Miss Lee or 李好純 is a brand new concept in Sheung Wan that transforms classic Hong Kong flavors into modern vegetarian fare. Their emphasis on fresh and natural flavors results in dishes that overall feel light and healthy. Instead of wine pairing (which is available, of course), you can opt for a juice pairing which includes house-crafted juices made from a variety of colorful and vitamin-packed vegetables (think beets, carrots, ginger, spinach, and the like).
The best way to enjoy the chef's signature offerings is to do the Chef's Tasting, which, at HKD 288, won't break the bank and gives you the opportunity to sample some of the most signature dishes on the menu.
We started with Smokey Quartz, a melange of roasted King oyster mushrooms, Shiitake mushrooms, and asparagus that are grilled (and possibly smoked?), served with a smoky vegan mayo. When the server first removed the lid, smoke wafted out. The dish has a nice, strong smoky flavor.
Next was the Flower Bouquet, a Peking duck wrapper wrapped in a cone-shaped "bouquet" filled with colorful array of fresh julienned vegetables ("flowers") served with a Peking "duck" sauce. I enjoyed the contrast of the crispy breaded and fried shiitake mushroom with the fresh crunchy vegetables.
One of my favorites was the Golden Flowers, deep fried cauliflower served with a dusting of salted duck egg, braised mushrooms, and pumpkin puree. I loved the sweet and salty combo between the cauliflower (which was crispy and not oily at all), salty egg yolk, and sweet pumpkin puree.
Misty Veil creatively served a sheet of rice noodle (made to look like a veil) over a bedding of shredded King Oyster mushroom, cucumber, and sesame sauce. It was reminiscent of a cold sesame chicken salad wrap, but vegetarian and "unwrapped" into a blanket.
Fungi Farm, the pearl barley risotto served with chanterelle mushrooms, black truffle, and Parmesan cheese was excellent. I loved the "Q" chewy texture of the pearl barley, and the thick cheesy sauce was full of flavor.
The Lotus Leaf, filled with brown and glutinous rice, came with a spicy and saucy plate of marinated elm fungus, bean curd sheets, lotus seed, and chestnut. The server told us to eat the rice together with the spicy plate (which Bryan referred to as "vegan fuqi feipian 夫妻肺片" a spicy beef appetizer cold dish often seen in Sichuan restaurants).
The sticky rice was delicious, though I found the spicy plate to be a bit aggressively salted (if eaten without the rice). I understood why they had to be eaten together. Together they were good, though overall I found this dish to be average.
Dessert consisted of a layered chocolate sponge cake served with hawthorn and apple sorbet and Marscapone cheese. The cake was a bit dry, but the overall flavors were pleasant. The dessert was very light - not too sweet at all, which I really appreciated.
Similarly, the Yellow River, which consisted of a purple rice base topped with coconut "udon" jelly and mango puree, was pleasantly light and refreshing. It was spot-on in recreating the flavors of coconut mango sago, but presented in a new form. This version is completely vegan, which is quite impressive.
All menu items are labeled as vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, or egg-free, or Buddhist-friendly. Everything is fresh and made from all-natural ingredients. You can really taste the ingredients, which is nice.
3-course juice pairing is HKD128; wine pairing is HKD138, but I would recommend getting the juice pairing, which is more unique.
General Thoughts - Miss Lee HK
I think vegetarians will rejoice knowing there are places like Miss Lee, an entire restaurant devoted to creating new and interesting vegetarian dishes that are inspired by Hong Kong tradition. The dishes are creative, thoughtful, and fun.
There were some dishes I would order again if I came back, such as the Golden Flower (cauliflower with salted duck egg yolk), the Fungi Farm (mushroom risotto), and the Smoky Quartz. I also really enjoyed the juices, which are fresh, flavorful, and not at all too sweet.
Other dishes were fine, but struggled to taste as good as their non-vegetarian equivalents. In some ways, it's harder to make a vegetarian dish really stand out if it's too close to a dish that people recognize.
It was nice to enjoy a lighter meal, especially after weeks of intense holiday eating. Thank you Miss Lee for giving me the opportunity to try this unique meal.
Miss Lee Vegetarian Chinese Food 李好純
G/F, The Wellington
198 Wellington St, Central
Disclaimer: I was invited to Miss Lee and did not pay for the meal. I was not paid to write this post. All opinions are my own.
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