Flowers and love letters: Ashley Sutton presents romantic restaurant and bar Dear Lilly

Photo via Dear Lilly.
Photo via Dear Lilly.

Valentines Day has just passed, but for those of you who are planning an anniversary dinner or even a spontaneous candle-lit date night, there’s a new romantic restaurant in town that promises contemporary European food, beautiful decor, and a breathtaking view of Victoria Harbour.

Located in a glass-walled space on the roof of IFC mall and billed as “a tribute to love”, Dear Lilly is a floral “wonderland” adorned with vintage perfume bottles, heart-shaped booths, and love letters.

Photo via Dear Lilly.

A collaboration between hospitality group Dining Concepts and Ashley Sutton — the award-winning designer behind nightlife hotspots Ophelia, J.Boroski, Iron Fairies, and Yojimbo — the venue is inspired by the hole-in-the-wall florists found along the boulevards of Paris, according to its creators.

Photo via Dear Lilly.

Sutton says the inspiration for Dear Lilly came after reading love letters and poems from throughout history, mainly ones sent by soldiers to their sweethearts during World War I and World War II. He decided to adorn the restaurant with extracts from these love letters, naming it after one of the recipients of these touching letters, Lilly.

Lines from these letters can be seen scrawled on scrolls of paper piled on the bar next to vintage black-and-white photos of couples for guests to read.

Photo via Dear Lilly.

Alongside the usual classic cocktails — Bellinis, Sazeracs and Manhattans — guests are encouraged to try a few of Dear Lilly’s signature drinks, inspired by popular French cocktails from the 1920s.

These include the Green Fairy, which is made up of Matusalem Platino Rum, green Chartreuse, yuzu juice, pineapple juice, and coconut water; the Mad Enchantment, consisting of Pere Magloire Calvados, Lillet Rouge, apple juice, lemon juice, vanilla syrup and blackberry puree; and the Mademoiselle Lilly, which features vodka, Kwai Feh liqueur, Lillet Blanc, cranberry juice, lime juice, raspberry puree and homemade hibiscus.

(From far left clockwise) the Mad Enchantment, the Mademoiselle Lilly, and Avignon. Photo via Dear Lilly.

Dear Lilly’s serves contemporary European cuisine with particular attention to Mediterranean flavors.

Highlights of Dear Lilly’s à la carte menu include slow-cooked octopus with roasted pepper salsa, rocket and seaweed hummus; the seafood platter which is made up of oysters, mussels, shrimps, crab salad, baby calamari and octopus carpaccio; and the curly kale salad with quinoa, dry seeds, red radish and orange vinaigrette.

Seafood platter. Photo via Dear Lilly.

Standout main dishes include the classic Italian Puttanesca Pappardelle accompanied by olives, capers, anchioves, olive oil and parmesan; New Zealand lamb cutlets; and poached sea bass with herb crushed new potato and salsa verde.

New Zealand lamb cutlets. Photo via Dear Lilly.

And, saving the best for last, desserts at Dear Lilly include Berriolette Dome served with chocolate streusel, berries and fluid gel; the Dear Lilly Heart, a raspberry and white chocolate dish; chococaramel tart with milk whip ganache, sable and caramelised nuts; and apple yuzu cremeux with hibiscus and passion mint.

Go enjoy, you crazy lovebirds.

Opening hours: Sunday to Monday 11am-12am, Tuesday to Wednesday 11am-1am, Thursday to Saturday 11am-2am
Phone: 2771 6060
Address: Shop 4010, Podium Level 4, IFC Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central

Click here for more information about Dear Lilly

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