Located at the spot Cova occupied for years at Pacific Place – near to the JW Marriott in the middle space opposite the shops – Lumi offers “borderless” cuisine by chef Kihachi Kumagai, who was arguably one of the first chefs to incorporate Japanese ingredients into French cuisine.
The 72 year old has been a chef for more than 50 years, starting his career cooking for diplomats in the Japanese embassies in Senegal and Morocco, before joining the culinary team at the three Michelin-starred Maxims de Paris in 1972 – possibly the most famous fine-dining restaurant at the time. He has also worked under Joel Robuchon and at some of Paris’s top hotels.
When he returned to Japan, he opened a French fine-dining restaurant but, back then, typical French ingredients were difficult to source, so he used fresh local produce instead.
Lumi is a culmination of his culinary past, with the menu offering French, Spanish and Italian dishes with Japanese influences, and it is good.
We started with pan-fried foie gras in a green pea purée crème brûlée (HK$160) – an interesting combination that worked perfectly. The purée was smooth, creamy and light, with a sweet crunch from the caramelised top, and it went well with the richness of the pan-fried foie gras.
We loved this starter, but the seared maguro (tuna) salad with endive, okra, cherry tomato, chicory, crispy miso burdock root and Akita smoked radish ravigote dressing and Wakayama dried-plum sauce (HK$150) was also a tasty choice. The tuna was lightly seared, balancing well with the flavours from the salad combination, which had the right amount of crispy and crunchy textures.
After that impressive start, we were looking forward to the mains. We went for the Kobe beef mignon with Sendai spicy miso sauce, garlic cream, burdock root chips and asparagus (HK$280). The beef was tender, buttery, and melt-in-the mouth gorgeous, and the hint of sauce and cream complemented the flavour of the beef.
The pan-fried Atlantic salmon smoked with sakura wood and topped with an onsen egg, and potato and shrimp salad and lemon dressing (HK$240) was another crowd-pleaser. As the cover was lifted from the plate, the sakura woodsmoke filled the air before clearing to reveal a generous portion of salmon, which was cooked medium – perfect for us. The yolk from the onsen egg ran over the salmon, and it was another melt-in-the-mouth moment.
Dessert had a lot to live up to. We chose the peach Melba with raspberry sauce, fresh berries and vanilla ice cream (HK$110), and the chestnut Mont Blanc with Kumamoto chestnut purée, chestnut ice cream, macaron and seasonal fruit (HK$80). They did not disappoint.
To end, we ordered the chocolate orange tea, which was surprisingly light and refreshing.
Lumi has all-day dining starting at 10am, with lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. The dishes are seasonal.
The interior is bright and cheerful, with colourful flowery features and daylight coming in through the ceiling from the 4th floor outdoor level. There is a bar to one side and comfortable booths providing privacy. Although you are sitting in the middle of a mall, it feels comfortable and private.
Lumi, 301 Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty. 2918 1313