Hui Lau Shan (許留山) may be foreign to many here in Penang but it is not the case in Hong Kong. Hui Lau Shan was established in the early 1960′s as an herbal tea specialty shop that emphasizes on the originality and healthiness of their products. Armed with a continuous R&D initiative, they managed to reinvent Hui Lau Shan and assert its legacy and status as Hong Kong’s Fresh Fruit Dessert Pioneer in 1992 with its rolling out of its mango sago dessert without leaving their heritage behind.
We were recently asked to attend a media event at Hui Lau Shan’s fifth outlet in Malaysia since May 2012. As we were going in blind not knowing what to expect in their Gurney Plaza outlet, we had checked around for comments of the concept, product and quality to at least we know what we were getting into.
Hui Lau Shan’s specialty is in mango base and fruit desserts, but they are also well established for their Supreme Coconut Stewed Bird’s Nest with Harsmar, Ganoderma Herbal Jelly and savoury snacks that they have also brought in from Hong Kong with a bit tweaking to compliment Malaysian taste preference.
As mango is the key ingredient for a majority of their desserts, thus the quality of the mangoes will ultimately determine the taste and texture of the final products that they sell or present at their outlets. Therefore, in order ensure quality they have made it a point to import the Philippine mangoes and Thai mangoes, which is an uphill task as Malaysia is also a Mango producing country, by air freight on a regular basis to ensure that the mangoes are always fresh and ripe.
The Philippine mangoes have a strong fragrance, minor sweetness and medium tanginess with a fresher orangey appearance, Thai mangoes on the other hand is used for its predominantly sweet properties that have a mallow orange appearance and also as a contingency ingredient if there is any shortage of Philippine mangoes. The usual chemistry of Philippine and Thai mangoes are 80:20 for the optimum appearance, aromatic and sweetness. With that said, the colour and taste of their mango purée and juices are naturally formed without the use of additional artificial colourings and sugar. Mango toppings are usually from freshly cut Philippine mangoes due to its aromatic and appearance characteristics.
Super Signature Items (四大镇店之宝)
Mango Icy Sweetie Ball (多芒小丸子) @ RM11.90, silky smooth mango purée, firm tender mango cubes, and in-house made textured mango ice-cream served with firm glutinous rice balls. The mango ice cream has a texture of between a sorbet and a normal ice-cream when served with the purée delivers a contrast in mouth feel.
Fresh Mango Mochi (芒果糯米糍) @ RM4.90 for 3 pieces, soft springy mango flavoured mochi dough wrapped within a fresh firm whole Philippine mango cube. Each mochi is covered with crisp and moist desiccated coconut. The mochi is said to be made by hand which the reason for its soft, springy and chewy texture.
Supreme Coconut Stewed Bird’s Nest with Harsmar (燕窝椰皇炖雪蛤) hot / cold @ RM22.90, firm translucent strands of “nutritious” birds nest and harsmar stewed/boiled in savoury, creamy, rich coconut milk. Depending on the temperature it is served, hot or cold, both also have their individual uniqueness. When served hot the coconut milk aroma and sweetness is much more distinctive as compared to the cold version.
Ganoderma Herbal Jelly (灵芝龟苓膏) (hot/cold) @ RM7.90, tender and wobbly textured herbal jelly with a bitter sweet taste. This is one of their pioneering products that have been with Hui Lau Shan since the 1960s. The herbal jelly is recommended to be either taken straight for its unique bitter sweet taste or with sugar syrup to mask the bitter taste but the unique flavour of the jelly itself. Honey would be too strong, and thus masking its true flavours.
Double Delight Sweetie Ball (糖不甩) @ RM4.90 for five (5) pieces, firm and tender glutinous rice balls served with ground fragrant peanuts and sesame seeds sprinkled on top. Again there is a contrast in texture. It is similar to our “Mua Chea” minus the sugar.
Delicacy Snack Series (精选小食系列)
Rejuvenation Dessert Series (滋润炖品系列)
Fresh Papaya with Harsmar and Coconut Milk (原只木瓜雪蛤膏) @ RM11.90, tender Harsmar in rich and creamy coconut milk served in a halved papaya. A unique combination that works; the savoury taste of the coconut milk balances the sweet taste of the ripen papaya flesh.
Mango Mania Series (招牌多芒系列)
Mango Romance (芒之恋) @ RM12.90 is actually a sampler or beginner’s platter that offers the same taste and experience although in a smaller portions of their Mango Icy Sweetie Ball (多芒小丸子), Fresh Mango Mochi (芒果糯米糍) and Mango Icy Crystal Jeli (多芒亮晶晶).
Mango Feast (芒果小盛宴) @ RM12.90 is another sampler platter with a different combination of their specialty items. It has Mango Icy Coconut Noodle (多芒捞河), Mango Sweetie Ball (多芒小丸子) and Mango Cream “Cheese” Cake (冻饼). Coconut noodles are generally thin slices of firm, savoury coconut flesh cut to resemble Chinese flat rice noodles.
鲜果拼盘系列 Fruitties Combo Series
Fresh Fruitties Sweetie Ball with Double Juices (鲜果鸳鸯捞丸子) @ RM14.90, freshly extracted juices are ice-blended into a thick smooth icy “soup” and served with a bowl of fresh fruits. We had the Mango and Water Melon combi which turn out surprisingly quite refreshing. You can choose two juices any of the following to concoct your favourite taste Mango, Coconut, Watermelon, Honeydew Melon, Cantaloupe and Papaya.
Fruitties Jeli Series (鲜果爽饮系列)
This Fruitties Jeli series is the best substitute to the current fad of artificially flavoured and sweeten bubble teas that are filled with black crystal balls. Within this range customers have the choice to mix and match the juices and the available selection of Jeli flavours,Honey, Mango, Pandan or Crystal, according to their preferences. With freshly extracted fruit juice and chewy Jeli, the price ranges from as low as RM6.90 for a regular order to RM8.90 for large ones.
Choice of Double Series (双层滋选系列)
Last we had a try at their Choice of Double Series @ RM4.90 per set with a choice of one(1) of their famous puddings and a choice of one(1) of the either their signature Mango purée, purple glutinous rice pudding or just plain old fruit cubes. The packaging was sturdy and functional, thus it would be a great idea for takeaway, parties, or even as gifts.
Our overall experience:
Outlets in Malaysia:
- Gurney Plaza, Penang
- Sunway Carnival Mall (Coming soon in October)
- Selangor & Kuala Lumpur
- One Utama
- Berjaya Times Square
- The Mines Shopping Mall
- Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
- Cheras Leisure Mall
- City Square, Johor (Coming soon in October)