Lifestyle

Taking The Complicated Prep Out Of Christmas Food

Taking The Complicated Prep Out Of Christmas FoodChristmas is a holiday that can lead to conflict for so many reasons: the crowds, the expense, the lost “meaning,” the feelings of obligation. One thing most of us agree on is the food. Traditional Christmas meals are a treasure and among the best reasons to suffer yuletide nonsense. But it’s a complicated, intimidating process, one many of us have no space for. Fear not: these local caterers and eateries are here to help. Gobble, gobble.

Invisible Kitchen
Founder and Executive Chef Tom Burney has something for every need, be it office party organisers or budget-conscious families with just a microwave on hand. Burney’s various packages — for lunches, parties, or hampers — include all the essential basics for either full hot delivery service or heat-and-eat (prices from $270 to $800 per person, minimum orders vary). On the menu are starters like a stellar bruschetta with peeled, smoked and then dried tomatoes, triple-cooked potatoes roasted in duck fat (oh, come on, it’s once a year), roasted parsnips, carrots, and a fabulously tangy pickled cabbage. And of course, roast turkey breast (dark meat fans make a special request) with stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce.
Available now through January 1 (closed Christmas Day)

The Mandarin Cake Shop
Another option for homebodies is catering by the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. The MO’s traditional Christmas-To-Go feast can be delivered to your door or picked up from the Mandarin Cake Shop after filling out a handy order form. On the menu: whole honey glazed hams, whole roasted turkeys, stuffing, two types of mashed potato, Christmas pudding, mince pies, traditional raisin Stollen and all manner of sweets. Dinner is à la carte, but for the truly confused (or lazy) five pre-selected hampers are available to choose from. The Mandarin can service up to 22 diners and even supplies re-heating instructions.
Available now through December 26

Classified
No space at home or all your friends are taking off long before the holidays? No trouble. A minimum of six can partake of Classified’s traditional Christmas feast at any of its many locations, including Sheung Wan, Sai Kung, Tai Hang and Stanley. Staring at noon, maple candied sweet potato soup, terrine, grass fed beef, wild mushrooms, roasted potatoes, glazed carrots and chestnuts to go with your Norfolk turkey breast and stuffed leg are served up at a communal table, making it impossible not to find a time to celebrate. The fixed menu is $640 per person, not including wine.
Available now through December 26

Mr and Mrs Fox
Of course, if you’re only interested in options for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day themselves, a possibility is the ultra-hip Mr and Mrs Fox. Quickly becoming a favourite, the casual and comfortable Quarry Bay eatery is naturally putting a novel spin on yuletide stalwarts, and the five-course holiday set menu includes black truffle tuna tartare, cranberry glazed turkey roulade, candy cane pavlova and festive cheese boards. Dinner is $685 and there’s a three-course lunch option for $385.
Available December 24-25

The First Floor by Lifestyle Federation
Equally hip is The First Floor on Duddell Street, a self-described premium dining club with an emphasis on unique “edutainment.” For anyone with a burning curiosity about how traditional Christmas and modernist cuisine can mix, your answer could be here. TFF’s eight-course, $1,880 set menu includes smoked root vegetable yoghurt, crab meat risotto, venison, and glutinous rice and osmanthus soufflé. Sometimes unconventional
is good.
Available December 24-26