But perhaps all the better for us: while only takeaways are available in the evenings, there’s plenty of reason to schedule your social calendar around festive lunch and afternoon tea dates. These menus below, for instance.
COBO House: Chapter Two
COBO House’s Chapter One menu told culinary tales about the humble egg; Chapter Two, then, takes diners on adventures anew to cultures and locales previously unexplored. From the coastlines of Malaysia with the laksa espuma cod fish to the aromatic ambience of Delhi’s largest spice market with the masala-infused treacle dessert. As a gastronomic substitute for the land-bound year we’ve just had, the ‘Silhouette’ four- (HK$880), ‘Abstract’ six- (HK$1,380) and ‘Full Experience’ eight-course ($1,880) menus will be served all-day through 31 December, with wine pairings at four- (HK$620) and six-glass (HK$850) formats and Maison Mumm RSRV Champagne pairings (HK$920) also available at a four-glass format. Visit at lunch from 2–4pm for a glass of Champagne, on the house.
COBO House, Shop 602, 6/F, K11 Musea, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2656 3088
The average Hongkonger’s conception of a white Christmas only comes to life via passport and airfare. In Finland’s Lapland, however, Northern lights, snow-covered vistas and reindeer-pulled sleighs are quotidian wintry sights; something Eric Räty, the Finnish chef de cuisine of Arbor, knows a thing or two about. Arbor’s ‘A Nordic Christmas’ afternoon tea set (HK$368) — available from 3:30 to 6pm, through 15 December — celebrates the Nordic-Japanese heritage of the Räty family, where you can sample a bed of hojicha ramen topped with a soft yellow yolk, Nordic tuna sushi, seasonal chestnut tarlettes and more. Fondly dubbed ‘Mr. & Mrs Marshmallow,’ the husband-and-wife duo are also hosting a pop-up from 16–23 December, serving sweet and savoury Finnish staples at the Christmas dining table.
Arbor, 25/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong, +852 3185 8388
It’s all about the juxtaposition of sweet and savoury at Épure, with Executive Chef Nicolas Boutin’s ‘Festive Afternoon Tea Tasting Menu’ (HK$328) — launching alongside the Michelin-starred French restaurant’s new extended lunch hours: Last orders at 4:30pm. Start with the savoury with a butternut squash and truffle velouté — a decadent composition both warm and umami — and end with sweet, with the airy à la minute soufflé.
Épure, Shop 403, 4/f, Ocean Centre, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 3185 8338
Our year has been defined by ‘lack’ — a lack of choice; of travel; of excess. Red Lobster’s limited-edition Surf and Turf menus — available from now through to 7 January — address all three desires with a Dionysian land-to-sea affair. Craving filet mignon? Or Maine lobster? In true two-is-better-than-one verve, the Ultimate Surf and Turf menu (HK$588) axes the option of a single entrée; instead, both steak and lobster are served with grilled shrimp, seafood-stuffed mushrooms, Hawaiian coconut shrimp and the choice of two sides. For those craving a touch of heat on these chilly nights, the Chilli Steak & Shrimp set (HK$198) dusts crushed red chilli over a strip steak, served alongside a shrimp diavolo pasta.
Red Lobster, 8 Cleveland Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2261 2996