By Gavin Yeung
April 09, 2021
The food and drink happenings that you should know about this week
Spring is here, vaccines are the talk of the town, beaches and pools are open, and reservations for restaurant tables are backed up—though conspicuously, bars are still required to shut, despite owners demonstrating with a hunger strike outside the government headquarters. A sobering reminder of the huge challenges that still face the F&B industry and the importance of supporting local businesses. Begin by indulging in these latest initiatives for the week ahead.
See also: Food In A Time Of Unrest At Club Rangoon
There can never be too many mixologists behind the bar, as a limited-edition cocktail series bringing together Zuma, Quinary, Johnnie Walker and Copper Dog proves. Running until April 30, Zuma bar manager Lorenzo Coppola and Quinary founder Antonio Lai are each shaking up two original cocktails each—one made with Johnnie Walker Black Label, and the other with Copper Dog Speyside Blended Malt Whisky. The four cocktails were created with the theme of ‘Japanese Circus’ in mind, and balance the whiskies’ distinctive personalities with Asian ingredients like lapsang souchong cordial, Japanese black vinegar, and hazelnut foam. Guests who finish a cocktail at either location will be given a casino chip, which they can spend at the second bar after polishing off a second drink to obtain a special edition cocktail shaker and jigger—all the better to take the theatrics home after the 10pm curfew.
Rightly proud of achieving two Michelin stars for three years running, Cantonese fine dining institution Ying Jee Club is currently offering their first-ever Michelin degustation menu to mark the occasion. The menu brings together executive chef Siu Hin-chi’s signatures as well as long-time crowd-pleasers into one neat package, highlighting Ying Jee Club’s detail-oriented, produce-centric take on Cantonese haute cuisine. The meal starts strong with an appetiser of moreish bites like chilled South African abalone, drunken hua diao pigeon, crispy eel with yuzu honey, and honey-glazed barbecue pork, and is subsequently buoyed by the likes of sauteed lobster with water chestnut and conpoy, the masterful double-boiled fish maw with black mushroom and Chinese cabbage, the braised sea cucumber stuffed with shrimp paste and minced pork, and Kagoshima A4 wagyu beef with leek and wasabi, wok-fried to perfection.
There’s no celebration without bubbly, so diners will also be treated to a complimentary glass of champagne upon arrival. Offered until May, the Michelin degustation menu is available in six or eight courses, priced per person at HK$1,380 and HK$1,780 respectively, with the option to add a wine pairing for an additional HK$490.
Piedmontese fine dining restaurant Castellana is dedicating its latest tasting menu to the riotous burst of colour that this northern Italian region sees with the coming of spring. Titled ‘La Primavera’, head chef Fabiano Palombini elevates Piedmont’s springtime delicacies such as snails (plucked from around the town of Cherasco and cooked with garlic, Arneis white wine, anchovies, and pimiento d’Espellettes), black garlic (infused into carnaroli risotto and heaped with silver leaf), and Sicilian gamberoni prawns, oven-roasted with hazelnut breadcrumbs and served with cold Bagnet verd sauce. The ‘La Primavera’ menu is available as several configurations, from four to eight courses and priced from HK$980 upwards. For more information or to book a table, click here.
Restaurant, $$$$, Italian, Causeway Bay
Known for its range of vegan bubble teas, Mother Pearl expands its repertoire with a new menu that uses its arsenal of clean ingredients—from housemade plant mylks and coconut and rice froth, to natural sweeteners like monkfruit sugar and blackstrap molasses—to good use. A new collection of slushies is well timed for incoming hot weather, and includes the Matcha Crush with Uji matcha, Very Berry Crush with antioxidant-rich berries, and the mango-heavy Crush on Gold. Don’t miss out on the calming La La Love, nutritious Taro Mo-latte, and cleansing Just Jasmine either.
Mother Pearl, 25 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central; +852 3596 5100
Featuring a minimalist wooden interior and staffed by Kangol beret-wearing hipsters, new Asian eatery Four Bites makes a welcome, if somewhat out-of-place, addition to its glitzy, luxury mall environs in ifc mall. Featuring an approachable menu of regional Chinese and Southeast Asian dishes such as seafood noodles with wild red mushrooms, pan-fried yellow croaker and dried razor clams braised in soy sauce (all served on Serax Dé tableware by Belgian fashion designer Ann Demeulemeester), Four Bites is adding new spring offerings for the season, including an afternoon tea set of locally roasted coffee and a Keemun red date friand pastry. In keeping with its millennial-friendly credentials, the eatery will also host a rotating pop-up exhibition at its entrance—currently, Hong Kong-based artist Eugenia Mann is showcasing her ceramic pieces to passers-by.
Four Bites, Shop 2012, 2/F, ifc mall, 8 Finance Street, Central; +852 2881 5118
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