The Travelling Pixie in Hong Kong
Lotus Courtyard 荷曄庭
The Lotus Courtyard located in Tai Po’s Lam Tsuen has been one of my most treasured childhood memories. I still remember when I was a child, and when my first dog MuiMui was still a puppy, dad used to drive us to Tai Po in the New Territories where we would have a great family lunch under the sun umbrellas and enjoy the Sunday afternoon.
Soon, with our increasingly busy schedules with school, exams and studying abroad, we had less and less opportunities to go family outings, especially those that required a half-hour drive or more. This Sunday morning, my mum and I coincidentally mentioned that this fine weather required us to go on a long-forsaken (or 5 years to be exact!) family outing all the way to Lam Tsuen, Tai Po.
So we put on our Sunday comforts, jumped on dad’s car and went on the 45-minute drive to have our family lunch. We arrived at slightly after 1pm when the sun was blazing, but the bright sunlight only made my photos look nicer – so I’m okay with that!
We arrived to not only find the decor completely changed (not to mention improved as well!), but we also found that the owner of the restaurant is no longer the same old friend. The name of the restaurant remained the same though, as did all the dishes we loved.
So we entered into the quasi-paradise (especially in this weather, it simply looked like the tropical escape that I’ve been longing for – if not for the scorching sun and not even a breeze to be felt!
I have to say I’m rather impressed with the new decor, these little VIP huts are perfect for the summer night gathering with friends. Each of these huts are able to seat between 8 to 10 persons, they’re cozy and intimate, lovely for both a simple afternoon retreat or a relaxing dinner and drinks.
We entered the main dining area for lunch as it was too hot outside (or maybe we’re just all too spoiled with air-conditioning in Hong Kong). I already knew what I was going to order for lunch! It was the same five years ago and I suppose it will always stay the same!
I always go for the Caesar Salad and Lobster Bisque as an appetiser!
The Caesar Salad is slightly different from the usual caesar salad, instead of croutons, Lotus Courtyard uses cornflakes! Personally, I’m not a great fan of cornflakes (nor am I a fan of cornflakes in my salad), but I have to say, it is a tad easier to chew than stale croutons! :/
One of my definite favourite is the Lobster Bisque! Baked with a puff pastry on top, I simply love having my soup with the crispy puff pastry, but I love it even more when I soak the buttery puff pastry into the soup and having it all in one go! Some might not like the pastry being soggy, but its my personal favourite way of having it! YUMYUM! The rich flavour of the lobster bisque enhanced by the butter and the slightly sweet flavour of the puff pastry is one of the best sensations I could ever hope for!
Next up on the appetisers, we had foie gras on toast! This is the first time we’ve ever ordered the foie gras here at Lotus Courtyard, but to be frank, it wasn’t quite up to my expectation, the foie gras was slightly too thin, so although the outside was crispy, the inside wasn’t tender enough, personally I would prefer to have the foie gras separate from the toast as the proportion of foie gras to toast was a bit uneven (too much toast!) I have to say I might not order the foie gras again!
For the main course, we ordered the Sirloin Steak on Bone, a huge proportion enough for three, as well as a fried rice. The sirloin steak on bone was good as usual! We usually either order the sirloin steak on bone, the calf leg or lamb chops, but yesterday we opted for the Sirloin steak on bone as we felt absolutely ravenous! Cooked to medium, the texture of the meat was still tender and succulent when served, and tasted absolutely delicious with mustard!
I haven’t had a taste of the fried rice as I was too busy digging into the steak I completely forgot about the rice! But according to my parents, the fried rice was up to standard, the rice was fried to perfection, being dry-body enough, and the flavour of the ingredients (conpoy, egg white) was flavoursome.
It was such a pity that when we finished our meal we weren’t able to enjoy a cup of coffee as the coffee machine broke down! But because of the tiny unfortunate encounter, we decided to go for a walk around the area before enjoying a bowl of cold beancurd for dessert.
We walked around this familiar yet odd neighbourhood, so much has changed since we last visited! This was where the infamous Wishing Tree used to be, yet nothing is there anymore!
We walked under the newly built “Wishing Lane”, it actually looked rather romantic with the entwined branches and long corridor of trees. As we passed through to the end of the corridor, we found ourselves looking at the plastic ‘replica’ of the Wishing Tree hung plastic oranges and wishing packs – it looked quite the real thing when you look from afar, but up close, I have to say it looks a little tacky! LOL!
Tradition has it that those who writes their wish on the Wishing Pack, ties it to an orange and flings it onto the Wishing Tree would have their wish granted. The higher you manage to hang your orange and Wishing Pack, the higher the chances of your wish being granted! But when the tree got overloaded with the weight of the oranges and wishes, one of the branches collapsed, and that was the end of the practice as the tree needed some rest and nurture.
We walked around for a bit and soon it was waaaaaay too hot to continue on our little excavation, so we quickly sat down at one of the dessert stalls and had a bowl of iced beancurd. It was not exceptional, so I wouldn’t really recommend it for anyone to go particularly, but I have to say, I would definitely recommend Lotus Courtyard to those who are looking for a simple afternoon retreat after a busy week at work! Indulging in the atmosphere with family and close friends for a relaxing afternoon or to simply go there for drinks, the Lotus Courtyard is the perfect choice!
Lotus Courtyard 荷曄庭
43 Fong Ma Po, Lam Tsuen Valley, Tai Po
Yum Factor: 8/10
To reserve a seat, please call 2653 1313