What better way to warm up a cold Wednesday evening than with piping hot dim sum and freshly grilled skewers?
We knew everyone was eager to turn up their hump day celebrations last week, when one quarter of the guest list showed up at LoYe Lounge’s door before the official event start time. While the enthusiasm to kick-start Foodie’s first event of 2017 was appreciated, we sure hope no one got into trouble for leaving work too early!
As much we were psyched to see both familiar and fresh faces, we were also excited to see what the folks at LoYe Lounge were up to that night, especially since the team are well known for pulling off stellar contemporary twists on Hong Kong classics.
Unlike your conventional yum cha treats, LoYe Lounge constantly strives to create inspiring dim sum that are way outside the standard steamer baskets. Aside from classic soup dumplings served on spoons (which made it so easy to glide them into our mouths and get a flavourful explosion of broth), the rest of the dim sum served was completely innovative and unique.
Pork and shrimp dumplings in a flowerpot
No one would have guessed that the group of unsuspecting carrots stuck in a pot of soil were part of the dim sum clan, until we bit into the crunchy exterior of a carrot, revealing a savoury shrimp-flavoured interior. As we munched on the 'carrot' dumplings, we looked at the black soil chunks and thought, These can't be edible too – that would be insane! Fortunately, we gave into our adventurous food senses and were rewarded with a juicy surprise; the soil chunks were deep-fried pork, smothered in a secret rub of spices.
Yunnan mushroom buns
Just after we got stumped by dim sum disguised as a veg, we were presented with a platter of beautiful-looking fungi with intricate mushroom detailing, which were surprisingly (or not so surprisingly) steamed buns with an aromatic ’shroom-filled centre.
Wagyu beef puffs
What seemed like a cute festive ornament (except it's not the Year of the Ox), the Wagyu beef puffs were crowd-pleasers too. The flaky, buttery pastry and hot, oozy beef filling got people clamouring for more.
In contrast to the chill atmosphere upstairs, Michael, the restaurant head, and his team were sweating it out in the kitchen and grilling some mean robatayaki for our guests. Michael’s acclaimed robatayki skills, which have been honed for many years, were evident when we got down and dirty with some chicken wings with crispy, blistered skin.
Platters and platters of grilled meat skewers were continuously served, and we just kept hoping they wouldn't stop coming.
The highlight of the robatayaki selection were the tiger prawns, which were fresh from Wanchai's wet market and fired up on the grill along with slabs of garlicky butter.
LoYe's steamed purple sweet potato custard buns
LoYe Lounge ended the night on a sweet note by concocting the creative cocktails My Tai Tai (a playful combination of tofu fa with mango purée) and Sweetie (which was milk tea based) and serving up desserts including ginger panna cotta and steamed purple sweet potato custard buns.
The Sweetie cocktail
We particularly enjoyed Sweetie as we could get hands on with the cocktail set, whipping up the cream in a mini dish and adding it to our tipple.
Kudos to LoYe Lounge for the awesome hospitality and generous portions of food and drink. We sure did have a great start with our first mixer event of the year, and our mid-week blues were banished!