When you first walk into Copper Mansion, you can’t help but let out a low, appreciative whistle as you eyeball the space in all its decadent glory. This is a spot where there is no compulsion to dress up, but out of respect for the beauty around you, you’ll feel you simply have to.
The restaurant is a venture initiated by the LYL Group, founded by Tan Sri Lim Yew Loong. The group has experience in running F&B ventures, having been involved in Jaya Palace and East Lake Restaurant. With Copper Mansion, their Chinese restaurant streak continues.
“My family has a little knowledge running a few restaurants and we wanted to do a hybrid model of a good Chinese restaurant with an event space. With many restaurants, once you have a wedding, a lot of the walk-ins can’t have dinner. So we thought why not use this space to do something functional and on top of that, there is also food to eat in a restaurant base. So it combines both, which in KL is kind of lacking,” says Datuk Kent Lim, the director of Copper Mansion and the son of LYL’s founder.
As a space, Copper Mansion is massive – a whopping 3.4 acres – and it makes full use of its size. The space is sectioned into the main restaurant, private rooms as well as a large-scale ballroom that can accommodate up to 100 tables.
Kent and his brothers run Copper Mansion together – he handles the day-to-day operations while his brothers tackle other roles.
“We consult with each other but we also split our duties, although of course every change we make has to be agreed upon. As a family business, we have a little bit more leeway in terms of changing the menus – it’s not so rigid, I would say. But running a restaurant is tough, it’s not just about the food, we have to worry about the kitchen, the floor and customer service. Everything piles on top of each other,” says Kent.
Before the restaurant opened, Kent and his team travelled to Japan, Taiwan and China in pursuit of the best produce on offer. “We source a lot of our produce ourselves, we flew everywhere with our chef to test all the produce and see which ones are the best,” he says. The fruits of that labour are obvious in the menu, where you might find premium items like Boston lobster, Kiwi clams and South African abalone on offer.
In terms of the food, Copper Mansion aims for an elevated dining experience that capitalises on classic Chinese cuisine and expands it into something more high-brow. A dim sum selection is also on offer, and will be revised every three months in keeping with Kent’s frequent trips to dim sum hotspots like London which inspire new menu creations.
“We’re trying to go forward into a more refined style of dining while still keeping the concept of authentic Chinese food,” says Kent.
To begin your epicurean adventure at Copper Mansion, try a trio of appetisers (RM25). There is a variety of options to tempt your palate, but the duck wrapped with mango and cucumber is a stand-out. The flavours of the duck are accentuated by the freshness of the cucumber and sweetness of the mango in what proves to be a pleasurable marriage of flavours. The deep-fried aubergine with salt and pepper features little parcels of crispy aubergines that boast lush, tender insides (although the salt quotient could be upped a little). Then there is the tomatoes loaded with seafood and cheese, which intersperses the zesty, acidic flavours of a whole tomato with rich, gooey cheese. While it may not make an instantly discernible impression, it is certainly an interesting offering.
Copper Mansion also runs monthly promotional menus, and from this, you could opt to try the crispy prawns served with kaffir lime sauce (RM38 per person). The large prawn is coated in a thick, crispy carapace which upon eating, yields to tender flesh inside. The kaffir lime sauce gives the entire concoction a burst of freshness that enhances the appeal of the meal. A salad of crystallised ice plants (a plant that grows on sand dunes and seaweed deposits) on the side prove equally delightful, offering texture-rich, bouncy mouthfuls of vegetables that promise to bewitch.
The steamed giant grouper fish with minced chilli and ginger paste (RM20 per person) is another temptation from the August menu that you should absolutely indulge in.
The fish is incredibly fresh and its natural beauty is accentuated by the ginger paste, which is made with a combination of old and young ginger so it has a rich pungency that permeates every mouthful.
Then there is the abalone with seafood taufu (RM28 per person) which combines the velvety flavours of South African abalone with the silken softness of seafood taufu. Everything in this configuration is designed to incite pleasure and you’ll find yourself yearning for more, long after the plates have been cleared away.
Perhaps one of the highlights of Copper Mansion’s August menu is the Portuguese style roasted whole suckling pig (RM300 per table) which comes with homemade baos. The pig has been roasted to perfection and this is articulated in the crisp shards of skin that crackle at the slightest inclination and have just the right amount of fat underneat to gild it. You can also opt to concoct a makeshift sandwich using the bao, some pork belly from the pig and a little bit of sweet black caramel sauce provided on the side – and enjoy a pleasant textural experience.
To end your meal at Copper Mansion, have a sample of the house-made snow skin durian mooncake (price unavailable) which you should probably let sit on your plate for awhile, as it is really freezing cold. The mooncake is not bad (although probably not the best version of durian mooncake you are likely to have tried) and has a nice, if cold, durian filling in the middle.
Copper Mansion has proved incredibly popular since it first opened (the event space is booked for all weekends until February 2019!) so it isn’t surprising that Kent and his family are already looking at expanding.
“We will be having another expansion, but probably not for the next year and a half,” he says.
18B, Jalan 51A/223
46100 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-7932 7777
Open Monday to Saturday: 11.30am to 2.30pm; 6pm to 10pm; Sunday: 10.30am to 2.30pm; 6pm to 10pm