InterContinental Hong Kong‘s two-Michelin star Cantonese restaurant Yan Toh Heen continues to premier innovative and exclusive tea experiences created by the restaurant’s International Tea Sommelier Kelvin Ng and Executive Chef Lau Yiu Fai.
From 10 June 10 to 31 August Yan Toh Heen will showcase authentic Mandarin Zest Pu Er Tea paired with a wide selection of dishes by Executive Chef Lau Yiu Fai, with set lunch and dinner options showcasing both signature and seasonal dishes.
In their quest for the best of Chinese tea selections and unique menu pairings, Yan Toh Heen’s Tea Sommelier Kelvin Ng and Manager Henry Wong travelled to the Cahozhou and Xin Hui districts in Guangdong in April, visiting tea plantations and more than a dozen tea houses to try different Mandarin Zest Pu Er Teas before selecting the Five-Year Mandarin Zest Pu Er which will be showcased at the restaurant this summer. Yan Toh Heen is the first Chinese restaurant in Hong Kong to introduce this unique tea paired with special menus.
To create this unique tea, the premium Five-year Pu Er tea leaves are aged inside the Mandarin Peel for an additional five years during which time the tea leaves become infused with the flavour and aroma of the aged Mandarin Zest.
Yan Toh Heen’s Premium Mandarin Zest Pu Er Tea
The Mandarin Zest Pu Er Tea specially selected for Yan Toh Heen is made from large natural red mandarins from the village of Tian Ma in Xin Hui. The orchard receives abundant sunshine; consequently, the fruit grown there is succulent and very fragrant.
Before each mandarin is filled with five-year aged Pu Er tea leaves from Yunnan, it is carefully shelled by hand to make the hollowed peel. After air drying the peel for a few days, the Pu Er tea leaves are then stuffed inside. The filled mandarins are then placed in a closed room, in which smoke and heat from a lychee wood fire are filtered through a vent for a few hours, thus drying the mandarins further. Afterwards, the mandarins are placed in a dry room to age for five years.
Yan Toh Heen’s Tea Sommelier Kelvin describes the Mandarin Peel and Pu Er tea leaves as a heavenly match – perfectly aged, with a harmonious manifestation of both the aroma of the mandarin and the richness of the Pu Er tea leave. The tea has a citrus base, with full tones of Pu Er. In addition to being soothing on the throat, the tea also has a detoxifying effect and as such, can be used as a beauty therapy.
Each pot of Mandarin Zest Pu Er Tea is HK$300 plus 10 per cent service per serving for six persons.
For each order, a complete Mandarin Fruit will be presented at each table, with a mortar and pestle. Guests are invited to crush the dried mandarin shell with the pestle. The smaller the pieces; then the richer the tea, which has a dark brown broth with hues of red orange. With every sip, guests can inhale the strong and pleasant scent of the Mandarin’s citric acid and the richness of the Pu Er tea leaves.
Yan Toh Heen’s Executive Chef Lau Yiu Fai has collaborated with Tea Sommelier Kelvin Ng to create an exclusive eight-course dinner menu (HK$2688 per person) featuring premium Yan Toh Heen signature dishes, which pair beautifully with the Mandarin Zest Pu Er.
The set dinner menu includes golden lobster with spicy salt and barbecued suckling pig, braised imperial bird’s nest with garoupa roll, golden stuffed crab shell with crabmeat, braised whole abalone in oyster jus with sea cucumber, wok-fried Wagyu Beef with maitake mushrooms served in a hot stone casserole and fried rice wrapped and steamed in a lotus leaf. For dessert, basil dragon pearls served with ginger ice cream and crispy sesame dumplings with pineapple and custard cream.
At lunchtime, there are two options for business set lunches, paired with Mandarin Zest Pu Er Tea at HK$888 per person. (For an additional HK$250 per person, guests can upgrade their business lunch to include wine pairing with two glasses of wine.)