Lily & Bloom
Wyndham St, 33, Central, Hong Kong
+852 2810 6166
At the turn of the 20th century, the emergence of ‘downtown street life’ saw the first street vendors, people watching cafes and classic cocktails appearing in major cites across the globe, from New York to Paris and beyond. It’s this period that inspired speakeasy-style restaurant and bar, Lily & Bloom: a retro-chic American eatery that pays homage to the foundation of modern dining culture.
From the New York-style, industrial decor to the young, discerning clientele, a raw energy pulses through the venue at all hours of the day. The dual moniker dictates the restaurant and bar theme: ‘Lily’ was plucked from the list of most popular girl’s names of the early 20th century, and ‘Bloom’ is a personal touch from one of the owners who also operates a floral company. Lily sits on the sixth floor, primarily a lounge where guests can enjoy bar snacks and prohibition-era cocktails, while Bloom draws in hungry patrons one floor below.
It’s Bloom you’ll want to head to for Executive Chef Chris Grare’s brilliant modern American fare, rooted in market-fresh ingredients and top-notch seafood. The lengthy menu strikes the comfort food chord with variations on whole-roasted chicken (served with smoked cauliflower puree and potato gnocchi), lobster mac and cheese (splashed with cognac and scattered with basil breadcrumbs) and the Old-Fashioned Bloom Burger, a contender for the best patty in town with dry-aged Wagyu beef under an artery-clogging assembly of truffle aioli, bacon and aged cheddar. They also offer a wide range of beef cuts, including dry-aged beef and Rangers Valley M5 Wagyu. For fresher, lighter fare, patrons can try the extensive raw bar offering as well as the range of dishes derived from the bounty of the garden.
Start with the Radish Garden boasting a clever arrangement of edible soil and flowers, move on to the steamed toothfish with water spinach and lemongrass, and finish with the spring barley risotto, spruced up with sugar snap peas, goat cheese and dill. For dessert, the passionfruit semifreddo is a light yet satisfying end, the fresh fruit rolled in crispy phyllo pastry with a crackling sugar tuile garnish.
If drinking and debauchery are on the night’s agenda, you’ll want to make yourself comfortable at Lily upstairs, where cocktails get shaken with gravity yet served with lighthearted banter. Continually experimenting behind the bar, award-winning mixologist John Nugent’s inventive libations range from the Pandan Grasshopper (vodka, creme de cacao, pandan and coconut) to the Coffee & Cigarettes, a seductive number boasting a hazy blend of Bulleit bourbon, Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur, coffee and smoke.
Not just a social hub for food and drink lovers, Lily & Bloom has become an ever popular destination for everything from product launch parties to company gatherings with its versatile layout and attractive surrounds. The decor speaks directly to the romanticism of the era: elements of hardwood, cast iron and leather evoke turn-of-the-century industrialism, while the cushy armchairs and vintage candelabras nod to a period of imbibing and indulgence. Whether you’re in the mood for contemporary American fare or prohibition-era cocktails, the stellar restaurant-and-bar combo at Lily & Bloom will give you cause to celebrate – a bid for nostalgia that simultaneously sums up everything that’s wonderful about modern cuisine.