Rating: ★★★☆☆

Address: 66 Wellington Street, Central 中環威靈頓街66號

Telephone: 3125 3000

http://www.loyaldining.com.hk

Hong Kong is a wonderful, culturally diverse place and what’s even better is that we would sometimes put our own spin on foreign cultures and create something unique out of it, and the Hong Kong take on Western cuisine is a great example. Loyal Dining, situated on Wellington Street, is a restaurant that serves 60’s and 70’s Hong Kong-style Western food. The word “Loyal” is a transliteration of the restaurant’s Chinese name “來佬” (pronounced “Loi Lo”), an old-school Cantonese term referring to Western imported goods.

As Hong Kong became increasingly affluent a few decades ago, locals started to become fascinated with foreign food and culture, which helped popularize some “Western” restaurants such as Tai Ping Goon, Queen’s Cafe or Boston Restaurant. Even though some of these local favourite dishes might sound or taste eccentric (e.g. sirloin steak served with Jasmine rice), they often turn out to be tasty and satisfying.

Loyal Dining has an enticing menu filled with nostalgic dishes and an interesting retro-style decor in a brown-and-yellow theme. What Loyal Dining is also famous for is their late-night dim sums starting from 10p.m., which makes the eatery a good alternative to the 24-hour Tsui Wah sitting across the road. In fact, many people see Loyal Dining as a classier and less noisy option for a post-clubbing feast!

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(1) We spotted the Special Thick Toast (Preserved Bean Curd with Caster Sugar & Condensed Milk & Peanut Butter) ($26) on the menu and decided to order this curious snack. The pungent taste of preserved bean curd clashed with the alluring taste of condensed milk, sugar and peanut butter, and it was a very weird sensation! While I think you should try this interesting toast once, I would totally understand if you decide to never order it again in your life.

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(2) Loyal Dining offers a range of set lunches, which comes with a Soup of the Day and a drink. On the day we went, it was a Cream of Mushroom Soup, which although didn’t taste very strongly of mushrooms, was creamy and soothing.

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The soup came with some brioche which was light and fluffy.

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We ordered a Baked Rice Lunch Set ($86), and the main course was a Thousand island sauce baked seafood rice. I love baked rice because they are almost always served piping hot. While this seafood rice had an attractively thick layer of baked cheese on top, the sauce was a tad too sour due to the thousand island dressing.

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(3) Another set lunch ordered was the Barbeque set ($108), which came with an Australian sirloin steak with black pepper sauce with rice. Even though the steak was a bit tough, it was nicely packed with flavours and it offered great value for money as the piece of steak was huge!

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(4) The rest of us ordered from the a la carte menu, and L went for the Fried Rice with Crab Roe ($108). The fried rice was moreish, and the different ingredients added a range of flavours to it. The best thing about this dish was the crab roe which would popped in the mouth!

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(5) G was slightly worried about an impending food coma after ordering the Seared Foie Gras & BBQ Pork with Rice Topped & Sunny Side Egg ($128), and decided to seek my help. As a loyal friend, I jumped to her rescue and helped with eating a portion of that fatty foie gras sitting on her plate (because that’s what friends are for)! We did not have high hopes for this foie gras as it only cost $128, and we found it surprisingly tasty – it was very crispy on the surface, and the inside was delicate and smooth. The BBQ Pork was a bit too chewy and dry, but the sweet BBQ sauce was great.

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The sunny side up looked so beautiful that it made us smile!

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(6) I must admit that I am very prone to food envy, and I almost wanted to steal that sunny side up from G when I saw how lovely it looked! Fortunately, my Baked Pork Chop with Fried Rice & Sunny Side Egg ($88) also came with an egg.  The rice was excellently soft and the tomato sauce was delicious. My only complaint was that the pork chop could have been more tender.

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(7) The Portuguese-style Baked Assorted Vegetables ($72) had a thick sauce with a perceptible coconut milk flavour, and there was a nice assortment of veggies.

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Conclusion: If you are interested in trying out soy sauce Western food, or if you ever get sick of going to Tsui Wah after midnight, Loyal Dining is the place for you!