Having stayed a few times at the most impressive Hotel Peninsula Paris, we felt it was time to write a piece on LiLi, it ́s high-end Cantonese restaurant.
The backdrop is significant. Hotel Peninsula Paris was the first European hotel of the legendary Hong Kong-based hotel chain. The hotel re-opened in 2014 after a €500 million restoration and has seen its share of history.
The formerly Majestic Hotel opened in 1908. George Gershwin wrote An American in Paris here in 1928 and the hotel hosted the signing by Henry Kissinger of the peace treaty that ended the Vietnam War, in 1973. It also played a major role in an assassination attempt of Hitler in 1944.
The designers of The Peninsula Paris were inspired by the glamour of Hong Kong in the twenties, and so this became the theme of LiLi, named after a famous opera singer. The decor is also inspired by Chinese opera.
Head chef Dicky To orchestrates a classic Cantonese repertoire, blended with Hong Kong arias.
Restaurant Manager Fanny Vale greeted us and guided us to a low-lit, half-enclosed room, quite private.
We decided to go for the largest tasting menu, the menu en 8 sequences. That includes no less than two servings of the famous Peking Duck. The menu is extravagant but carefully filled with temptations.
After a glass of champagne, it was time to bring on the dim sum. Upon taking a seat, we stuttered in French that we were from Norway. Soon were we surprised by a wonderful selection of dim sum, among them a steamed Norway lobster dumpling topped with herring caviar. No doubt an extra courtesy.
The tasteful watercress soup with King Crab and a glass of Sancerre was a lovely preparation for what was to come next; the Roasted Peking Duck served with the traditional pancakes and crunchy condiments. Together with the Duck, I enjoyed wonderful Madeira 1984, a tasting combination that was so good that a second glass was in order. Heavenly.
More delicate meat on the table. Wok-fried dry-aged Salers beef fillet with asparagus in oyster sauce. Châteauneuf du Pape to go along. Another tasteful and well-prepared course.
At this point, we were unable to accept the second serving of Peking Duck, this time wrapped in lettuce leaf and cashew nuts. Deciding to jump straight to dessert, we were recommended, and chose the Chilled Hong Kong style mango pudding with mango cream, pink grapefruit and sago pearls. A nice, not too sweet finish.
With the petit fours, we were presented with a large selection of Chinese tea.
All in all, it was a fulfilling experience and is well recommended, especially if you like Asian food. LiLi takes Chinese gastronomy to a new level, making us think a Michelin star should be in view. We also found the tasting menu to be of good value for money.
We will for sure return to LiLi and hope also soon to publish a full review of the magnificent Hotel Peninsula Paris.
Three things we like about LiLi:
- ● The low-lit twenties decor
- ● The tasting menu, but be hungry
- ● Madeira wine choice for the Peking Duck
BusinessClass Tip: head over to the historic Le Bar Kléber of the Hotel Peninsula Paris, before or after the visit to LiLi…Do not miss: