When I first moved to Hong Kong, Azure in Hotel LKF was my go-to place for drinks. I loved the views and the outdoor balcony, especially as the floor-to-ceiling windows gave partygoers such a fabulous panorama of our city’s skyline. One memorable night in 2009, Rihanna’s Umbrella was blaring at full volume whilst torrential rain poured and rivulets of water cascaded down the windows – quite the hypnotizing sight!
Therefore, it was a slight surprise to learn that Azure actually serves food too… and a rather sophisticated menu at that. So it was into a rather different atmosphere that I strolled up Azure’s staircase from the contemporary laid-back lounge and bar to the restaurant. Settling into our seats with the soft glow of the lights and blue hues surrounding us, we were handed the set menu, which at $468 per person, is quite reasonable for three courses including a coffee or tea, plus petit fours.
Before the meal had officially begun, we had made ourselves half full with Azure’s complimentary bread and frankly addictive basil and tomato flavoured butter. Then, it was a choice of two starters: beetroot cured salmon with baby squid and black ink sago crisp, or beef consommé made with slow cooked oxtail. Presentation is not the be all and end all of a dish as the taste is the proof of the pudding, but the salmon had a rather flat presentation and did not really do much to whet the appetite. The fish had slight hints of beetroot but the sago crisp failed to hit the spot. The beef consommé was more successful, with pieces of flavoursome oxtail to be found in the clear broth.
For mains, we were treated to roasted chicken breast with onion puree, crispy wonton skins and chanterelle mushrooms. This was beautifully prepared and the puree was delicious; I especially liked the addition of the wonton skins as they added a lovely textural contrast.
We still had a little room left for a savoury dish, so we opted for the pan-fried foie gras with homemade brioche and a truffle and sherry soaked raisin velouté from the a la carte menu. Given its price ($298), I was expecting a rather more generous portion, but despite its diminutive size, it was well executed and the foie gras seared to perfection.
The dessert from the set menu was a bitter chocolate with mandarin cream, baked white chocolate and mandarin sorbet. The dark chocolate was quite powerful and I could not eat it on its own, but this was balanced out against the citrus tang of the sorbet. Meanwhile, the trio of petit fours was a sweet end to the meal, and we enjoyed the macaroons and the mini profiteroles.
As dinner drew to a close, the dining room was slowly being transformed into the after-hours club venue that I once frequented, and unfortunately this transformation did impact the service towards the end. That being said, Azure is a good spot to have an elegant quiet dinner followed by late night drinks if you choose to stay on. I can’t promise another magical Umbrella moment though!
Azure Restaurant Slash Bar 29-30/F, Hotel Lkf by Rhombus, 33 Wyndham Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central
3518 9330 www.azure.hk
Check out more food-related writings from Michelle on her blog, Chopstixfix!