Summer may be coming to an end (although you wouldn’t think it with this crazy hot weather), but the spirit of the season lives on if the city’s F&B scene is anything to go by. Playful tea sets, fruity cocktails that pack a punch, and boatloads of delicious seafood are up for grabs on menus around town this autumn. So before you even start daydreaming about pumpkin soup and butternut squash tart, first sink your teeth into these tasty finds. Bon appétit!
New Bar – The Old Man
Tucked away down an alleyway off Aberdeen Street, Hong Kong’s latest speakeasy is the charming creation of cocktail pioneer Agung Prabowo (previously of the Island Shangri-la’s Lobster Bar and Mandarin Oriental) who was also crowned one of Asia’s Top 10 Bartenders in 2017. Serving up insanely delicious cocktails inspired by the Ernest Hemingway’s novels, this new hidden gem is already packed on a Friday and Saturday night – that’s not hard really, considering its modest size which makes you feel like you’re in the living room of a Hong Kong apartment. With shelves of books, dark wooden cabinets, and crystal decanters lining the walls, The Old Man oozes sophistication and old world charm, but also a level of intimacy that’s made all the more endearing by Agung’s cracking smile. The rosemary infused Pisco, turmeric, tamarind, and citrus Green Hills of Africa is a delight, and the gin and Cointreau infused White Lady (not listed on the menu so ask at the bar) is incredible – and at $90 a pop, won’t bust your wallet.
The Old Man, Lower Ground Floor, 37 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong
Absolut Vodka Afternoon Tea at Conrad
If vodka is your poison, then you will love the new Absolut-inspired afternoon tea served in the elegant Lobby Lounge at Conrad Hong Kong. Not only do you get to tuck into a selection of classic savouries and sandwiches such as the delicious Herbed Salmon Roulade with peach puree, Char-grilled Chicken with honey, citrus, and focaccia, and Classic Crab Cake, but also five incredible desserts, each infused with different flavoured vodkas. The Absolut Apeach Cosmopolitan Éclair (with its little tube of vodka and cranberry juice to pump into the cream stuffed pastry) is an ‘asbolut’ delight to behold and taste, while the Absolut Pears Mojito Tart, topped with a poached pear and pear vodka, is a tantalising treat for the taste buds. The best thing about this tea set however, is the selection of six Absolut summer cocktails you get to choose from instead of having a cup of tea or coffee. The Vanilia (made with vanilia vodka, lychee liqueur, and cranberry juice) is gorgeous if you have a sweet tooth, while the refreshing Kurant (made kurant vodka, blackberries, and juicy strawberry) is less sweet and perfect for those warm summer days.
Lobby Lounge, Conrad Hong Kong, 88 Queensway, Pacific Place, Admiralty
Available until September 30, weekends (3pm – 5.30pm) $498 for two guests (additional cocktails can be ordered at $68 per glass)
New Venue and Menu at Casa Lisboa
After a good half-year hiatus, Portuguese restaurant Casa Lisboa has re-opened in a brand new location with a brand new look and menu to boot. Located on the second floor of Parekh House on Wyndham Street, the new venue prides itself on reinventing traditional Portuguese dishes with meticulous cooking technique and contemporary presentation, which apparently is the up-and-coming trend in Portugal. Customers can tuck into new dishes such as the deliciously tangy tomato soaked Algarve Red Prawn ($280), Piri-Piri Quail ($180) with the unconventional choice of quail from France instead of chicken, and the A5 Grade Flamed-grilled Chuck Ribs ($380) inspired by the traditional beef sandwich “Preguinhos”. Don’t worry, the old classics are still there – the Suckling Pig Slow Roasted “À Bairrada” ($260), and Stuffed Baby Squid in Beer and Tomato Sauce ($120) still live up to their delicious reputation. The beautifully presented Portuguese Brown Crab “Sapateira” ($155) and Duck Rice Lisboa Style ($180) are our personal favourites, and while the Pineapple, Vanilla Ice-cream & Pistachio Sponge Raviolis ($75) makes for an unusual yet refreshing dessert, the winner on the sweet side is hands down the naughty but oh-so-nice Chocolate with Bread ($80) made with olive oil caviar, homemade crisps, chocolate mousse, and caramel topping. Heavenly!
Casa Lisboa, 2/F Parek House, 63 Wyndham Street, Central, (+852) 2905 1168
New “Sin-Tok-Ho” Lunch Menu at Fang Fang
Perhaps more famous for its cocktails than its food, new contemporary pan-Asian restaurant Fang Fang is now serving up a “Sin-Tok-Ho” weekday set lunch menu offering a taste of Singapore, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. Available every weekday from 12noon to 2.30pm, guests can choose from three lunch sets: 1 course ($158), 2 courses ($198) and 3 courses ($218), which include a good selection of meaty and veggie options. The Miso Soup and Prawn and Pepper Soup make for tasty, light starters, while the Singapore Style Chicken served with Ginger Rice, and the flavourful and aromatic Char Kway Teow are by far the most memorable and tastiest mains. Those who love Japanese dishes will enjoy the Spicy Tuna Roll or Vegetarian Roll, but save room at the end for the Mango Sticky Rice and Green Tea Sorbet which is beautifully presented with chocolate butterflies. For $48 a pop, you can wash this all down with a refreshing iced tea – choose from Yuzu Oolong Iced Tea, Lychee Cardamom Iced Tea, or Green Apple Chrysanthemum Iced Tea – which are all nicely balanced in flavour and not over sweetened.
Fang Fang, 8/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central, (+852) 2983 9083
Sustainable Dishes for Kin Hong Seafood Festival
With our oceans coming under severe pressure from overfishing and pollution, more emphasis is being placed on eating seafood that is responsibly sourced and sustainable. Thus, this September, the Kin Hong Seafood Festival is on a mission to provide hungry Hong Kongers with the opportunity to experience sustainable seafood first-hand. In case you don’t know, for seafood to be ‘sustainable’ it must be traceable and caught from managed stocks or farmed without causing harm to the environment and without the use of chemicals. Over 100 restaurants, hotels, and entertainment venues around the city are serving at least one dish containing sustainable seafood during the month. One such restaurant is the fabulous Le Bistro Winebeast in Wan Chai. Aside from the superb selection of Michelin-star level modern French dishes which grace its menu, the popular eatery has added three sustainable seafood dishes to the mix, including the Marinated Red Tuna Frapas ($38/piece), the Marinated Sardine with cream of mackerel starter ($138), and the Grilled-Grilled Scallops with hazelnut emulsion main course ($228). Each dish is equally delicious, but the scallops are so huge and meaty that they are an absolute must-order if you venture here. Of course, Winebeast is known for its incredible master sommelier Cristina, who is an expert on all things wine related and knows exactly what to pair your fabulous dishes with – go ahead and pick her brains.
Le Bistro Winebeast, 15 McGregor Street, Wan Chai, (+852) 2479 6833
Click here for more information on the festival and participating restaurants
New All-American Weekend Brunch at Lily & Bloom
Hong Kongers love nothing more than a food coma-inducing, boozy weekend brunch, and now we have another option to add to the list. The new All-American Brunch at Lily & Bloom is serving up all the staples we know and love. For $495 per person, you get to indulge in a buffet of healthy salads, a fresh seafood bar, made-to-order omelettes, pastries and healthy cereal, plus one choice of three mains to follow, including Eggs Benedict with smoked ham and roasted potatoes (pictured above), Croque Madame with three cheese sauce, or Brioche French Toast with candied pecans and cinnamon cream. The mains are fairly substantial in size and richness, so don’t fill up on the buffet before you get stuck in, and at least make room for the free-flow Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut (an additional $100). But if you don’t fancy bubbles, then head mixologist John Nugent has whipped up four tantalising cocktails to wash down your egg-fuelled brunch. You can follow tradition and opt for the classic Bloody Mary, or go for a delicious mix with a kick with the Chamomile Sour, made with bulleit bourbon, chamomile tea, lemon, and egg white. And while the adults are having fun, little ones can enjoy the fun filled playing area and dedicated kid’s menu for $155 per child (aged 4 to 11). An all-round weekend winner!
