TORONTO, ON – Renowned for its dedication to preparing traditional Cantonese cuisine with a modern and creative interpretation, Lai Wah Heen is upping the ante by introducing recipes from various regions in China, in a move that echoes the culinary trends currently happening in that country’s largest cities. A leader in innovation, Toronto’s finest Chinese restaurant is introducing the new menu during a milestone year – its 10th anniversary.

Chinese cuisine draws on a large variety of cooking techniques, regional specialties and agricultural produce. At Lai Wah Heen, guests will be guided through an exciting culinary journey as its new menu embraces the very best of authentic regional cuisine, including dishes inspired by classics from Beijing, Szechuan, Shanghai, Chiu Chow and Guangdong, all with a famous Lai Wah Heen twist.

Lai Wah Heen’s evolution from Cantonese to regional Chinese cuisine is evident in the items found on all of its menus – dim sum, lunch and dinner.

Dim Sum:
Wontons, a staple in northern China, are traditionally made with a thin square pastry wrapper that is filled with a savoury minced-meat mixture. The new Seahorse Wonton created by Terrence Chan, master dim sum chef, is an artistic interpretation of a traditional dumpling made in the shape of a seahorse that is stuffed with sumptuous seafood such as conpoy and scallops and is mixed with water chestnut and carrot to add variation and texture.

Another new dim sum item, which stands out for its ingenuity and taste, is the Steamed Salmon Crystal Dumpling, a delicious combination of steamed salmon in a crystal dumpling wrap garnished with salted salmon roe. Traditional crystal dumplings are made from a shrimp mixture that has been wrapped in thin, translucent dough and steamed in a bamboo steamer. The recipe calls for making pleats on the dumpling’s wrapper, which is a test of the chef’s dexterity. Garnishing with orange-red translucent salmon roe on top of the crystal dumpling makes for a flavourful and elegant presentation.

The menu also features Jumbo Prawn Fan Gou, a variation of the traditional dumpling but with a refined twist. Served with a clear chicken consommé, the deep-fried Jumbo Prawn Fan Gou is crispy on the outside and tasty on the inside.

Steamed rice roll is standard fare in dim sum cuisine. Chef Chan’s version is filled with slices of Chinese cucumber and accompanied with curry beef stew. The innovative dish is sure to delight even the most discerning palates.

Dine-around-China Prix Fixe Lunch:
Lai Wah Heen’s specialty dim sum menu offers more than 30 items to choose from. Now, there’s no need to worry about how to pick the best dim sum items for an enjoyable lunch. For $28 per person, the Dine-around-China Prix Fixe Lunch Menu offers four lunch groupings and is the best way to introduce friends to various Chinese cuisines.

The Shanghai lunch, for example, is a complete sampling of dumplings in a variety of forms and flavours, including a Shrimp Wonton in a Creamy Consommé, the popular Steamed Mini-Bun with Crab Meat and Minced Pork, a Pan-Seared Pot Sticker, a Shanghai Bun and a Sticky Rice Cake.

For a more cosmopolitan experience, one can try the Hong Kong menu, including the well-known Seafood and Shark’s Fin Dumpling in Chicken Broth, a traditional Crystal Shrimp Dumpling, the health-conscious “Billionaire’s” Fried Rice, and Chef’s Chan latest creations, the Seahorse Wonton and the Chinese Cucumber Rice Roll.

The Chiu Chow menu offers a taste of Chinese cooking southern style while the Beijing and Szechuan lunch is a pleasing alternative for food lovers who enjoy a stronger and spicier flavour.

Dinner:
Ken Tam, executive chef, combines classic elegance with innovative twists in the new dinner menu. From the well-known and well-loved Peking Duck to the distinctive Pan-Seared Foie Gras and Deep-Fried Asparagus topped with Sweet Plum Sauce, every dish on the menu is a must try for an epicurean experience of the complex and multi-flavoured Chinese cuisine.

With more than 100 selections to choose from, a versatile mix of regional cuisine across China includes authentic dishes from Beijing, like Peking Duck and Spicy Dried Beef Slices, Spicy Szechuan Braised Sliced Pork and Kung-Pao Diced Chicken, the sweet and savoury characteristics of the Jiangsu and Zhejiang dishes like Dong Puo Pork and Deep-Fried Filet of Bass glazed with Sweet Vinegar Sauce, Imperial Shanghai Crab and Lion Head, as well as the Chiu Chow-style Consommé and Pan-Seared Chiu Chow Minced Oyster Cake. These regional dishes offer a true taste of China from north to south, east to west.

Reservations can be made by calling 416.977.9899 or by email at mailtlwh@metropolitan.com.

10th Anniversary Festivities:
The introduction of a regional Chinese menu marks the beginning of Lai Wah Heen’s 10th Anniversary festivities. Over the next year, patrons are encouraged to keep their schedules open as guest chefs from across China will make special appearances. The first Chinese celebrity chef will make an exclusive appearance at Lai Wah Heen in mid-November. More details will follow in the next few weeks.

Metropolitan Hotels (http://www.metropolitan.com/) operates three luxury properties in Toronto and Vancouver, including the Metropolitan Toronto, the SoHo Metropolitan and the Metropolitan Vancouver. With more than 815 rooms, Metropolitan Hotels is committed to providing luxury accommodation for business and leisure travelers seeking an independent choice. As members of Preferred Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, the hotels offer the finest in distinctive accommodations, in addition to service and cuisine provided by their award-winning restaurants, Hemispheres and Lai Wah Heen (Toronto), Senses (SoHo Metropolitan) and Diva at the Met (Metropolitan Vancouver).