The Lounge is the day dining restaurant at the Four Seasons Hong Kong which offers a menu of Western and Asian favourites in what feels like understated luxury.
We’ll confess that we’re fans of Four Seasons Hong Kong having already stayed at this luxury hotel and dined at their 3 Michelin star restaurant Lung King Heen where we were treated to a memorable vegan Cantonese fine dining experience.
The team at Four Seasons Hong Kong certainly know how to look after their (vegan) guests.
It’s fair to say that when we sat down for a lunch prepared by Executive Chef Andrea Accordi and his team, we were feeling quietly confident. We knew they’d understand what it means to cater for vegans and we’d read all about his passion for using only the finest ingredients.
We really didn’t think it was possible to exceed our already high expectations but the food was nothing short of wondrous.
A whole menu of vegan wondrousness in fact, accompanied by a glass or two of vegan Champagne.
The Vegan Food:
OK here goes, we’ll try our best but it’s very possible that words can’t really describe this epicurean fantasy of a meal…
The first dish was presented; ‘Radicchio tardivo, wild chicory tips, tangerine dressing and black figs’. It tasted as fresh as it looked; the sweetness of the Italian black figs and tangerine dressing combined perfectly with the radicchio offering a perfect start to our lunch.
So light and delicate and zesty.
Next we slipped into a rich, creamy and quite simply exquisite ‘Forest mushrooms and butternut squash broth’. It was divine, heavenly even. It was also a contestant for ‘favourite dish of the day’, partly due to the mixture of mushrooms which were entirely delectable. But we also suspect the pumpkin broth might have been made of pure velvet. Plus there were mini cucumbers, a fun, crunchy and delicious addition.
We quizzed Chef Andrea about those mushrooms and he told us that they were “the first porcini in season from Italy, and chanterelle from France”. The mushrooms were “cooked and raw marinated to keep the fresh flavor of the forest”.
It’s this attention to detail that made us love this dish.
‘Sauteed wild broccoli, soft polenta, wild garlic, beetroot and apple’ was next. It centred on the creamiest of polenta, paired with dainty drops of a blended beetroot and apple creation and wild garlic puree.
We’ve dabbled a bit with the cooking of polenta with varying success so we were keen for Chef Andrea to tell us how it was made. “Polenta is the symbol of my region and is cooked in water and extra virgin olive oil” which makes it sound so simple.
That polenta was the best we’ve ever tasted.
Another colourful and enticing dish was served, ‘Crispy purple eggplant, Camone tomato, fruit and vegetable jus, eggplant milk’. It was a lightly fried cube of sweet eggplant topped with slices of black tomato and served with a trio of jus. To give you an idea about the precision of this dish, one of those jus was a concoction of no less than 6 different fruits and vegetables that had been roasted, boiled to reduction and blended with virgin olive oil. So much work went into every single element; we were stunned but our tastebuds were doing somersaults with excitement.
“This dish is an explosion of flavors, light and tasty, I believe a perfect dish needs to create emotions, memories and curiosity”, said Chef Andrea. It certainly did that for us.
So far our lunch had been a remarkable mixture of unique ingredients, intriguing cooking techniques and a certain wizardry from a chef that obviously has a huge passion for food. It was like undertaking a delicious and exciting vegan culinary journey around his homeland of Italy.
For dessert, Chef Andrea stepped to one side and left us in the hands of Chef Ringo, the pastry chef. We’re very comfortable in the hands of people who make desserts for a living. We’re even happier when they serve dishes like ‘Vanilla marinated mirabelle plum salad, Italian melon granita’.
It was refreshing, vitalising and the perfect end to a perfect meal.
Chef Ringo told us that the vanilla was sourced from Bora Bora and that the mirabelle plums were in season, therefore the perfect time to sample them).
Yet (unbelievably) this wasn’t the end of one of the most appetising vegan adventures we’ve had, in addition to everything else we’d been served a vegan chocolate cake arrived. Yes a whole, delicious, rich, raspberry topped chocolate cake with flakes of real gold.
Made in honour of Paul’s birthday, eaten with immense pleasure.
Sponge layers that were light and airy, indulgent dark chocolate ganache filling, fresh and flavoursome raspberries; this is the kind of cake that vegan dreams are made of.
The Vegan Food Quest Verdict:
Make a reservation at The Lounge to sample some of the finest Italian vegan creations you might ever taste. Contact them in advance, tell them you’re vegan and then sit back safe in the knowledge you will be taken on an Italian vegan culinary journey to remember.
And if it’s your birthday, don’t forget to save us a slice of cake.
We were guests of The Lounge @ Four Seasons Hong Kong but please rest assured that their generosity in hosting us didn’t influence our views.
Four Seasons Hong Kong
8 Finance St,
Telephone: +(852) 3196-8820
Opening Hours: All Day Dining 1100 – 2330