Lily & Bloom, or, rather, just Lily, is always on my list of decent bars to go for a drink. I love the atmosphere, the décor and, although a little pricey, the drinks are very good too. I had, until recently, however, always remained upstairs at Lily and had never ventured down to the restaurant, Bloom. It turns out Bloom has a fantastic set lunch menu, so I may start to frequent it more often.
Both Lily and Bloom are inspired by the great cities of the early 20th century, cities such as Paris, London, New York and San Francisco that were emerging as ‘modern cities’. This concept is referenced throughout Lily & Bloom, where you see hints of urban grittiness with creative glamour.
Bloom, more specifically, is a tribute to old New York, designed as a comforting old American brasserie. Alongside lots of iron, steel, wood and leather, you see industrial light fixtures and vintage knickknacks. It’s an elegant space that certainly tells a story.
The weekday lunch ‘bazaar’ starts at $168 per person. If you choose this option, you first get a soup of the day, followed by as many visits to the buffet counter as you like. Although this is easily enough food, being the glutton that I am, I opted for the three-course lunch, priced at $298, which, depending on the number of visits you make to the buffet counter, ends up being closer to a six-course lunch!
I generally see any ‘soup of the day’, at least when it comes as part of a set menu, as an unnecessary filler. I therefore tried a spoonful of both the potato and cauliflower soup and the seafood broth, but consciously decided to leave it at that. Both were pleasant enough, but when I had a whole meal ahead of me, there was no chance soup was going to get prime space in my stomach.
The ‘lunch bazaar’ features all the classic DIY salad options (i.e. rabbit food – again, not worth filling up on), alongside some much more exciting salads, such as spicy corn, or a Morrocan-style quinoa salad. There’s also a selection of charcuterie and a fresh seafood bar on a bed of ice.
Every day features a carving station, which for us happened to be some fantastic roast pork belly, alongside some of the best fried chicken I’ve ever had – the kind that has the perfect crunchy batter with juicy meat beneath, and yet doesn’t leave you feeling like you just ate a tub of lard.
I’ve never been a mac ‘n’ cheese kind of girl, but when they have a whole mac ‘n’ cheese station, with a selection of different variations, it’s kind of hard to resist. We tried Walkin’ the Border, which consisted of chorizo, tomato sauce, jalapeño, roasted pepper, grilled mushrooms, pork crackling and cheddar cheese. It was nicely spiced with the cheese itself taking a lesser role.
Again, same goes for prawn cocktail – it’s not usually my kind of thing. The prawn cocktail at Bloom, however, doesn’t come in a martini glass smothered in that nasty pink sauce. Here, you get two plump prawns served on a bed of grated green apple, topped with a lovely, fresh tomato-based sauce.
Bear in mind that this is all just starters! For main course, I tried the French Dip, consisting of deliciously tender hanger steak with caramelised onions and melted provolone cheese, served on an open baguette with dangerously more-ish French fries and a pot of rich jus, which I assumed was the ‘dip’. This was a seriously good dish, if a little naughty.
If you order the three-course lunch, it includes the dessert of the day and tea or coffee. On this particular day, the option was a wonderfully gooey chocolate brownie, served with a dollop of cream and candied pecans. I tried so hard to just have a spoonful…but suddenly it was all gone…
If you’re not feeling quite so hungry, each main course is individually priced, yet for the amount and variety of food you get, I’d say it’s much better value to go for the set. I was very impressed by Bloom’s lunch menu and am now eager to see if the dinner menu is just as good!
Lily & Bloom
5/F & 6/F LKF Tower
33 Wyndham Street
Tel: +852 2810 6166