This mid-January 2022, Founder & Executive Chef Vicky Lau of Two Michelin-starred TATE Dining Room and Date by TATE, together with co-founder Romain Hertebreau and Head Chef Percy Ho unveils her latest restaurant, MORA (摩), an intimate 28-seater French-Chinese restaurant located in the historic street of Upper Lascar Row (摩羅上街), Sheung Wan. This iconic location connects MORA with Hong Kong’s fascinating history furthermore with the Chinese character 摩, representing “texture”, which will be the common thread of the texture-inspired menu rooted in one of Hong Kong’s oldest culinary traditions: SOY FOOD.
What is MORA?
The restaurant pays tribute to the culinary significance of the humble and versatile soybean, an ingredient considered to be a pillar of Asian cuisines and cultures. Not only does soy play an important role in Asian diets, but is a driving force for heritage, tradition, and mindfulness. Its fragility in cuisine can endure time and temperature, while also being fleeting and subtle. When paired with other ingredients in cooking, the possibilities with soy food are surprising as they are abundant.
The myriad nutritious forms in which soy exists in food cultures across Asia are astounding and symbolic, and Chef Vicky has set out to push all boundaries through a menu derived from all-soy products. Most soy food products found on the menu are created in MORA’s own factory, which utilises a new technology of extracting soy milk with a thicker texture and more intense flavours.
MORA endeavours to introduce yet preserve the historical and cultural significance of soy-based delicacies, with dishes inspired by chef Vicky Lau’s French x Chinese cooking roots. A world of opportunities exists with the ingredient of soy – with its ability to take on an endless variety of shapes, flavours, aromas and textures. Far from a plant-based, vegetarian or vegan restaurant, MORA seeks to modernise the way we view and consume soy – as a delicious, nutritious and elevated alternative to other, less-sustainable ingredients and cooking methods.
“Tofu, beancurd and other foods derived from soy have always been such an integral part of my diet and upbringing. As a chef, the more I learn about soy, the more I seem to fall in love with it. My exploration of soy began at TATE Dining Room from our lunch menu, Ode to Tofu back in June 2020, when I was able to forge relationships with some of Hong Kong’s most skilled local artisans and crafters of soy food products. At MORA, I aim to create an entirely new genre of soy-based dishes from all my learnings in and out of the kitchen, bridging emotions and memories with bistro-inspired cooking techniques.” says Chef Vicky Lau.
Mora’s set menus will be served for lunch and dinner starting from 15 January 2022 and a full a la carte menu will be available starting from 1 March 2022, with dishes categorized by textures on the menu.
About Founder Vicky Lau
MORA’s chef-proprietor Vicky Lau is a woman of few words, but through cooking, she expresses her deepest emotions, curiosity, and wildest imagination. From a creative background, she was led on a path to cuisine, realising the plate to be a canvas for her artistic intuition. Driven by the pursuit for perfection in all aspects of her work, she is on a permanent quest to discover and reimagine new flavours and textures that result in gustatory revelation.
Within a short period, Vicky established herself to be a leading figure of the industry, most notably earning Asia’s Best Female Chef 2015 voted by World’s 50 Best Restaurants, maintaining 1 Michelin Star at TATE Dining Room since its opening in 2012 and rising to Two Michelin stars in 2021, while also being a member of the Relais & Châteaux properties and board member of Feeding Hong Kong.
This year, she was recently awarded Visionary Women Award 2021 by Harper’s Bazaar Hong Kong, Women of Power 2021 by Prestige Hong Kong and included as part of Asia’s Most Influential List by Hong Kong Tatler.