Lily & Bloom has long been the go-to spot for a taste of refined Americana in Hong Kong. Though it's just steps from LKF, there’s no rowdiness or beer cans in sight. It’s an elegant drinking den and eatery that's always filled with discerning guests enjoying a good drink (or three, especially with their happy hour promotion). We bet things will get even busier now that John Nugent has joined as the head mixologist.
John comes to Hong Kong from Seattle, where he gained a reputation as an accomplished bartender. In addition to being the beverage manager at the Thompson hotel, he was also selected to be an ambassador for Tequila Ocho, Cynar and Don Q. His speciality is innovative twists on classic cocktail recipes, and he’s now completely revamped the cocktail menu at L&B just in time for summer.
There are 10 new cocktails that range from $110–150. We think this is fair value given their quality and size.
One of the standouts is the English milk punch ($115). This is a drink that has been around since the 1700s, traditionally enjoyed by aristocrats since it's so labour intensive to make. Citrus peels, a whole pineapple, an assortment of spices and nine different spirits are soaked overnight before whole milk and lemon juice are added. The curdled mixture is then strained through a cheesecloth. Sounds strange, but trust us – while the clear liquid looks simple, it is incredibly flavourful and delicious. This is a very quaffable cocktail that’s quite dangerous since you can barely taste the alcohol.
Another winner is the pandan grasshopper ($140). We’re lovers of all things with pandan, a leaf common in Southeast Asian cooking that has a nutty, vanilla-like flavour. A traditional grasshopper has cream and crème de menthe, but this version uses homemade coconut cream and Branca Menta. The result is a sweet yet sophisticated cocktail that’s perfect for enjoying after dinner.
We also enjoyed the Desert Flower ($120). Those who enjoy refreshing cocktails that aren’t too sugary would like this. It has a tequila and mezcal base, with elements of elderflower, cucumber, lemon and Bittermens Hellfire Habanero Shrub, which is a hot sauce created especially for adding to cocktails.
Drinks pair well with nibbles, and Executive Chef Chris Grare, previously of The American Club Hong Kong and Café Gray Deluxe, has put out a brand-new bar snacks menu to go with the new cocktails. Items include all-American classics such as mini corn dogs ($75), lobster rolls ($195) and deep-fried pickle chips with ranch sauce ($65) – we really enjoyed how sour yet crisp these were. There are also snacks with an Asian twist such as the Nam Nam wings ($120) with sambal sauce and crispy garlic and the char siu banh mi ($150) with foie gras and house pickles.
5/F and 6/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central, 2810 6166