As sultry as a Prohibition-era speakeasy, Lily & Bloom (5-6/F, Hotel LKF, 55 Dâ€™Aguilar St., Central; 852/2810-6166;Â lily-bloom.com) is easily the hottest venue to open in Hong Kong this year. Itâ€™s also deliciously two-faced. Upstairs, Lily, a bar dressed in discreetly lit timber and iron, is home to some of the cityâ€™s top mixologists, who serve up classics like an Old Fashioned made from 23-year-old Zacapa rum. Combine that with deep booths, a bar menu featuring deep-fried quail on corn bread and foie gras torchon, and a hidden room called the Blind Pig (home to an enviable selection of Cuban cigars), and itâ€™s a wonder anyone makes it downstairs.
But make it you should, for Bloom rekindles faith in â€śModern Americanâ€ť cuisine with every mouthful. The restaurantâ€™s main dining room has the feel of a chic New York bistro from the â€™50s, with its tiled floor, oysters on ice, and scurrying black-clad waiters. The compact menu, like the service, is blessedly unpretentious, with standouts such as roasted bone marrow and Iberico pork chops with sage marmalade.Â â€“Nicholas Walton