Diner’s Diary

Root-to-petal dining: Hong Kong chef uses every bit of lotus plant for autumn menu

Golden Bauhinia Cantonese restaurant in Wan Chai presents lotus petals, root, seeds, stems and leaves in combination with crustaceans, fish and chicken in a tempting seasonal menu

PUBLISHED : Monday, 05 September, 2016, 12:33pm
UPDATED : Monday, 05 September, 2016, 3:40pm

With autumn just about here, Golden Bauhinia in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre has come up with some delicious dishes for the season.

Eating lotus root is popular at this time of year because it is regarded as a “cooling” food to restore balance in the body. The restaurant’s head chef, So Chi-fai, has used his creativity to incorporate every part of the lotus – the petals, seeds, roots and even stems and leaves – in dishes available until the end of October.

Intrigued, we were invited to try some.

We started off with the double-boiled soup with ground lotus seed and bamboo pith (HK$88 per bowl) which is very hearty, and includes prawns and coriander.

Sautéed lobster with lotus seed and lotus root (HK$468) is a colourful dish that features purple lotus petals, spring onions and yellow capsicums together with lobster meat, lotus roots and seeds.

So shows off his knife skills with the deep-fried yellow croaker with sweet-and-sour sauce sweet and sour

(HK$188). The fish is thinly sliced, then deep-fried, and finally the sweet-and-sour sauce is drizzled tableside. It’s not too greasy and gets the taste buds going.

Steamed sliced Japanese pumpkin with dried shrimp presented in a lotus leaf in a bamboo steamer (HK$188) is wonderful. You might think the dried shrimp would overwhelm the pumpkin, but in fact they aren’t too pungent. So says we can eat the pumpkin rinds, too, and we follow his instructions for an even healthier meal.

Everyone enjoyed the strong flavours of the braised chicken with lotus seeds and wild mushrooms (HK$268 half, HK$498 whole). Cubes of water chestnut added texture. We also liked the delicate taste of the pan-fried cod with garlic and soy sauce (HK$98 per piece).

For dessert, So has created both savoury and sweet lotus seed pudding (HK$68 for four pieces). The savoury one includes salty egg and dried shrimp wrapped in glutinous rice flour, while the sweet one is enveloped in glutinous rice flour flavoured with black sesame and filled with peanuts and sesame seeds.

We also tried the crystal lotus seed cake (HK$48 for three pieces). The top has a layer of osmanthus flowers in jelly, and the bottom is an intriguing combination of crushed lotus seeds in a soybean pudding that’s not too sweet and has a subtle taste.

Golden Bauhinia, Expo Galleria, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Expo Drive

Wan Chai, tel: 2582 7728