At Sassy, we’re up for trying anything once… which is how we came to be sipping our way through the first ever Guinness Pairing menu in Hong Kong at Lily & Bloom!
Guinness is not exactly the world’s girliest drink – yet I was ready to put that blokey stereotype to the test and check out what this unusual beer pairing menu had to offer! Forget Guinness and beef pies… Lily & Bloom have especially created six premium dishes to match the complex rich flavours of the stout, and the result is a meal that will go down a treat with foodies looking for something a little bit different in HK’s dining scene.
We kicked things off with a classic – Oysters Kilpatrick, and the bacon-studded spicy tomato sauce had just the right amount of kick to fire up those tastebuds for the rest of the meal.
The beetroot carpaccio that followed was a light summery highlight. The earthy yet refreshing beetroot complemented the mild fontina cheese and went especially well with sips of that deep creamy Guinness!
The first main was roasted pigeon, accompanied by sweet potato and arugula salad. Guinness is renowned for pairing particularly well with game meats and the tastes did marry together nicely, but I found the pigeon a little tough and scrawny for my liking, whilst the veggie sides seemed an afterthought. Maybe I just got the duff bird as everyone else loved theirs!
Much better was the second main of dry aged Irish rib-eye steak. The meat was very rare (just how I like it!), melt-in-mouth tender and intensely beautifully rich. I also really enjoyed the accompanying glazed sweetbreads (offal to non-foodies) with their sticky sweet, super more-ish glazing, which went with the beef like a dream. [I'm not going to comment on the poor lettuce leaf unnecessarily subjected to the tempura treatment!]
A peppermint sorbet followed as a palate cleanser. It was a little toothpaste-esque but definitely did the job of preparing you for the dessert… the star of the show…
Guinness tiramisu! Come on, doesn’t this just look seriously sexy?! This is the only one of the dishes to actually include Guinness as an ingredient, and it was fantastic. I was worried it might feel a bit too dark and heavy, yet the texture and flavours were surprisingly light and the mixture of coffee, cocoa, mascarpone and Guinness was a winner! This could easily be a stand-alone dessert on any menu.
The Guinness menu is definitely an exciting experiment and I think Lily & Bloom’s executive chef, Rene Michelena, has done a great job at translating and pairing the flavours of Guinness with clever interesting and appealing dishes. It’s a cool twist on the ubiquitous wine pairing menu and, especially given the stunning décor at Lily & Bloom, would make for a great night out for adventurous foodies.
So whilst you might not see me necking down pints of Guinness on a regular basis, this has definitely convinced me there is more to beer than a rowdy pint down at your local. Cheers to that!
The six-course Taste Of Guinness menu is available until 30 September and costs $760 (plus 10% service charge), including two pints of Guinness. Reservations must be made at least three working days in advance, with a minimum of four guests and a maximum of ten.
Lily & Bloom 6/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central
2810 6166 www.facebook.com/LilyandBloom