Lily & Bloom, 5-6F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central, (+852) 2810 6166
Available on weekends (from 11am-1pm or 1.30pm-4pm ) at $495 per person
New Summer Menu and Limited Edition Pizzas at Mercato
If you’re a sucker for pizza then swing by Italian restaurant Mercato and get stuck into one of their ten new pizzas which have been designed as part of “The Great Pizza Bake Off”. Five of the city’s esteemed chefs have come face to face with five high-end lifestyle journos to invent the most delicious and adventurous pizza recipe, to be served straight from the wood fire oven. Choices include the Salted Egg Carbonara Pizza, Char Siu & Egg Pizza, Bacon Jam Pizza, and (our personal fave) the Buffalo Chicken Pizza. Prices range from between $180 and $300, but get in there quick as these quirky delights are only available to enjoy until November 6. Also new on the menu is a selection of Italian dishes that pay homage to the juicy, sun-ripened tomato, including the gorgeously light Roasted Carrots and Avocado Salad ($178) and Burrata Cheese with Heirloom Tomatoes and Basil ($198), which make perfect starters to kick start your feast. The Seared Turbot with Warm Heirloom Tomatoes and Chicory Salad ($378) and Roasted Pork Chop with Cherry Mostarda and Sauteed Swiss Chard ($338) are definite must-orders for the mains, and there are some impressive desserts too, namely the Chocolate Cherry Soufflé Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream ($108) which was the first to disappear from our table. The light and airy Toasted Almond Panna Cotta with Glazed Peach and White Wine Apricot Sorbet ($108) is also a delight and not too sweet on the taste buds. All round, this is a great selection of Italy’s finest in a charming and somewhat romantic location.
Mercato, 8/F, California Tower, 32 D’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central, (+852) 3706 8567
Bread Street Kitchen & Bar Partners with Foodpanda
If you fancy a nice dinner without leaving your apartment, then we’re onto a winner with Bread Street Kitchen & Bar. Thanks to the restaurant’s exclusive partnership with online food delivery service Foodpanda, you can now enjoy Gordon Ramsay’s much-loved British dishes at home – including perhaps the greatest Barbecue Pork Ribs (pictured above) we’ve ever tasted ($228). The dishes on offer measure up to our expectations of the world-renowned chef. Starters include the incredibly moreish Tamarind Spiced Chicken Wings ($128), and the lighter Sesame Seared Yellowfin Tuna with Avocado and Sweet Onion ($158) – which is a wise choice if you plan on trying a couple of mains later. Meanwhile, the beautifully light and fluffy Battered Cod with hand cut chips ($208) and Traditional Shepherd’s Pie with braised lamb, onions and carrots ($208) steal the show on the mains. While the pie is sweeter than you might expect from a ‘traditional’ British recipe, it’s delicious nonetheless, and given the high quality of the ingredients used, and the portion sizes delivered, this is a surprisingly reasonable option for a takeaway night at home. And if you still have room after all of that, then the Banoffee Pie ($98) and Strawberry Tart ($88) are delightful.
Bread Street Kitchen & Bar, Mezzanine Level, LKF Hotel, 33 Wyndham Street, Central, (+852) 2230 1800
Foodpanda – click here to see what other restaurants they deliver from
Coming Up …
Scarlett Café & Wine Bar Oyster Festival
Love oysters? Mad about wine? Well we know a place you will definitely want to check out this October. Keeping the spirit of summer alive in all its shucking glory, cosy modern French bistro Scarlett Café & Wine Bar is throwing an Oyster Festival from September 25 to October 31, offering you the chance to indulge in the finest shells from the French ocean. Pop over on September 25 to 27 and you will have the opportunity to catch two passionate French oyster farmers who will offer an exclusive insight into oyster farming, as well as a gourmet specialist from Paris who will provide tasting notes and food pairing ideas. The signature varieties include Royale Oyster N.2, Wild Oyster N.3 and Fine Selection No.4, with prices starting from $28 served individually, or by combination. Get in there quick as seats are limited.
Scarlett Café & Wine Bar, 2 Austin Ave Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Book now: call (+852) 3565 6513 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make your reservation
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