Taste of Japanese cherry blossom without leaving Hong Kong: five places serving themed menus and drinks
Spring cherry blossoms in Japan have inspired chefs and mixologists at Hong Kong restaurants
Cherry trees are blossoming all over Japan now, but if you can’t go in person to appreciate the cherry blossoms, you can be there in spirit by trying cherry-flavoured drinks and themed dishes at Hong Kong restaurants. We picked five of the best cherry blossom (sakura) menus.
Floral artist Kirk Cheng has Zuma into a pink oasis, installing cherry blossoms on the ceiling. Guests can sample drinks inspired by cherry blossom such as sakura gin and tonic, sakura bellini and sakura sour (HK$80 for non alcoholic, HK$120 with alcohol).
For dessert, diners can indulge in Japanese sakura cheesecake made with seasonal wild strawberries, home-made Wasanbon cookies, Hokkaido cheese and sakura ice cream (HK$178).
Landmark Level 5 & 6, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central, tel: 3657 6388.
To mark the start of spring this fine-dining Japanese restaurant offers a sakura set lunch (HK$380) and kaiseki for dinner (HK$1,250) on the cherry blossom theme. The set lunch features 10 small appetisers, including grilled silver cod with miso paste, salty-cured Toyama squid and sakura sesame bean curd, assorted sashimi and for dessert, home-made sakura pudding and sakura ice cream using real sakura leaves from Japan.
Meanwhile the kaiseki includes thinly sliced flounder, fatty tuna and squid with caviar, Zuwai crabmeat and cockle in vinegar sauce, chirashi sushi served with red miso soup, and the aforementioned sakura pudding to finish the dinner.
1/F, New World Millennium, 72 Mody Road, tel: 2313 4222.
The Peninsula Boutique
The store in the basement of The Peninsula features cherry blossom-themed edible treats (HK$55-HK$580), shortbread, pastries, cakes, and chocolates along with sakura-infused tea. The items can be bought individually or in sets.
Customers can also take part in a digital painting contest, with a grand prize of a three-day stay at The Peninsula Tokyo with return flights for two.
B/F, The Peninsula Arcade, Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2696 6969.
Lobby Lounge, InterContinental Hong Kong
Also nearby in Tsim Sha Tsui, the Lobby Lounge in the InterContinental Hong Kong has “A Feast of Sakura” cherry blossom afternoon tea set (HK$688 for two). Hanami is the traditional custom of enjoying viewing the cherry blossoms, and executive pastry chef Cyril Dupuis has a selection of floral-themed French pastries.
There’s a strawberry fresh fruit cream cake, chestnut, sakura and green tea cake, and letao orange, passion fruit and sakura cake, as well as savoury items like shrimp tartare with yuzu and sakura crispy shrimp, and duck foie gras with sakura jam. The tea comes with home-made plain and raisin scones served with Devonshire clotted cream and sakura petal jam.
Some creative beverages are also available, both cocktails (HK$165) and non-alcoholic drinks (HK$125) such as Vilma’s Garden (vodka, elderflower liqueur, strawberries, lime juice and sauvignon blanc); Secret in the Woods (sakura-infused gin, cucumber, rose syrup, lemon juice and cream); and Imperial Sakura (7-Up, rose syrup, strawberries, blackberries, lime juice and mint).
G/F, InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2313 2323.
Japanese fine-dining restaurant Sushi Tsubomi in Causeway Bay is gearing up for spring with a new omakase (chef’s choice) menu called “Cherry Blossom” (HK$1,688). There’s seasonal sashimi such as sakura bean curd from Kyoto topped with sea urchin and caviar with yuzu foam, and seasonal oyster with sakura vinegar dressing and fatty tuna.
There’s also Japanese seaweed marinated with sakura leaves, and the flavour of bamboo shoots is enhanced with seaweed rose dressing.
Included in the meal is steamed amadai (tilefish) with salted sakura leaf presented in a bonito broth.
22/F, V Point, 2-22 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay, tel: 2339 1899