Since 1984, travelers and locals alike have visited Yan Toh Heen within the InterContinental Hotel Hong Kong for some of the best Cantonese cuisine in the city. When Chef Lau Yiu Fai became executive chef in 2001, he brought a distinct style that combined traditional Cantonese cooking techniques, contemporary presentation, and some of the best produce sourced from around the world. At a time when the city’s luxury hotels focused more on showcasing international cuisines, he raised local cooking to the realm of fine dining, garnering one Michelin star after his first year and adding a second in 2015. Now, American Express Centurion Members can sample bites from the restaurant on their layovers at the recently launched Centurion® Lounge at Hong Kong International Airport.
Inside the new Lounge in Terminal 1, guests can sample a menu of Chef Lau’s most popular dishes in an area reserved exclusively for Centurion Members. “As most of the guests of our Lounge are just passing through, we want to showcase food that is heartwarming and quick—so they won’t miss the flight!” says chef Lau, who, before joining the hotel in 1980, apprenticed at some of the top Chinese restaurants in Hong Kong, including the well-known Tai Sam Yuen and Fook Lam Moon. Inspired by the cuisine from Guangdong Province, the area near Hong Kong formerly known as Canton, the menu includes delicacies that can also be found at Yan Toh Heen. We spoke with the acclaimed chef about some of his favorite dishes.
“The barbecued pork, or char-siu, is comfort food to many locals,” says the chef. “I added kimchi instead of the traditional shredded carrots and bean sprouts to give it a special kicking flavor,” he adds.
“Traditional Chinese cooking has evolved in the past decade, with most chefs in Hong Kong opening up to the use of international ingredients,” says chef Lau about the braised wagyu beef check with turnip in port wine sauce. “Despite being slow-cooked, the beef retains its briny texture,” he says.
A sampling of dim sum delicacies includes baked pork in puff pastry, crispy spring rolls with kimchi and pork, and bird’s nest egg tartelettes.