Cherry Lo is the founder of modern Chinese fine-dining destination Tycoon Tann in Central, and the executive director of bma Catering Management. After beginning her studies in hospitality at 17, she went on to work at well-known hotels across the globe such as the W Hong Kong, Galaxy Macau, and Hyatt Regency Osaka, before returning to Hong Kong to head up bma Group.
What is Tycoon Tann?
Tycoon Tann offers authentic Chinese cuisine with an inventive twist. We reinterpret traditional Chinese dishes and create a meeting of East and West through quality ingredients from around the world, and by using an innovative approach.
How would you define Cantonese cuisine?
Color, smell and taste are the three essential aspects of Chinese or Cantonese cuisine. Chinese cuisine is very diverse, with many different ingredients and cooking methods. A lot of people are very surprised by the wide variety of ingredients, cooking methods, sauce, and herbs used.
What does modern Chinese cuisine mean to you?
To me, modern Chinese dining is not just about the food. For instance, we also serve creative cocktails, most of which are Chinese-inspired and mixed with Western spirits. Many of our signature cocktails use Chinese ingredients like Chinese wine, Chinese tea, lemongrass, spices and spirits like moutai and hua diao. Our Mod Bar is stylish and chic, rendered in dark wood and steel with bronze accents, antique lighting fixtures, and old-style Chinese apothecary cabinets acting as a feature wall. This is all juxtaposed against a modern, glamorous chandelier that lights up the space. So, contemporary Chinese cuisine is about the overall experience. It’s the design, ingredients, cooking technique, presentation, drinks, art, and the ambiance of the bar and restaurant.
Do you think modern Chinese cuisine has become a trend?
Yes, definitely. Ten years ago, you’d rarely find modern Chinese restaurants. But in recent years, there are more and more such restaurants in Hong Kong, as well as overseas. You can see that guests are more accepting of – and impressed with – this type of cuisine. It’s more attractive to the younger generation, too.
How does Tycoon Tann use ingredients from other cuisines in its dishes?
We use different ingredients from around the world, but carefully consider how well they match with Chinese ingredients and enhance the overall flavor of the dish and wow our guests. For example, we use Italian black truffles that match very well with lightly-flavored Chinese dishes, as it helps enhance the flavors and aromas of the whole dish, as well as heightens the sweetness of the ingredients.
What’s a Chinese dish you particularly love?
One of the traditional Chinese foods I recommend is roasted Peking duck, as it is often a highlight dish in Chinese cuisine and it’s perfect for sharing or celebrating. We re-created the dish as a bar snack. Guests can try small portions of six little pieces of sliced Peking duck with caviar and mini pancakes, or roasted Peking duck with marinated ham and honeyed, crispy beancurd sheets.
Are there any restaurants in Hong Kong you particularly recommend?
I’d recommend well-known traditional Chinese restaurant Spring Moon at The Peninsula Hotel, as well as western restaurant Krug Room in the Mandarin Oriental. They are my favorites and inspired me when I designed my dishes.
A Dishin’ the Dirt profile.