Cover Just four of the 12 new cocktails at Darkside (Photo: Rosewood Hong Kong)

The food and drink happenings that you should know about this week

Fears surrounding a coronavirus cluster centred around a Sai Ying Pun gym growing into a fifth wave thankfully seem to have been misplaced, as the vaccine rollout across Hong Kong ramps up into full gear—especially among frontline hospitality staff. With this weekend's equinox marking the official start of spring, you can expect the requisite seasonal menus to come into being as we look forward to new beginnings, in food, drink and beyond.

See also: Belon 2.0: Head Chef Matthew Kirkley On Keeping The Restaurant 'Fancy, Not Formal'

Roganic And Landmark Mandarin Oriental Switch Off The Lights For Earth Hour

Known for its exacting approach to farm-to-table cuisine, Roganic stays true to its commitment towards food sustainability with plans to mark Earth Hour 2021 in traditional fashion, by switching off the lights from 8.30pm to 9.30pm on March 27. During that time, guests will eat by the glow of candlelight, and at the end of their meal will receive a nasturtium plant from Common Farms housed in a pot made of recycled coffee grounds from Eco-Greenergy. 

Over in Central, the Landmark Mandarin Oriental's many F&B venues—including Amber, Somm, MO Bar, PDT and The Oriental Spa—will switch to candlelight during the hour in much the same manner. Over the course of the night, the luxury hotel will renew its pledge towards the WWF's 'Let Oceans Shine' initiative—which raises awareness of the many threats facing our oceans, from plastic marine litter to unsustainable fishing—and diners will be encouraged to donate to the cause. 

"We hope that during this hour we can inspire guests to collectively commit towards changes in creating a more sustainable future and to protect our amazing planet earth," says chef Richard Ekkebus, director of culinary operations at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental.

See also: LMO Freshly-Baked by Richard Ekkebus Returns To Landmark This April

Shake Shack Debuts First Macau Outlet

Shake Shack fever hit Hong Kong in 2018 when the East Coast burger joint opened its first location here on the roof of IFC mall—three years later, Macau is set to undergo the same as the city welcomes Shake Shack into newly-opened The Londoner Macao development in Cotai. While the opening is slated for some time in mid-2021, the shop's hoarding has already been erected, featuring a mural by local illustrator Kun Lam that incorporates Shake Shack's blue-and-green brand colours with Portuguese azulejos tiles and street signs that are so indicative of a Macanese street scene. With the promise of Macau-exclusive items created in collaboration with local producers, burger fiends should stay tuned for more news on the Macau Shack in the coming weeks and months.

See also: Where To Find The Best Pizzas In Hong Kong 2021

Holt's Cafe At Rosewood Launches Free-Flow Sunday Brunch

Feeling a little peckish? Holt's Cafe at Rosewood Hong Kong is introducing a free-flow brunch every Sunday that will satiate your appetite and more. The menu begins with a seafood platter, followed by a selection of all-you-can-eat small plates, including steak tartare with anchovy and parmesan, and duck foie gras terrine. Each guest can pick one main: there's the house signature char siu rice topped with an organic Japanese fried egg, seared Atlantic cod with sauce vierge, and the option of adding HK$100 for the USDA ribeye steak frites, among others. A choice of Chinese and Western desserts rounds out the meal—think the likes of red bean soup with glutinous rice dumplings, pumpkin and sago soup, or a chocolate tartelette by the hotel's pastry chef, Holger Deh.

The Sunday brunch menu is priced at HK$488 per person every Sunday from 12pm to 3pm, with optional free-flow prosecco and house wines for HK$218.

See also: The Best Brunches In Hong Kong: The Ultimate Guide To Free-Flow Menus In 2021

Wagyu Yakiniku Ichiro To Launch With Shinkansen Table Service In Jordan

Hong Kong's appetite for grilled meat seems to be bottomless, if there's anything that the recent openings of Yakiniku Jikon and Wagyu Yakiniku Ichiro tell us. The latter takes over a minimalist 7,000 sqft space in Jordan, and leans into post-Covid restaurant design with contactless service via 'Shinkansen' bullet trains that skirt along rails to deliver prime cuts of beef tableside. The restaurants offers six all-you-can-eat wagyu set menus for two hours each, ranging from HK$298 to HK$938, where diners can indulge in wagyu sourced from the US, Australia and Kagoshima—and most notably, A4 Odagyu wagyu sourced exclusively from the Oda Chikusan ranch in the Satsuma Peninsula of Kyushu Island. Self-service salad, dessert and sake bars round out what promises to be an indulgent meal by any standard.

Wagyu Yakiniku Ichiro, 3/F, Pak Shing Building, 31-37 Jordan Road, Jordan, Hong Kong; +852 2736 8218

See also: At Newly-Opened Yakiniku Jikon in K11 Musea, Grilled Beef Enters The Realm Of Kaiseki

'Forgotten' Cocktails Resurface At Darkside

Everything old is new again at Rosewood Hong Kong's atmospheric cocktail bar, Darkside, as bar director Arkadiusz Rybak and beverage manager Simone Rossi debut a range of 12 cocktails inspired by classics lost to time. Most recognisable among these (thanks to a certain Netflix drama about chess) is the Gibson—Darkside's lighter take involves riesling wine, Mancino dry and bianco vermouths, Tio Pepe sherry and pure onion essence. Other libations include the Diablo (Ocho Blanco tequila, crème de cassis, lime, ginger beer), the Cardinale (Widges gin, Campari, riesling wine, Mancino dry vermouth), and a mysterious secret cocktail, based on the Clover Club yet revealed in its true nature only to those who pay a visit to the bar. 

See also: New Gastrobar Hungry Pal Brings Cocktails And Camaraderie To Soho

Treat Your Appetite And Skin To Afternoon Tea At Soil To Soul

Specialising in vegetarian Korean temple cuisine, Soil To Soul has always had a penchant for wellness-focused cooking. No surprise, therefore, that the restaurant is collaborating with local cruelty-free skincare brand Skin Need for a Mother's Day afternoon tea that brings together plant-based, sweet and savoury bites in one spread. Besides the seasonal delicacies on offer, Mom will certainly appreciate the hand cream from Skin Need that is bundled with every afternoon tea set.

At HK$498 for two, the 'Beyond Vegan – Spring' afternoon tea will be served from March 22 to May 10.

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