October 21, 2011

Yue Yang Lou Restaurant: Fiery Hunan Delicacies Guaranteed to Spice Up Your Life!

Talk about spicy food… this one is Not for the Faint-Hearted folks! Our dear foodie friend, Yvonne, called one weekend and asks if I am into spicy food. An excited YES was quickly replied by a restaurant date to savor Hunan cuisine at Yue Yang Lou Restaurant located at Dataran Mentari Bandar Sunway one fine Sunday evening with other ardent fans.

 *Picture taken from here.
Yue Yang Lou Restaurant is named after after an ancient architectural pavilion located on the shores of Dongting Lake in Yueyang City of Hunan province. Yue Yang Lou or Yue Yang Pavilion is a three storey, rectangular building reaching about 15 meters (about 49 feet) high and is constructed entirely from wood without a single nail or beam in its construction. Find out more about the ancient historical pavilion here.

Hunan Cuisine is divided into three styles by the regions of Xiang River, Dongting Lake and Western Hunan. The cuisine features a liberal usage of their famous chili peppers grown in abundance in the provinces. The chili peppers have a distinctive aromatic chili and pungent flavor that perfumes the cuisine’s dishes with its signatory fiery hotness like no other compared to our local chilies here. Often compared to Sichuan cuisine, there is a significant difference in both though as Hunan dishes are fiery hot (spicy like hell hot!! J) without the numbing effect, uses more fresh ingredients and have a tendency to be oilier than the other cuisine.

The restaurant features a clean and bright décor in wood and showcase Chinese art imprinted on glass panel throughout the walls and even table tops!

The sign of fiery spiciness to be expected in the restaurant… J

We started off with ‘Xiang Cai’ or what looks like four innocent looking appetizers featuring the cold starters of the Hunan cuisine.

One bite and this will hit you off the roof with its spiciness! Although there is enough spiciness in the dishes, I have to admit that there is a certain hint of a wonderful fragrance of the aromatic salted chili mixture in the small dishes. After savoring the appetizers a few times, one can begin to taste the other pungent flavors like shallots, garlic, coriander, all of which contributes to the Hunan cuisine.

My favorite of the appetizers are the Pickled Spicy Cucumber and Spicy Seaweed Salad. Both were equally crunchy from its ingredients and provided a good bite! Pickled Pig Ear and Bean Curd Sheets were fairly decent.

When asked during the ordering on what level of spiciness we could partake, we answered bravely to the server to give us what the local Hunan would take… hahaha… and we certainly paid for this later in sweat!! J

First dish up was Stir Fried Beijing Cabbage sizzling gentle on the hot plate and soon, the aroma entranced us into savoring this with great gusto. The cabbage retained its slightly crunchy texture and added the sweetness to the aromatic dried chili for a smoky edge. Everyone loved this dish despite it being simple and unpretentious! A Must-Order here… J

The next dish of Stir Fried Salted Cabbage with Green Bean Potato Starch Sheet got mixed reviews. Pungent garlic infused dish, the potato starch sheets had a gelatinous texture and the flavors are strong with garlic, chili and salt. I needed rice for this dish to tone down the salt and chili. Taste this for yourselves to decide if you like it or not!

The essential Steamed Rice to accompany the flavors of Hunan cuisine.

I absolutely worship this dish of Hunan Local Style Sizzling Skewered Ostrich Meat! The aroma was heavenly scented with loads of onions, shallots, chilies, cumin and garlic.

The skewered ostrich meat was savory and scrumptious while tender. I had quite a few sticks of these as it was not spicy at all. Another Must-Order if you don’t mind savoring ostrich!!

Uncle Mao apparently did a lot of things right! The dish of Uncle Mao’s Special Braised Pork was a luxurious dish of pork belly braised in a sweet and savory sticky sauce. The fats were rich and melting tender while the meat was soft and juicy. The dish shouts comfort food to be savored with steamed fluffy rice. Now I see why it’s Uncle Mao’s favorite dish… J

Claypot Supreme ‘Water Fish’ Soup with Chinese Herbs was highly recommended for its medicinal benefits. Chinese believes that drinking the essence of turtle provides a lot nutritional and health benefits hence I was encourage to drink up the herbal concoction of the turtle broth to every last drop. The soup was warming and soothing in accompaniment to the spicy food we savored.

