Max Concepts, which operates Thai Basil, Rice Paper, Eating Plus and Pearl on the Peak (among others), has opened a Vietnamese-Thai bar and bistro named Lian in the IFC mall. Lian means lotus in Putonghua and the restaurant is designed around this theme, with a large table around a lotus pool that is reflected on the ceiling. The chefs are Simson Kwan and James Lockett. Their menu includes braised ox cheek in red curry with peanuts, basil and baby potatoes (HK$155), Hanoi-style fillet of fish (HK$175), sticky pork belly with cassia bark and bamboo shoots (HK$165), Thai beef salad (above right; HK$115), foie gras with caramelised onions, toasted brioche and apple balsamic (HK$125). Desserts include caramelised pineapple with mango and screw pine-leaf ice cream (HK$65) and ripe Cherry Ripe cherry souffle with chocolate brownie ice cream (HK$80). Lian is at shop 2004, Podium Level 2, IFC Mall, Central, tel: 2521 1117.