Friday, July 05, 2013

Hutong At Lot 10 Goes To China

The invitation for this particular event, came in the form of an airline boarding pass.  Why?  Because they were launching two new outlets in Hutong Lot 10, all the way from Hong Kong and Macau.  The Layumcha Dim Sum outlet and the Tai Lei Loi Kei Pork Buns from Macau.

As far as food courts go, I love the concept the of Hutong, whereby under the visionary and illustrious leadership of the YTL family, all the famous hawker food of KL is housed under one roof.
True, nothing beats eating the real deal in the grimey original shophouses, with rats scurrying to and fro as if commuting to work, and the woks have been used since time immemorial, and imparts a flavour difficult to replicate in new crockery and cookware.  But you do eat in airconditioned comfort, and the taste is close enough to the real deal, in most cases.

So, all the foyer area of Lot 10 was closed for the press conference, and the appearance of the big guns, name Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay himself, and Tan Sri Dr Francis Yeoh, spoke volumes of the importance of this venture.

Hutong Lot 10 is spreading it's wings, according the Tan Sri Francis Yeoh, and is opening their first outlet in Guangzhou.  At the surface it may seem like one is bringing coal to Newscastle, or sand to the sahara, but actually, if one really thinks about it, our Malaysian hawker fare is indeed unique, and though that small red dot south of Johor might claim the rights to certain dishes, by and large, I think our street food really takes pride of place in our cuisine.  So it is not inconceivable that Hutong in Guangzhou, featuring Malaysian hawker fare, should be a runaway success.

A very interesting point was made known to me at the opening.  Most of these old street food vendors have suffered a lack of succession, in that most of their kids, who were probably weaned and educated overseas from the sweat and wokfires of their parents, were no longer interested in carrying on the family business.  But with Hutong, and it's global appeal, it suddenly seems "corporate", and right down the alley of the young and ambitious.  Imagine if it was a hit in China, the number of outlets that will be opened in really quite mind boggling.

Apart from that, the two new outlets Layumcha and the Tai Lei Loi Kei Pork Buns were the highlight of today's event. 

The ribbon cutting ceremony by all the VIPs, namely Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay, Tan Sri Francis Yeoh and Mr Chua Lam. 

The VIPs are seated and are served these lovely morsels of goodness from Layumcha before proceeding for the next ribbon cutting for Tai Lei Loi Kei. 

Of course, in every egalitarian society, the masses are served differently from the nobility, so the press are fed a buffet of some of the items available at the two new outlets.  After the ribbon cutting, we dig into the spread that is before us. 

The famous Macau pork buns.  I personally found the meat too lean, and of course, being the un-health freak that I am, I love my pork with its fat.  Pork with no fat is like Jack Sprat. 

Epilogue - I did return to Hutong since the launch of this, and revisited the two outlets.  The pork bun is RM11.90 each, which I guess is fairly reasonable.  The dim sum seemed a bit on the pricy side, considering it's all self service. 

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