On a peculiarly eclectic stretch of road between Ebisu and Shirogane, this Cantonese hole-in-the-wall does little to catch the eye. The entrance is dim and narrow, and minimal thought was given to interior design in the main dining space upstairs. The walls are adorned in random fashion, with street maps of Hong Kong here, a faded poster depicting species of fish there. All of this, however, can be forgiven; what Lohotoi lacks in appearance, it more than makes up for in the quality of the food.
The dim sum here is famous, and our dishes of steamed and fried delicacies did not disappoint. Around ten dim sum items - most of which come in easy-to-split even numbers - are available, and nearly everything is delicious.
Marvelously textured with fat chunks of shrimp and pork, the dried scallop shumai were good enough to warrant a second order. The sticky rice parcels wrapped in lotus leaves came generously stuffed with an intensely flavored mixture of meat and diced shiitake mushrooms, while the deep-fried sticky rice puffs were crisp, chewy, and sweet. Although the Shanghai-style soup dumplings lacked impact and the steamed pork buns were a tad dry, the translucent shrimp dumplings filled with bamboo and tea leaves were a smashing success.
The congee (they offer several varieties) and noodles are extremely popular. Even die-hard dim sum fans will find it difficult to resist noodles stir-fried with bean sprouts and pink flecks of char siew pork, or seafood and vegetable lo-mein. Lohotoi also offers a range of cold appetizers, soups, and mains available for take-out. We were delighted to discover pork belly and cracklings on the menu, and considered taking home an extra order. Succulent, crunchy, and dangerously addictive, this dish is sadly difficult to find in Tokyo.
Though not cheap, prices are far from unreasonable. Budget around Y3000 for a satisfying dim sum lunch.