Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Address: 6/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central 中環蘭桂坊雲咸街33號LKF Tower 6樓

Telephone: 2810 6166

If you have been reading my blog, you would realise that one of my favourite meals of the week is Sunday brunch – a good brunch always makes me feel happy, loved and content with life. Do you have a favourite brunch place in Hong Kong which rejuvenates you? For me, that place used to be Bloom or Oolaa.

Bloom is a New York-style supper club, which is connected to Lily, a speakeasy-inspired bar, by a large staircase at one end. Opened by Buzz Concepts , the proprietors of Volar, Lily & Bloom is a large and sophisticated venue with lounge seating, dark colours and an enormous metal chandelier. Offering a humble collection of classic dishes with a touch of their own class, Bloom was the perfect place for decent, affordable American fare. Complete with a magnificent raw bar, it was no surprise that it became a favourite in Hong Kong’s most fashionable quarter.

My friends and I came on Sunday and the restaurant offered a Three Course Brunch at $400 (4yrs – 11yrs $200), with an appetiser buffet, a main course and a dessert; unfortunately, we found that the standard of Bloom has significantly dropped.

(1) It is always a nice touch to see oysters at an appetiser buffet, and I happily delved into these Coffin Bay oysters. The fact that each person was limited to 12 pieces of oysters could be forgiven if the oysters tasted good, but they were tasteless and unexciting. Famished and groggy, at least there was some hearty ham and cheese that I could stuff myself with!

(2) The Seattle Benedict ($140), with made home cured smoked salmon, was perhaps the best option at brunch. The foccaccia was lightly toasted and delicious, and the smoked salmon had clear, delicious flavours and was smothered in satisfying, thick brown butter hollandaise sauce. The Classic Benedict ($140) was a failsafe option too!

(3) The Mexican food-fiend in me made me go for the Steak Burrito ($140), which was stuffed with beef, scrambled egg, cheese, and beans. The taste of the burrito was rather nondescript – the beef was rather bland, and the scrambled egg insufficiently seasoned. It could also have benefited from a spicy kick. The burrito, sadly, was an unequal partner to an outstanding guacamole, which was rich, creamy and delicious.

(4) Any sleepy person could benefit with a large glass of fresh, invigorating fruit juice, and a few of us ordered this Orange Juice ($40) to go with our morning coffee. With our bodies desperately calling for Vitamin C, we deliberately asked the waitress if the juice was freshly squeezed, and the answer was in the affirmative; but when our juices arrived, it was in an artificial tangerine colour, tasted way too sweet and cloying and most importantly was definitely not “freshly squeezed”! We couldn’t be bothered to argue with the waitress on this point, and decided to ask for some ice cubes so that it could dilute the juice a bit to enable us to drink it.

(5) In light of the previous disappointments, it was a good thing that the latte was creamy and aromatic, and managed to refresh us just a little!

Conclusion: Even though the standard of Bloom has deteriorated, Lily is still a popular nightlife destination in Hong Kong. If you have friends visiting Hong Kong, make sure you drop into Lily with them for a cocktail at some point. As for Sunday brunches, looks like I will stick with Oolaa for now.