The next dish was another sizzler of Hot Spicy Fresh Frog in Stone Sizzling Hunan Style. Not an ardent fan of frogs, I do have to say that this frog was huge and the meat was sweet and fresh as it was tender as well.

Bubbling spicy with its usual load of chili, garlic, ginger and scallion, it was gobbled up pretty fast by my foodie gang despite its spiciness.

Deep Fried Spicy Chicken Soft Knee Bone was a plate of golden nuggets of crunchy pieces of the soft knee bone of the chicken. Flavors were amazing with the aroma of the fried chilies but it was not overly spicy. The awesome crunch factor was the unique part of this dish.

Our Hunan signature came in the form of Hot Spicy Steamed Fish Head in Hunan Specialty! Boy-oh-boy, this one raised the bar of all spiciness… hehehe. The fish was fresh without a doubt as it was sweet and flaked easily. The flavors were redolent of the Hunan salted chili with garlic and flavored the fish and soup with its distinctive taste of aromatic spiciness. This dish is bold and addictive as it provides a strong heat that naturally mellows down as you savor this further.

We were also given a bowl of noodles to pour into the soup of the fish for another level of enjoyment. The plain noodles were lovely after it had soaked up the flavors of the spicy soup. I find that the level of spiciness was toned down if one savors this with the noodles.

Our next fish dish was the Steamed Fresh Concubine Fish sliced thinly and fanned out on the plate to resemble a flower. Exceptionally thin and doused with a minced chili sauce with silky strands of scallion, the dish was fairly easy to enjoy. You can ask for the spicy level to be tone down for those who cannot take the heat. This simple dish shone with its signature sauce to bring out the color, flavor and freshness of the Hunan cuisine’s characteristic.

As usual, our eyes are bigger than our stomach and we ended up with three desserts despite our huge portions of food. Our first dessert of Homemade Potato Pancake had a good flavor to be savored with the sweet sauce. I could taste the potato flavors and the crispy texture provided the crunch factor. This dessert is quite unique and everyone seemed to like this a lot.

I personally prefer the Deep Fried Bee Hive with Corn. As soon as I as I saw this on the menu, I had already made up my mind to try this. An interesting piece of a huge golden disc with nets of crispy and light batter encasing golden nuggets of sweet corn was served with the same sweet sauce as the previous dessert.

When it was broken up, I could see the middle had a soft and gooey texture with the corns and I find the combination irresistible as it was light, crispy and sweet. I polished off almost half of this to myself!! J

The last dessert was a simple Golden Mandao with the same sweet sauce. Decent but nothing to shout about compared to the previous two desserts. Kids will like this though for its crispy and fluffy bun texture against the sweet creamy sauce as it had a similar dish to the one I had during my childhood days of eating bread with condensed milk!

Yue Yang Lou Restaurant would certainly be ideal place for fans who enjoy spicy food. The chef was brought in from China specifically to ensure that the dishes are as authentic as it can be. The owner also imports the Hunan ingredients such as the salted chilies to provide guest its true flavors of Hunan. With such passion in mind, I cannot help but to praise and thank the owner for his passion and obsession with authentic Hunan cuisine that we are able to enjoy this cuisine without needing to visit the country itself today. Portions are big for the price and most dishes come in three sizes.  The restaurant do offers non spicy dishes or one can ask for the level of spiciness to be reduce.

Check out Yue Yang Lou Restaurant for authentic Hunan cuisine and you will be guaranteed a meal you won’t forget!

Restoran Yue Yang Lou
No 23A Jalan PJS 8/17,
Dataran Mentari Bandar Sunway,
46150 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 603 5622 2129
Fax: 603 5622 2043

*Thanks to Yvonne, Adrian and Danny for the invitation!


  1. This is so near to my place!!!! I must try this!!!!

  2. wow... Hunan dish.. never try before!

  3. I can feel the spiciness by just looking at ur photos!

  4. So near yet so far! I don't even know this restaurant existed. Thanks for the mention. I got to go try those delicious food. You did a good job on the photos.

  5. It just perfectly awesome, if you are looking for chillies with spiceness this is defintely the place to be! just perfect!

  6. Nicole: Great place for some heat! ;0)

    Niker: Are you brave enough to try this then?

    Choi Yen: Its the Land of the Spicy!!

    Quay Po: Thks... if you love spicy, this is the place!

    BBO: Yep... so when do you wannt go again? ;0)