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6 dining pop-ups not to miss in December

From the best new restaurants around town to plenty of places to get your holiday drink on, December is going to be a packed month of social engagements fuelled by merry eating and drinking. To add to that list, we’ve compiled a roundup of the one-off pop-up dinners and exclusive seasonal menus that you shouldn’t miss this month. Whether it’s a Champagne and caviar dinner or a seasonal crab feast, here are the limited-time dining pop-ups to keep an eye out for in December.

Maison Louis Jadot Wine Dinner at InterContinental Hong Kong

When: 7 December

Price: 8-course omakase menu priced at HK$1,188 plus 10% surcharge per person, plus HK$400 for wine pairing

If you love your Burgundy wines, you won’t want to miss out on an exclusive wine pairing dinner taking place at NOBU InterContinental Hong Kong on 7 December. Set over eight courses which feature pristine seasonal Japanese produce, the menu is in collaboration with Maison Louis Jadot, featuring four Chardonnays and two Pinot Noirs from the acclaimed winery. The special event will be attended by Vice President of Louis Jadot, Thibault Gagey, who will introduce the wines and each of their unique characteristics while guests savour the sensational dishes from NOBU’s world-class chefs, including toro tataki with truffle teriyaki and ankimo, pan-seared sea bass fillet with wasabi salsa, and roast Japanese pork belly.

NOBU InterContinental Hong Kong, 2/F, InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Hong Kong, +852 2313 2323 

Filip Sondergaard x Test Kitchen 

When: 20–22 December

Price: HK$1,080 for Danish Christmas Menu, plus HK$300 for drinks and wine pairing; purchase here

Looking for a non-traditional Christmas feast? Treat your taste buds to a Danish Christmas feast at Test Kitchen’s December pop-up, featuring the creative cooking of chef Filip Sondergaard. The 8-course Danish Christmas feast celebrates the very best of Scandinavian produce, with dishes including pickled beetroot with horseradish cream and red herbs; gravlax with aquavit, dill, sugar, salt and mustard dill; crumbled flatfish with a Danish remoulade sauce; and roast pork belly with red cabbage puree. The centrepiece of the spread is a roast Christmas duck stuffed with apples and prunes, paired with homemade Danish rye bread with ‘spiced fat’. We love the sound of the intriguing menu, which ends with a traditional vanilla and almond dessert drizzled in warm cherry sauce and a selection of Danish cheeses. The 34-year-old chef from Denmark has previously appeared at Test Kitchen with the Dottir pop-up, and this will be his first time showcasing a solo menu.

Test Kitchen, 158A Connaught Road West, Shop 3, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong

Miracle at Lily & Bloom 

Lily & Bloom
Image credit: Melissa Hom

When: Through 30 December

Price: Cocktails priced at HK$120 and shots at HK$70 each

If the abundance of Christmas shopping fairs, holiday-themed mall installations and sky-high Christmas trees decorating hotel lobbies around Hong Kong still aren’t enough to get you in the festive spirit, Lily & Bloom’s Miracle pop-up should do the trick. Making a debut in Asia for the first time and running through December, the States-side concept is set to transform LKF’s popular American restaurant into a Christmas wonderland, with festive cocktails shaken up by head mixologist John Nugent (the same Miracle cocktails being served in all 50 locations of the pop-up worldwide); individually decorated rooms ranging from retro 50s styling to a wintery white wonderland; and a soundtrack of classic Christmas tunes. Stop by and get the party started with the Christmopolitan, a cheery combination of vodka, elderflower, dry vermouth, spiced cranberry sauce, rosemary, lime and absinthe mist.

Lily & Bloom, 5/F-6/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2810 6166

Matsuba Crab Extravaganza at Tenku RyuGin

When: 15–17 December, 6–9pm

Price: HK$4,980 plus 10% surcharge per person

Every year from November to March, Japanese restaurants pay tribute to crab season by showcasing some of the best crustaceans from various prefectures in Japan in seasonal tasting menus. This month, the two-Michelin-starred Tenku RyuGin is partnering with the government of Tottori Prefecture to bring live Matsuba crabs to Hong Kong, for a three-night-only Matsuba crab extravaganza from 15–17 December.

RyuGin’s chef Seki will be designing a superb 10-course degustation, with an array of dishes highlighting the prized delicacy in a number of different preparations — think steamed, shabu shabu, tempura, charcoal grilled and more. Prized for their meaty and rich taste, guests can savour the crab in elegant dishes such as Matsuba crab porridge topped with white truffle. Meanwhile, one table of 10 will have the chance to try the exclusive 5-star Itsukiboshi Matsuba crab (each aged 10–12 years old and weighing in at about 1.2kg each), which chef Seki bid for during a special auction (last year, only 130 pieces were caught and the largest one auctioned off for 1.3 million yen).

Tenku RyuGin, 101/F, ICC, 1 Austin Road West, West Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2302 0222

Caviar Menu at ÉPURE

When: 1–17 December

Price: 4-course dinner priced at HK$1,188 plus 10% surcharge per person (add caviar for HK$31 per gram) or HK$1,688 with caviar; plus HK$620 for 4-glass wine pairing

‘Tis the season to splurge, and what better way to do that than treating yourself to spoonfuls of caviar? Nicolas Boutin’s Kowloon-side French restaurant ÉPURE (just awarded one Michelin star for the second year running) is shining a spotlight on one of nature’s most treasures delicacies this season, debuting a Kristal Caviar menu with premium seafood and meats paired with the exquisite pearls. The 4-course tasting menu starts with langoustines with cauliflower and bottarga, then moves on to dover sole with baby leeks in a beurre blanc sauce. The main event is milk-fed veal tenderloin with a smoked potato mousseline, and dinner finishes off with 30-month aged comte cheese. Each of the first three courses matches perfectly with the delicate nature of the caviar, with the complex flavour and almond notes lending depth to each dish. Add your own amount for HK$31 per gram, or opt for the caviar pairing option for HK$1,688 for four courses. 

ÉPURE, Shop 403, 4/F, Ocean Centre, 17 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 3185 8338

Champagne Dinner at Rech by Alain Ducasse

When: 5 December

Price: HK$2,388 per person plus 10% surcharge

Newly minted one-Michelin-star restaurant Rech by Alain Ducasse is likely to see its bookings skyrocket this month after making the coveted dining guide. To guarantee yourself a seat at the table, book a reservation for the Lanson Collection Champagne Dinner on 5 December, where you can enjoy the kitchen’s immaculate seafood-focused dishes paired with glasses of bubbly. The notable Champagne house will be showcasing four Noble Cuvée Brut Vintage Lanson Champagnes, one Noble Cuvée Blanc de Blancs and the rare 1979 L. V. C. Brut Vintage, served last with the dessert course. An exclusive 6-course menu by Rech Executive Chef Stephané Gortina includes a royal seafood platter, winter vegetables and mushrooms with black truffle, line-caught turbot, truffled camembert and tangerine granita.

Rech by Alain Ducasse, InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2313 2323

Leslie Yeh
Editor in Chief
Having worked as a lifestyle editor for almost 10 years, Leslie is thrilled to be writing about the topic she loves most: wining and dining. When she's not out pounding the pavement for the latest new restaurant opening or tracking food trends, Leslie can be found at home whipping up a plate of rigatoni vodka and binge-watching Netflix with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc in hand.