• Ellie Furuya

Feels like fall: New seasonal menu by chef Chris Grare at Lily & Bloom


Back to my favourite American restaurant in Hong Kong - Lily & Bloom! This time, I checked out the new fall/winter (festive?) menu that just launched this month by Executive Chef Chris Grare. I'd just returned from my week in Hawaii, and as much as I love my poke, acai bowls, and kimchi fried rice, I was simply craving for a full, meaty meal. LB, of course, delivered on every front possible, and I couldn't have asked for a better first night back in town. Chef Grare's use of fresh seasonal ingredients was as apt as ever, from the celery root in the croquette, pumpkin in the tortellini, parsnip with the beef cheek and the brussel sprouts with the coconut-simmered toothfish.

Read on below for details of each dish, and go try them for yourself now at Lily & Bloom!

Potato croquette will always be close to my heart - something I grew up with, as a tasty snack commonly served in Japanese households (korokke). Chef Grare's new Smoked Celery Root Croquette (HK$55) brought me right back home with the comforting crunch of the coating, which gave way to the smoky celery root mash inside. Pair with creamy fontina cheese, crispy spinach and chorizo oil and this was an utterly delicious dish that I can't wait to try again.

Not your average kale salad. The Kale & Crispy Pork Belly (HK$90) is made with a unique combo of hoi sin dressing, goat's cheese, shaved carrot and apple, and this was a great salad to cut up the meal. Apparently a huge hit at LB now!

The Creamy Polenta (HK$125) had us drooling from the moment it arrived. Replacing Chef Chris's famous "Egg in the Nest" that came top in the #EggsAllDay campaign earlier this year, this new dish is a delicious tribute to the changing season. Creamy polenta at the base, greens and earthy roasted mushroom, grated pecorino, and the star: Japanese egg yolk marinated in saffron olive oil and slow cooked at a consistent temp of 40 degrees over 6 hours, and finally, sprinkled with a teeny bit of sea salt.

The Pumpkin Ricotta Tortellini was all kinds of tasty, from the home-made tortellini pasta to the creamy, kabocha filling, parmesan flakes, herbaceous kicks, and hazelnut crumble. So comforting and perfect for the coming (hopefully) winter in Hong Kong.

Chef Chris's hearty Country Pate (HK$175) - a sophisticated yet unpretentious terrine of pork, liver, herbs and pistachio nuts, wrapped with prosciutto. Nicely paired with some home-brined pickles, a fresh mache salad and port-pear compote on sweet toast.

The Confit Duck Leg (HK$265) is prepared with caramelized grapes, foie gras, creamed lentils and pickled mustard jus - which definitely added a great flavour dimension to the dish.

Bet you thought that was Mac N Cheese (we did too)! It's actually curried white beans with crispy bacon to accompany the gorgeous Toothfish Simmered in Coconut Milk (HK$295). The fish was super soft, flaky and with lots of Asian flavours going through it!

Did you know there's an entire section on the Lily & Bloom menu dedicated to beef? Not surprised, because they do it so damn well. This is a new addition to the section, Chef Chris's melting Slow-Cooked Beef Cheek (HK$315), which comes with a soy chili glaze, bok choy and mashed parsnip. Asian again, yay!

An oldie but goodie - the crazy good 35oz dry aged Cowboy Steak (HK$1400). This beauty has been dry aged for exactly 45 days by the Linz Brothers in Chicago, and as a result, produces the most incredible meaty, aged flavour (funk, as Chris calls it). It's served on the bone, which intensifies the flavours too. I've had this on a couple occasions now, and it's delivered every time.

Bringing to mind cosy countryside camping retreats the likes of which we will never be able to experience here in Hong Kong, S'mores Campfire was our warm, smoky treat to conclude the meal. The scent from the roasting marshmallows was amazing, and we almost forgot to blow out the fire. It's served with the classics: graham cracker crust, chocolate (Valrhona, though), and a boozy lift from the grand marnier.

The Passion Fruit Semifreddo came as one of the more refreshing options among the new desserts - presented beautifully, too! Chef Chris applies a refined twist to the classic semifreddo, using vanilla scented seasonal fruit, crispy raspberry and phyllo pastry.

Lily & Bloom - Restaurant on 5/F

Tel - +852 2810 6166

Address - 5/F LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham St, Central, Hong Kong

Opening Hours - Daily, 12pm-3pm, 6pm-11pm

Website - http://www.lily-bloom.com

Instagram - @lilyandbloom

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