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Mysterious oriental beauty 

神秘東方美

What will you think about when I talk about Morocco? Spices, rose or One thousand and one nights? In Lilya Moroccan Lounge and Bar, those who fancy the mysterious oriental beauty wouldn’t be let down. 

Located in Lan Kwai Fong, the Lilya experience begins as soon as are welcomed with a wall of traditional Babouche slippers. The grand, ornate brass covered lamp is the ceiling centrepiece of the lounge, accompanied by low cosy lush couches and poufs. With an entire bartending and kitchen team from Morocco, you feel jumping into an Arabian Nights scene. Mixologist Younes Ateyah has been bar manager of a number of prestigious Moroccan restaurants. “Cocktail isn’t a popular drink back in Morocco, but I design drinks with Moroccan spices with homemade syrup and infused spirits. With careful matching and experiment, I spent two to three months to complete the drinks list.” A large part of the cocktail’s glassware, garnishing flower and red pepper are shipped from Morocco, which makes the North African story more complete. 

Any Moroccan experience wouldn’t be complete without spices. Rass hanout is a staple mix for every family and is made of as many as 27 spices including cardamom, cumin, clove and cinnamon. It usually goes into all kinds of food, but Younes infuses it into his syrup which is an ingredient of his signature Oriental Fashion. “I’m probably the first guy to have rass hanout in a cocktail,” he laughed. Oriental Fashion is filled with oriental aromas of spices, orange and lavender, it is served under a large bell jar injected with smoke. Is the smoke intended to create a fairytale like atmosphere? “The first time I saw a tagine dish was served, the roaring steam made my first impression. It is a representative of Morocco, so I decided to re-create it in a cocktail setting. 

To add to guests’ visual interest, Lilya ordered a bulk of miniatures of the signature cookware especially to serve one of its cocktails, Majorelle. But to say the most beautiful utensil set, Lilya Mojito is not to be missed. A flavour base of citrus fruit freshens the spices, which is poured into a antimony tea pot with delicate arabesque and tall cup, “that pot looks like Aladin’s lamp, doesn’t it?” said general manager atom Brussels. 

Apart from directly adding spices or seasoned syrup in the drinks, Younes made his own infused liqueur. For example, he infused verbena into vodka, and gin with jasmine tea. While the aroma by different ways of extraction displays the different characters of the spices in a drink, it also creates a more delicate garden of the orient. 

說起摩洛哥,腦裡隨即出現甚麼印象?香料、玫瑰和一千零一夜?來到Lilya,迷戀神秘東方美的朋友都不會失望。

位於蘭桂坊的摩洛哥酒吧Lilya,一進門口已是滿牆的人手製刺繡拖鞋,布滿細膩花紋的巨型銅製燈罩,橙紅色的絲絨長梳化,還有由摩洛哥原裝運到的整個調酒師和廚師團隊,感覺像進入了一千零一夜的場境一樣。這裡的首席調酒師Younes Ateyah不單來自摩洛哥,也曾在多家摩洛哥著名餐廳擔任酒吧經理,「在摩洛哥其實並不流行飲雞尾酒,不過我就以摩洛哥香料,配以自家製糖漿和調味酒精,去設計這些雞尾酒。經過小心的配搭,整個酒單大約花了我兩至三個月去完成。」雞尾酒的杯具,以至裝飾的花朵和紅胡椒等,大部份都來自摩洛哥,令這個北非故事更完整。

說到摩洛哥,就少不得香料。其中一種家家戶戶都常用的香料醬rass hanout,其中包含了如小豆蔲、小茴香、丁香、肉桂等二十七種香料,一般用來加進各式食物裡,Younes就用來製作糖漿,以加進自己的代表作Oriental Fashion裡,「以rass hanout加進雞尾酒裡,我應該是第一人。」Younes笑說。這杯雞尾酒不單充滿香料、橙皮和薰衣草等東方香氣,上桌時更以一個注滿煙的大鐘罩呈上,煙霧彌漫是為了營造如童話般的效果?「一次我看到一個塔吉鍋(Tagine)上桌,鍋蓋一打開就是蒸騰的煙霧,我覺得那很能代表摩洛哥,就將那形象用在這雞尾酒上。

塔吉鍋也可算是摩洛哥的一種代表性烹調工具,酒吧特地訂製了一批迷你塔吉鍋,用來盛載其中一款雞尾酒Majorelle,精緻有趣。不過若要選最漂亮的杯具,就不能錯過Lilya Mojito,這雞尾酒的口味是柑橘味底子配以香料的清爽味道,以充滿雕花的錫製小茶壺和高身水杯上桌,「那小茶壺看起來就像阿拉丁神燈對吧!」餐廳總經理Tom Brusse笑說。

除了直接加入香料,以及用上調過味的糖漿,Younes更特地以適當的材料,浸泡沖雞尾酒用的香料酒,例如以伏特加泡馬鞭草,以及用氈酒去浸泡茉莉花茶等。以不同方式去提煉出來的香料香,在飲品裡有不同的呈現,也令這個東方香料花園更添精緻。

Address 地址︰ 

2/F, Carfield Commercial Building, 77 Wyndham Street, Central

中環雲咸街77號嘉兆商業大廈2樓

Contact 聯絡︰2526 2578

Opening Hours 營業時間︰18:00 P.M - 01:00 A.M