H Tasting Lounge at The Westin Bayshore

Tribute to Howard Hughes Opens at The Westin Bayshore

Howard Hughes spent some time a the Westin Bayshore, and while it’s rumoured he stayed mainly hold up in his room, we figure if he was in the right mind space at the time, he would have really enjoyed the lounge named for him. HJU:Z is a bit of an odd name, but, when pronounced, sounds like Hughes, as it’s now commonly referred to as H Lounge, and as they say, don’t judge a book by it’s cover.

HJU:Z Lounge

We stopped in on a rather slow Tuesday, but it was mid-week and the beginning of the year when resolutions are still being upheld. Lucky for me my current cleanse started January 15th so I felt obligated to indulge knowing that I’d be feeling a bit deprived in the weeks to come. This is a place for decadence, there’s obligatory cocktails and a wine list that I’d be happy to taste through thoroughly.

HJU:Z Lounge

We sat at the bar and were highly entertained by the bartenders and live music was so lively I had to be held back not to ask to join in and sing (thanks Tess). I was with my besties, Tess and Jennifer, and there was plenty to please both. Jennifer likes to eat a bit lighter, doesn’t eat much meat or seafood, prefers wine over cocktails and there was plenty to keep her happy. Tess and I are game for pretty much anything, having grown up experimenting with food and actually first met working in restaurants.

EIFFEL 75 (PARIS) Hennessy Cognac, Lemon Juice, Chardonnay Lees Sirup,
topped with Lanson Champagne and an edible flower.

We ordered up the Garden salad and Vietnamese veggie spring rolls to ensure we had something on the lighter side, and abalone, lamb lollipops, sea urchin, and tuna crudo, and Atlantic Lobster Tail. The cocktails I  chose was the EIFFEL 75 with Hennessy Cognac, Lemon Juice, and Chardonnay Lees Sirup, topped with Lanson Champagne and an edible flower, delightful and well balanced. We enjoyed some great Chardonnay from Misconduct and vowed to come back to work our way through the inventive cocktail list.

HJU:Z at The Westin Bayshore
CRUDO $15 – Choice of Yellowfin Tuna, Salmon, or Kampachi
HJU:Z Lounge
ABALONE $27 Garlic & Herb baked Abalone on the half shell with ponzu seaweed

The abalone texture was bang on, but we found this one a bit salty.

HJU:Z Lounge
SEA URCHIN $12 Seared butter brioche, sesame leaf

This was the star of the show. Taking sea urchin to the next level atop an extra buttery brioche.

HJU:Z Lounge
ATLANTIC LOBSTER TAIL $30 4 oz. butter poached lobster tail, roasted cauliflower, carrot purée, pear emulsion
BLACK TRUFFLE LINGUINE $35 Hand crafted egg linguine, Parmesan, shaved black truffle

This dish’s noodles were perfectly cooked, an ultra-creamy, flavour packed offering that, despite being quite satisfied, made me sad to share.

LAMB LOLLIPOPS $9 each Garam masala dust, creamy cumin corinader

Full of flavour, these lamb chops were perfectly seared and seasoned. When I posted this picture on facebook there was much debate on the presentation. Many thought it was a pretentious and unnecessary, but we thought it was rather inventive, although we did feel sorry for the dishwasher. These chops are the kind you just must pick up and enjoy, so grabbing them out of this glace container was not a difficult feat.

We will be back to the lounge once my current regime lets up a bit as there’s many cocktails that need sampling and we’d love to see the space on a busier night, although we’re pretty content entertaining ourselves.