The new 7-course single-ingredient lunch menu is centred on the soy-based protein. An Ode to Tofu will be available from July-September.
Following the great success of previous single-ingredient menus, such as An Ode to Eggs and An Ode to Rice, and in pursuit of her creative commitment, Chef-owner Vicky Lau of one-Michelin-starred restaurant Tate Dining Room has chosen an ingredient to focus on once again. This time, with a menu spotlighting Asia’s beloved beancurd.
Tofu, which is commonly used in Asian kitchens, has been around for some 2,000 years since it was first recorded in Chinese history. Today, it is the main inspiration behind Lau’s new menu.
“Tofu is an often-misunderstood ingredient with a bad reputation. However, I hope to prove that tofu is in fact one of the most enjoyable and nutritious dishes to be had during the summer season. Never have I worked with an ingredient that is as versatile and with such a variety of textures as tofu – much more than any meat or seafood.”Chef Vicky Lau
The versatile ingredient can be enjoyed as silken, soft, firm, or extra firm tofu and can also be found in breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert dishes. How’s that for adaptability? I haven’t even gotten to all the health benefits it holds. High in protein, low calorie and gluten-free, tofu also contains essential amino acids, iron, copper, zinc, calcium, and vitamin B1.
During the creation of this menu, Lau experimented with numerous beans and varieties. From the soybeans that we all know and love, to black beans, light red (kidney) beans, to Roman beans (or borlotti), and more. Lau noted that a Canadian bean (non-GMO) stood out from the rest, thanks to its rich and distinct soya flavour.
Furthermore, Lau tried out different tofu coagulants, and experimented with different treatments using nigari salt crystals, gypsum, and Epsom salt, bringing out a different texture and form of tofu.
Highlights from the menu include the Crispy marinated tofu, created in honour of Lau’s love for deep-fried tofu, which offers a slight perfume of stinky tofu, thanks to the fermented shrimp and cheese broth used. Another is Cold noodles with yuba, or beancurd sheet, with beef tartare — Lau’s enhanced version of the spicy favourite that is ma po tofu.
Another dish that is inspired by a Sichuan recipe is the Chicken tofu, which does not actually feature tofu, and instead, mirrors the soft texture of beancurd. The dish is brought to life with a lightly aromatic verbena oil; deeper, savoury notes from Iberico ham; and juxtaposed with the textures of braised abalone. Thereafter, a Chinese-style lobster stew, which features tofu and spice oil, completes the mains before a refreshing Soy cream with lychee gelée and rose sponge dessert brings it all to a close. As always, the meal ends with a visit from the Tate dessert trolley which offers an assortment of mignardises, or a selection of house cheeses.
An Ode to Tofu
Available: Fridays and Saturdays from 12:00 noon to 2:30 pm
Price: HK$780 per guest for the seven-course menu (+10%)
Optional: wine pairings by sommelier Francois Ferrand for an additional HK$480 for 3 glasses; or HK$780 for 6 glasses.