Lee Lo Mei sits on the cusp of Hong Kong’s nightlife scene, attracting the worker bees of Central and SoHo for happy-hour drinks with its semi-al-fresco entrance. Busy, loud and with glasses clinking on ground level, the casual sit-down dining area upstairs seems undiscovered.
The restaurant has recently been renovated with a new look and takes its inspiration from 1960s Hong Kong. Retro themed and quirky, the dining space pays homage to the rise of HK cafés and diners and is filled with an array of yellow booths and bright-seated chairs lined against dark wooden tables that are set with traditional plates. The walls feature candid snapshot designs of an old-school couple dining and wandering HK’s streets.
With the new makeover comes a revamped food menu, and we were excited and curious to see what we were in for. Serving reimagined Cantonese dishes, the kitchen plays around with nostalgic classic Cantonese and local street-food dishes, fusing them with an array of upscale, fresh ingredients and modern cooking techniques.
Pork ‘n’ roll
Shrimply the best
The dishes are generally the same size, however, the starters are bar-bite portions, while the mains are slightly heartier. Starters of ping pong buns ($118), shrimply the best ($148), pork ‘n’ roll ($108) and stuffy squid ($148) come out hot and fast to our table.
Pork ‘n’ roll contains soft mini cheung fan tossed in XO sauce along with melted pork trotter, all topped with a perfectly cooked sunny-side-up egg.
I would skip shrimply the best. The cauliflower purée created an unpleasant thickness on the palate when it came into contact with the salted-egg-yolk coating of each prawn. Too much was happening, and the ingredients clashed with each other.
The mains weren’t as big as we had expected and are fit to be shared amongst a maximum of two people. Impressed by the crab-ulous noodles ($198), we recommend ordering this dish in multiple portions with larger parties. The spicy sauce incorporates fresh, punchy cherry tomatoes and complements the mound of fresh crabmeat placed atop the al-dente pasta. A hit at our table and super comforting!
Lee’s little lobster ($208) popped on our taste buds. This is another spicy dish with a peppery, earthy flavour profile that goes well with the lobster tail. While we enjoyed this dish very much, we thought the accompaniment of sweet, deep-fried buns with whipped condensed milk was, frankly, bizarre.
We weren’t fans of the lucky 8 seafood rice ($268) either, and I recommend skipping this dish. A medley of seafood consisting of lobster, scallop, clam, squid, octopus, tiger prawn, cod and crab was beautifully presented as we initially opened the small clay pot. Truth be told, the rice itself was bland, and the blobs of unevenly placed spicy green paste containing spring onion, chilli and garlic was too thick. Since the rice was overcooked, we found it difficult to mix all the ingredients together.
We tried some great dishes at Lee Lo Mei over the night, but admittedly the majority were hit-and-miss and quite pricey. Nevertheless, with its nostalgic, throwback eats and revamped interior, the restaurant take us on a pleasant trip down memory lane, exploring a cool era of the past.
G/F–1/F, 8 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, 2896 7688, book online
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
For more reviews like this, like Foodie on Facebook