Unappetizing local fare at Lee L(h)o Mei

I would certainly not call myself a local cuisine expert, despite living in HK for 6 years now and counting. I have been to a few cha chan tengs in my time and experienced AMAZING and reasonably priced food.

ZS Hospitality Group have one more restaurant on 8th Lyndhurst Terrace and if you have read any of my previous reviews on their 2 other restaurants in this building, you will know my feelings are mixed. Nevertheless, I was willing to go with an open mind to Lee Ho Mei (as it is pronounced from the Chinese characters, the Pinying is a bit naughty and will definitely make locals cringe if you say it!).

The concept is to showcase local Cantonese food with a more modern flavour that can be accessible to everyone. This can be seen from the wall décor where Hong Kong style wet markets have been depicted and even with their home style crockery.

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I have been twice now for their set lunch and upon checking the menu, was quite blown away with how much food they are offering for their sets!

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Each set comes with the daily soup. As I had come twice to this place, I had tried both the coconut and chicken soup as well as their sweetcorn soup. The coconut soup was too sweet for my taste and if you are not a fan of chicken feet, this could put you off. The sweetcorn soup did fare better, however the broth wasn’t  impressive, being overly salted yet still bland in taste.

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The set also includes a ‘Bao Bao’ which is an HK style bun with shredded chicken, cucumber with peanut and hoisin sauce. This dish was consistently appetising the two times I have visited and seemed to go down well with everyone.

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Now for the mains- the pepper shrimp main dish comes with a mini ‘loaf’ of fried bread with condensed milk cream on the side for dipping. This was probably the dish I liked the most, although the prawns were overcooked, the sauce hit the spot and dipping the bread in made it all the more tasty.

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My friend got the pork main which was baked rice with pork cutlet in tomato sauce with lashings of cheese on top. This one was quite a jaw dropper as we had already had 2 starters. Needless to say, she couldn’t finish this one off but did comment that she enjoyed the dish.

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The fish main was also well liked. This is probably the most healthy dish offered as the fish was steamed. My colleague who is originally from Shanghai mentioned that the rice is normally fried and would have preferred it this way as it left everything tasting dry.

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The Western style chicken dish really falled flat. The chicken tasted so processed, I couldn’t take more than a few bites. Once presented to me, the waiter came over and poured some brown sauce all over it, this in no way enhanced the flavour and I was left unsatisfied.

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My other colleague was also left a bit miffed with her baked salted egg yolk rice with char siu. She mentioned that there was too much of the salted egg mixed into the rice which made it far too salty.

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In the hopes of redeeming the meal, she opted for the doufufa or tofu dessert (that is very popular after a long hike in Tai Long Wan). Whilst we were waiting for the dish, she mentioned that her parents used to make this dish from scratch in their house in the UK, so she is somewhat of an expert. Unfortunately, this version really missed the mark as it was soaked in too much syrup and brown sugar- the best is when the sugar is placed next to you and you can add this according to your taste.

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Verdict: Once again this one turns out to be another gimmicky restaurant of ZS Hospitality. Again, hats off to their decorator but the food really didn’t hit the spot like a cha chan teng does. Your expectations are definitely elevated when you pay 178 HKD for lunch that you could possibly get for 50 HKD. I wasn’t alone on this verdict, as my colleagues echoed my sentiments. I won’t be returning!

Nisha

G/F & 1/F, 8 Lyndhurst Terrace
Central
Hong Kong

Ph: 852 2896 1838

www.leelomei.hk

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