Saturday, February 4, 2017

Lee Lo Mei 李好味 (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★★★☆

I thought I was done with all these restaurants with East-West twist after checking out Second Draft late last year but recently, I have been hearing a lot of good things about this new place on Lyndhurst Terrace. And since the restaurant is named "Lee Lo Mei" (李好味) (which sounded like the way we would greet someone's mom.), I knew I would definitely make the exception.

Occupying the first two floors of Lyndhurst Terrace, Lee Lo Mei has old-timer written all over it. The kitchen is helmed by Chef Joe Lee who's been the right-hand man for Harlan Goldstein for the past 15 years. He's obviously very good with modern European cooking having worked at Gold for quite a number of years. But Chinese food? I'm quite eager to find out.....

They're certainly not joking when they said throw-back. Look at this décor here. So nostalgic!

I love this "made in Hong Kong" stuff!!!

This looks having dinner at a cha chaan teng (Hong Kong style tea restaurant) although the super loud and funky music ruined the mood a little bit.

They have really spent a lot of effort in decorating this place. Even the smallest details such as the chopstick containers, they managed to throw in their old-timer theme.

Taro Dumplings (四大芋法) ($88) - Starting things off was taro dumpling stuffed with foie gras and confit duck leg. There were four different textures of taro in the mix too, including the crispy "net" on the outside of the dumpling, taro chips, taro purée and if I'm not mistaken, some taro powder sprinkled on top for good measures.

I thought these were okay. It looked (and tasted) like those taro dumplings we often have in dim sum restaurants but the crust wasn't nearly flaky and because of that, the fillings of foie gras and confit duck leg didn't really stand out.

Spicy shelter crab (倒瀉籮蟹) ($108) - Spicy crab ball made like a croquette and with the seasonings, they have taken a page out of the typhoon shelter crab (避風塘炒蟹) with dried shrimps, garlic crumbs, spring onion and ginger paste. Pretty tasty.

Steamed cheung fan (正粉腸 • 腸粉正) ($138) - What looked like a normal rice roll was in fact really rice roll but stuffed with confit chicken, foie gras and a hint of black hint. But what made it special was the sauce inside the metal container (throw back style too).

Inside the bottle was a rich and flavorful porcini mushroom broth instead of the usual soy sauce to go with the rice rolls. I like the nice western twist and the porcini was definitely a nice complement to the black truffle and foie gras. And a surprisingly good match with the rice roll too.

Salted egg yolk with pork head meat sausage and sweet Soy (咸咸濕濕猪頭炳) ($228) - This was our first main dish on the night and when our server opened the cover, a strong aroma came out which had us all drooling.

Underneath the thin layer of salted egg yolk was a layer of rice which was a bit crispy and pretty nice but I was less impressed with the meat sausage made with pork head.

And the portion was a little small. This was all I could muster.

"Full of rice" chicken (鹽焗有米雞) ($268) - This was done the traditional way with the chicken baked under a layer of salt.

Obviously there's a lot of work involved in this dish with sticky rice carefully stuffed inside each piece of spring chicken before wrapping it all up with lotus leaf. Last but not least, they put the abalone there to make it more premium.

This was served with a really impressive abalone sauce on the side. The sticky rice tasted really nice after absorbing the fragrance of the lotus leaf and abalone sauce while the spring chicken all of a sudden became the supporting cast in this one. This was seriously good.

Lee Lo Mei fried rice (“李好味”炒飯) ($188) - Thanks to the slightly small portions here, we still have some wiggle room for another dish and that turned out to be the second best dish of the night (after the chicken). This was a really busy dish featuring a perfectly wok-fried rice with a lot of bite and then crab meat, sakura shrimps, sea scallops, seaweed and a lot more to back it up.

I really enjoyed this dish as it was stir-fried at tremendously high heat, thus the wonderful wok hei (鑊氣) there. Something I didn't expect from a fusion restaurant at all.

Sweet rice dumplings (破漿重圓) ($88) - Believe it or not, this was what I came here for - Dessert.

This was done using spherification with the sweet rice dumpling and its fillings of sesame, nuts and candied melon (presumably winter melon) trapped inside the bloop of ginger soup. As expected it exposed as soon as I tucked it under my tongue. That by itself was already worth the visit. 

Tonight's meal was a real pleasant surprise. There were some really impressive Chinese food there including the chicken and fried rice and we all love the East-West twist. This is by far the best fusion restaurant I've seen in the past 1-2 years (better than the popular Second Draft as well IMO!).

Food Rating: 6/10
Price: $$$
Address: G/F-1/F 8 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: Central / Hong Kong Station
Tel: +852 2896-7688

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