Sunday's Grocery • Apr 14, 2018
Many Chinese restaurants in Hong Kong are defying traditional norms by incorporating unique beverage pairings on the menus. And while it’s becoming more common to see classic Cantonese food paired with wine, other spirits like awamori and whisky are definitely unexpected. These non-traditional beverage pairings signify a cultural shift in Hong Kong food culture but it’s one that everyone seems to be ready for! Not only do the pairings work well and highlight the best aspects of both the food and the drink, they demonstrate the versatility of Cantonese cuisine and the idea of experimentation.
The Taste of Classics Pairing at Lai Bun Fu restaurant in Central, Hong Kong is a perfect example. Best known for their traditional Cantonese flavors, Lai Bun Fu pairs six signature dishes with four prized Scotch single malt whiskies. This menu was intended to be available for a limited time but was extended due to positive reception. Some of the pairings include double-boiled Angus beef brisket with turnip and chu hau bean sauce + Bowmore 15-Year-Old Darkest as well as braised sea cucumber with dry shrimp roe and pomelo peel + Glen Garioch 12-Year-Old. The whiskies pair well with classic Cantonese dishes because they provide balance and complimentary flavors to the different ingredients.
Beverage pairings such as that of Lai Bun Fu and #AwamoriSalonHK are just the beginning of the evolution of traditional Cantonese cuisine in Hong Kong. And because Hong Kong food culture is so open to new ideas and flavors, a new trend in this arena is sure to be on the horizon.