Talking turkey on Thanksgiving day
Updated: 2017-11-10 06:27
By Maggie Beale(HK Edition)
With Nov 23 not that far away, several Thanksgiving celebrations are being planned around town. Held originally to celebrate a successful harvest, these days Thanksgiving is seen as more of an opportunity to party and help others at the same time. Unlike Halloween there's no need to put on special costumes. Just get a few friends together, order some good food and drinks, and you're all set!
Speaking of drinks, have you decided which wine to pair up with the turkey yet? An unusual choice are the wines made from the Arneis grape; delicately fruity, herby dry whites from Italy's Piedmonte area. Or you might choose to go with a full-bodied Chardonnay - the most widely planted white wine grape in the world. Perhaps a light red Gamay from Beaujolais in France is more to your taste? With its aromas of banana, strawberry and cherry, and the whole berry fermentation method that helps retain the natural juiciness of the Gamay variety, this could be an ideal match.
Wines to go with rich poultry could also include luscious reds such as Italian Nebbiola. Marked by an aromatic red often compared to Pinot Noir, the Nebbiolo bouquet is redolent of violets and rose-like perfumes. These come in flavors of truffle, fennel seeds, licorice and, most famously, tar.
Often my favorite choice, Pinot Noir is made from one of the most sensuously fragrant red grapes in the world. Rich aromas of ripe raspberries, often tinged with spicy mulberry flavors, emerge as the wine matures into silky textures, with truffles, game and leather. These wines compliment many dishes - poultry, game, vegetarian, cheese and cold seawater fish. There's a variety to choose from.
At Lily & Bloom in Central a fundraiser is being held between Nov 23 and 25. Four high-profile food craftsmen and mixologists - Chris Grare (Lily & Bloom), Anthony Burd (Mercato Hong Kong), Max Levy (Okra), and Chris Tuthill (The American Club Hong Kong) - and their friends have come together to benefit charities through Foodlink Foundation. They are putting together an elaborate menu for a gorgeous charity feast. And showing their mettle behind the bar are John Nugent (Lily & Bloom), Chanel Adams (Happy Paradise), Owen Gibler (Employees Only) and Jameel Frith (Employees Only).
Also at Lily and Bloom on the evening of Nov 26, the Thanksgiving buffet dinner will cost HK$300 per person, and one third of the proceeds will go to Foodlink Foundation. Guests will be treated to a complimentary special cocktail. Proceeds from the raffle held on the same evening will go to Foodlink Foundation as well. Signature cocktails from each of the guest bartenders will cost just HK$99.
"We are inviting everyone to join us for Friendsgiving - a true American Thanksgiving dinner put together by our fellow American friends in the food and beverages industry. The dinner is all about giving and should be kept that way," says John Nugent, head mixologist of Lily & Bloom.
Foodlink Foundation is a registered Hong Kong charity dedicated to fighting hunger since 2001. They work both towards eradicating malnutrition as well as reducing food wastage in Hong Kong's several eateries.
Chris Grare, the talented executive chef at Lily & Bloom has planned a special Thanksgiving Set Menu, served from Nov 23 to 25. Based on traditional recipes, the meal is priced at HK$650 per head. The menu includes a choice of soup, cured salmon, turkey breast, New York striploin or pumpkin ricotta tortellini as well as apple tartlet or that very American dessert, the lemon meringue pie!
The lively Stone Nullah Tavern American diner in Wan Chai is offering two authentic American Thanksgiving menus between Nov 20 to 26. One could go for a full-blown three-course feast or a grand turkey dinner, to be shared between four to six people. Priced at HK$548 plus taxes, the meal comes with the option to add on a free flow of drinks. Their Thanksgiving dinner set menu includes mouthwatering dishes such as a seafood platter starter, cheddar biscuit with chilli honey butter, homegrown salad made with organic local vegetables, and of course the star of the event, the turkey, available in two distinct styles. Chef Vinny's famous skillet-baked American desserts make for a sweet finale. He has honed these to perfection over the terms he spent working in New York, New England, Colorado and of course Hong Kong!
On the night of Nov 23, the American brasserie Bizou in Pacific Place will also serve roast salmon with corn succotash, in case you want to get away from poultry.
Craftsteak in Elgin Street in Soho and BLT Steak on the ground floor of Ocean Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui are also presenting special Thanksgiving menus on the same day. Craftsteak will also serve a luscious roast pork.
(HK Edition 11/10/2017 page10)