Most days, we just look for the cheapest, quickest and most convenient lunch we can get before running back to the office. But some days, you’ve just got to treat yo’ self! If you’ve ever been to LKF bar and restaurant favourite Lily & Bloom, you’ll already know that soaking up its turn-of-the-century grandeur and swanky vibe is a bit of a treat in itself… and now Bloom has a weekday Lunch Bazaar that will give your lunch break a major upgrade.
Available every weekday between noon and 3pm, Bloom’s Lunch Bazaar includes a small but high-quality buffet with a soup of the day, raw seafood bar, DIY salad bar, carving station and the piece de resistance – a mac n’ cheese station!
The soups du jours when we visited Bloom’s Lunch Bazaar were a leek and potato soup, and a pork broth with cabbage. The former was what you would expect – creamy and comforting, but not particularly exciting. However, the pork broth with cabbage, which didn’t initially sound too exotic, was really interesting. With pork bones, Parma ham, sherry vinegar, and lots of thyme and sage in the mix, it had a lot going on flavour-wise.
The seafood bar has your usual suspects of salmon, shrimp, mussels and raw oysters that looked delicious – but I sadly could not partake, thanks to being traumatized after the last two times I’ve tried to eat raw oysters (let’s just say they didn’t end well for me nor the oysters). However, the buffet is definitely a sweet deal for any oyster lovers out there, and Bloom stocks the raw bar based on what is fresh and in season.
When I hear “salad bar”, my mind can’t help but conjure up a sad image of the rubbish salad bars I’ve visited in the past, with their wilted iceberg lettuce and stale croutons. Much to the delight of my veggie-obsessed self, Bloom’s DIY salad bar was both pleasing to the eye and the stomach! You can create your perfect salad with the many options of fresh, raw or cooked vegetables, cold cuts, and interesting dressings like spinach or honey and chipotle dressing. It’s a shame the salad bar didn’t get the same seasonal treatment as the seafood bar, though I have to say, the spiced pumpkin was delicious and hands-down my favourite item – even if I was eating it on a hot and humid summery day!
But what really sets Bloom’s lunch buffet apart is their mac n’ cheese station – something I’ve never seen before in Hong Kong. You can pick from combinations like “New York”, “Santa Fe” or “California”, or you can mix and match your own combination of ingredients, and Bloom’s chef will cook it right up in front of you in minutes. The “New York” was mac and cheese with mushroom, truffle, bacon, four cheeses and bagel chips. There was disappointingly barely a trace of truffle in mine, but how bad can anything smothered in cheese and bacon be? (Hint: not very!)
The “Santa Fe” was made up of onions, chorizo, peppers, chicharrón and spicy tomato cream. Fried pork rind may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but even if this wasn’t the best chicharrón I’ve tasted, I loved how these added a nice crunchy texture to the dish, as did the bagel chips in the “New York”.
We finished our meal on a sweet note with the $20 add-on dessert of the day – a cherry pie that ended up being much tastier than we thought it would be! Bloom’s lunch bazaar is probably not going to be an everyday thing for most people, but it’s a very reasonable option for people looking for some midweek luxury. It’s quiet enough to be a break from the madness of Central lunch rush, yet you can still do it within an hour if you need to. At $175 for the Lunch Bazaar buffet sans dessert, it’s pretty good bang for your buck when you consider the good service, elegant atmosphere and quality food. It’s the perfect weekday lunch celebration – come on girls, treat yo’ self!
Lily and Bloom 5-6/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central
2810 6166 www.lily-bloom.com
Iris blogs about clean living and her cooking adventures figuring out a HK-sized kitchen at Eating Clean In The Dirty City