury deep fried succulent large king prawns coated with creamy sweet durian with topping of prawn roe. This unique dish is a Must Try.


Our first main course was Wan Li's Roasted Crispy Mango Peking Duck. I had tasted Wan Li's roast duck before and was looking forward to this with great anticipation. This is Andy, Wan Li's manager personally slicing the Peking Duck.

Roasted Crispy Mango Peking Duck RM78++ for half bird

When the blade sliced the duck's crispy skin you can literary hear the skin crackle and break. I was told that it is the office joke that Andy insists that everyone stops and listen to the crackling music whenever he cuts the duck.


The crispy duck skin is wrapped in popiah skin with a stick of cucumber and mango, drizzled with a bit of traditional condiments. I love Peking duck especially those with extra crispy skin and thick, moist juicy meat.


The remaining meat was taken away and stir fried with oyster sauce, spring union, onions and ginger.

Cantonese Crispy Noodles with Assorted Seafood RM25++ for small serving

We had this Cantonese Crispy Noodles with Assorted Seafood. I like this common stir fried dish brought to the higher level by careful and skillful execution. The crispy noodles were not greasy, set on a bed of savoury sauce and garnished by pieces of squid, prawn and fish.

Golden Custard Bun RM8++ for 3 pieces

Our first dessert was the trendy Golden Custard Bun or Liu Sah Bao. The soft bouncy bun was filled with a sweet and savoury filling made with pumpkin flesh and salted egg yolks.


The final dessert was the Chilled Mango Puree and Pamelo served on top of a glass of dry ice. The dry ice gave the dessert a dramatic look and feel while keeping the sweet mango puree nicely cold.


After our sumptuous meal, Executive Chef Foong took us on a tour of the kitchens in Renaissance Hotel. We walked through a cavernous labyrinth of kitchens and sections catering to various needs like Halal and non Halal, Wan Li's kitchen, BLD's kitchen, banquet kitchen, room service kitchen, bakery and so on. There is even a room where all the live seafood is kept. I noticed that everything is thoughtfully laid out, and spic and spank. It speaks volumes of Executive Chef Foong's organisational expertise and leadership.


This is Chef Lor Kar Yue, the man behind Wan Li's outstanding roasts. Chef Lor had previously worked in the Michelin Star Hakkasan Hanway Place Restaurant in London before joining Wan Li as the roast chef.


Restaurant name: Wan Li 万丽轩 Restaurant (at Renaissance Johor Bahru Hotel)
Address: 2, Jalan Permas 11. Bandar Baru Permas Jaya, Masai, Johor
GPS: 1.495097,103.812786
Hours: Lunch/ Dinner
Non Halal

Date visited: 6 June 2013


  1. Durian King prawn looks good. RM 48 + for small serving, is it per piece?

    This place seems to be on the higher end of the market in term of price.

  2. Tried this place on a Saturday night recently. There were only 2 tables (including ours). Ordered Coffee chicken, Cantonese crispy noodles, 3 combination roasts, stir-fried Kailan & hot & sour seafood soup.
    Coffee chicken was too sweet for my taste, but coffee flavour is strong. Although juicy inside, it was not crispy enough on the outside. In fact, it was soggy.
    Cantonese crispy noodles were not oily, but they were not fragrant enough either. For RM25++, I was expecting more.
    3 Combination roasts consisted of roast pork, roast duck & char siew. Roast pork was very good. They managed to roast a very very lean piece of pork, complete with skin, while maintaining the juiciness. Good! Roast duck was not bad and char siew was executed differently from your regular char siew. A bit dry for my taste.
    Stir fried Kailan was well,... normal.
    Hot & sour seafood soup was also so-so. Much better & cheaper ones could be found in Meisan in Mutiara Hotel next to Holiday Plaza.
    Overall the bill came to RM375 for 4 pax. While the food was actually not that bad, especially the roast pork, we could have gotten the same quality of food elsewhere for half the price. At this price range, one expects outstanding quality food. Without considering price, I would rate this place lower than Pekin or Meisan.

  3. Yes, I hear good things also about Pekin and Meisan. Hope to try them soon :) Thanks for your input.


I firmly believe that taste is subjective and so, warmly welcome differing viewpoints :-D But, I disapprove negative comments that are anonymous or hide behind fake identities. I feel that that is the same as speaking ill of others behind their backs. I look forward to all your comments :-D Thank you. (Date: 18 Dec 2015)

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