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PICTURES: New modern Asian restaurant Hou Hou Mei welcomes first diners in Highland capital


By Federica Stefani

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Restaurant goers sitting at a table. Picture: James Mackenzie.
Restaurant goers sitting at a table. Picture: James Mackenzie.

A NEW restaurant serving modern Asian cuisine has welcomed its first diners in Inverness.

Hou Hou Mei, located on Tomnahurich Street in the city centre, is the joint effort of husband and wife duo JP and Karen Saint and last night friends and family were invited at a private event as it opened its doors for the first time.

The restaurant invites diners to experience the Chinese custom of sharing dishes, where they can select from a diverse menu of small plates, main courses and desserts. The menu also features vegan and gluten-free options.

“Cooking and baking have been part of my life for as long as I can remember, from being taught how to cook Asian cuisine by my mum to starting my first baking business. And now, I’m so excited to join forces with my incredibly talented husband to bring a new style of Asian cuisine to Inverness,” explained Karen Saint.

Karen Saint, Owner/Manager (right) with her staff. Picture: James Mackenzie.
Karen Saint, Owner/Manager (right) with her staff. Picture: James Mackenzie.

“Hou Hou Mei, which means ‘very yummy’, has been a long-held dream and I hope everyone who visits enjoys the food as much as we’ve enjoyed creating it.”

JP, formerly head chef at Links House at Royal Dornoch and most recently Rocpool Reserve, and Karen, who was behind successful baking business Saintly Bakes, now combine their extensive experience and passion for food to bring Hou Hou Mei to the Highland capital.

The restaurant has been extensively refurbished by JP and Karen, who have two children, four-year-old Lyanna and one-year-old Mylo.

Hou Hou Mei interior looking towards the bar. Picture: James Mackenzie.
Hou Hou Mei interior looking towards the bar. Picture: James Mackenzie.

Mr Saint said: “Hou Hou Mei has become like our third child! It’s been a long journey, but we’re delighted to finally open the doors to our restaurant.

“We’ve had so much fun creating the menu too. Favourite dishes include our slow cooked Char Sui Pork Belly and our take on Katsu Curry with ‘Paw Paw's Curry Sauce’, which is inspired by Karen's mum. I can’t wait to welcome locals and visitors to Inverness – I really hope they love what we’ve created.”

Harris, Christine and Andrew Begg. Picture: James Mackenzie.
Harris, Christine and Andrew Begg. Picture: James Mackenzie.

Hou Hou Mei is now accepting bookings from 4.30pm to 9.30pm, Tuesday to Sunday.

Bookings can be made at houhoumei.co.uk.

Bao. Picture: James Mackenzie.
Bao. Picture: James Mackenzie.
Hou Hou Mei exterior. Picture: James Mackenzie.
Hou Hou Mei exterior. Picture: James Mackenzie.
A table next to the bar. Picture: James Mackenzie.
A table next to the bar. Picture: James Mackenzie.

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