Hong Kong’s hot, trendy new restaurants: Boqueria Spanish tapas, Lily & Bloom cuisine & artisan cocktails.
If I asked you to describe Hong Kong cuisine, you’d probably say “dim sum and Peking duck.” But as you saw in the previous post, the city’s international food scene is among the best in the world. Restaurants fight to bring in top chefs, mixologists and designers, particularly in the Lan Kwai Fong (Central) district.
Two top contenders reside in Hotel Rhombus LKF (33 Wyndham Street): Lily & Bloom (turn of the 20th century US street life) and the recently opened Boqueria (Spanish). Shall we do a tasting? Stomachs, get ready to rumble.
(My key dress is Banana Fish from Closet Child. John’s scandalous shirt is by The Saints Sinphony.)
Round one. My fellow diner, John Skeleton, sets the scene: “With an atmosphere and interior design sense that recalls at once both fin-de-siecle inspiration and the Prohibition Era of the American 1920s, dining at Lily & Bloom is an experience you won’t soon forget. Incorporating the finest hand-picked ingredients in a dazzling array of culinary delights, nothing on the menu will disappoint.”
Our tasting menu had exotic yet approachable creations (we never veered into Bizarre Foods territory). Even finicky eaters would enjoy the bread-enveloped escargot cube, and pasta with ostrich. John and my cousin played “rock, paper, scissors” for the roast pigeon leg and last slice of sweetbread.
Lily & Bloom kept it simple with other dishes, letting the classic ingredients ring out. I loved the perfectly seared fish with mashed potatoes, and the artfully arranged tomato with goat cheese.
Ah, the mixology! Each course was paired with “an artisinal cocktail to die for,” says John, “as may be implied in the name “Death In Paris,” an Ernest Hemingway-inspired poison with an absinth base. The Old Cuban, made with 23-year old rum, is also not to be missed.”
The seasonal mahi mahi with squash and wild mushrooms was right up my Halloween alley.
As for the desserts, the images say it all. Dusted and drizzled cannoli, and warm chocolate soufflé with pistachio ice cream. Lily & Bloom, you’re a knockout. (All above photos by Ken Yuen.)
Round two. My mouth waters as I recall my feast at Boqueria. The Spanish tapas joint is a favorite in NYC, and just opened a location in Hong Kong under Chef David Izquierdo.
The interior is sleek, yet captures the hustle-and-bustle spirit of Barcelona’s markets. Community tables, dangling pork legs and classic blackboards warm up the atmosphere.
My cousins say ¡Salud! with sangria, an addictive concoction of white wine, fresh fruit, rum and tequila. (The red version was equally intoxicating.) We shared light tapas like “pan con tomato” and patates bravas: crispy potatoes, salsa brava, roasted garlic aioli. The Bombas de la Barceloneta, a traditional croquette, packed a punch.
The highlight of the meal: Paella de Mariscos (Spanish rice in a shallow pan). A generous mix of seafood, brought together by saffron and salsa verde.
Once again, dessert needs no elucidation. Churros con chocolate, fresh pineapple with lime and molasses.
My Chinese relatives, who are unfamiliar with Spanish cuisine, left the restaurant tipsy and happy. Without doubt, Boqueria is a champ.
Are you enjoying my HK food coverage? What do you think of the atmosphere and dishes at these restaurants?
PS: Thanks to Argus Car Hire for interviewing me about travel blogging.
Hong Kong fashion reports and videos are on the way — I have hundreds of cute and Gothic Lolita store images for you, so hold on tight!