dbHK eats: Lily & Bloom

Lily & Bloom, located at the centre of Central’s bustling – and sometimes raucous – Lan Kwai Fong area, is something of a fixture on the dining circuit now.

Small plates at Lily & Bloom including cured salmon, pork belly bun and crusted lobster

Having been open since 2010, the posh American restaurant occupying two spacious floors in the Lan Kwai Fong Tower has debuted a new menu this month with the restaurant’s new executive chef, Chris Grare.

Helming the sumptuous American restaurant, Grare is primarily known as the kitchen force behind renowned Cafe Gray Deluxe at The Upper House and The American Club, both in Hong Kong.

Grare has introduced a slew of flavourful à la carte dishes, mixing American cooking with just a dab of local flair. The pork belly bun that ushered in a flurry of other smaller plates is a play on Cantonese sweet and sour tastes mixed with pineapple and peppers.

The cured salmon is an honest dish that impressed with horse-radish, pickled beet and a generous dollop of caviar, followed by a plate of lentil crusted lobster. The lobster seared on one side is accentuated with a sheet of celery root puree and an abundance of curry flavours.

foie gras terrine

Adding to the menu is a selection of medium-sized plates including a steak tartare made with black truffle, horse-radish creme, sourdough croutons, and chef Grare’s sea urchin parfait served with black sesame crackers, sea grapes and dashi.

The foie gras terrine is simply silky, creamy and a pure delight. Garnished with celery root slaw and a slow cooked quail egg, the chef used two types of mustard to enhance the foie gras’ taste – coarse mustard seeds and a ball of mustard creme on the side.  

If none of these has successfully persuaded you to visit Lily & Bloom, then it’s time to let the main courses speak for themselves.

A relatively lighter choice before jumping on the heavy, red meat wagon is the steamed grouper. The fish came bathed in a gorgeous lemongrass broth with sautéed water spinach and tempura prawns.

45-day dry aged steak

The 45-day, dry aged cowboy steak (35 oz), however is the undoubted star on the menu – and a dish that makes Lily & Bloom worth a visit all by itself. Perfectly seasoned, the glistening, expertly charred exterior just sizzle with flavour. Served with three different sauces – a house steak sauce, a chimichurri sauce and a Daikon radish sauce – the steak is sliced and presented in small, tender and nearly rare slabs, perfect for sharing with a table of friends.  

Another jewel in the crown is Prare’s slow braised short rib. It’s marinated for 24 hours in red wine and slow cooked until it’s so tender it falls away on your fork. The short rib was served on the bone with a generous coating of the now reduced and intense red wine sauce with goat cheese cream.  

The 12-inch mega chocolate cookie

As good as it felt to munch on the rib, the star for me was the giant 12-inch skillet chocolate cookie. When the restaurant tells you this is something you have to pre-order, one always hopes that the dish is not only not going to disappoint but guaranteed to be a show stopper on any given busy dining night. And so it was. The toppings just scream Christmas and glee with gummy bears, M&M chocolate chips and colourful frosting candies. The salted caramel ice cream came with the freshly baked cookie is an ideal combo.   

As if the food itself was not enough to lure you to the eatery, the bar Lily & Bloom offers the best value happy hours in town. From 5pm to 8pm Monday to Friday, you can get your first drink at HK$50 (US$6.4), the second one at HK$25 (US$3.2) and the third one at HK$5 (US$0.6)!

Address: 5F & 6F, 33 Wyndham St, Central, Hong Kong 

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