Bar and Restaurant News: September 2018
Craving something fresh? Our roundup of bar and restaurant news has got you covered.
Let us inspire you with our regularly updated guide to new food and drink happenings around town. Click here if you want to jump straight to the drinks section (no judgement).
What’s New: Food
Pici has been an absolute hit in Hong Kong since the opening of their first location in Wan Chai a year and a half ago. Soon after, Pirata Group opened another Pici in Central, just off Hollywood Road on Aberdeen Street. Now, the restaurant group is heading across the harbour and bringing their hit pasta bar to Tsim Sha Tsui. The restaurant will serve favorites from the other two locations, such as the orecchiette with Italian sausage and spicy n’duja, as well as a handful of new dishes exclusive to this location. The interior of this pasta bar will be similar to the other two locations: a cozy, intimate 70-seat restaurant with kitchen seating and classic charm.
Price point: $ – $$
Shop 10/11 & 12 GF, Block A Windsor Mansion, 29 – 31 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui (Entrance on Hart Avenue)
Yet another opening this month for Pirata Group, Chaiwala is a totally new concept for the restaurant group. The mood of Chaiwala is based upon the philosophy that ‘Life is Chai’ and is inspired by the eccentric colors of India. Chaiwala is accessed through Hugger Mugger, a sophisticated British salon (look out for the big wooden door) also recently opened by Pirata Group, and is separated into three different sections: the chai bar, the kitchen, and the dining room. Serving up modern Indian fare crafted by Culinary Director Chef Bala, the menu is divided into six sections with dishes ranging from the north to the south of India. Everything on the menu sounds delicious, so we’d recommend opting for the Dabbawala Menu at HK$480 per person, which includes a selection of Chaiwala signatures and Chef’s favourites.
Price point: $$ – $$$
Basement, 43-55 Wyndham Street, Central
Serving modern Mexican cuisine crafted by Guadalajara-native Chef Jose Alfonso Rodriguez, Te Quiero Mucho is a two-storey eatery located in the new Mojo Nomad Central. The dishes stem from traditional Mexican ingredients with innovative twists, like the una al pastor upside-down tostadas with guava jalapeno chili sauce and roasted pineapple relish (HK$65). After your meal (or before), head up to the second floor where you’ll find TQM’s funky bar featuring 36 artisanal tequilas and mezcals. As for the interiors, expect beautiful reclaimed wood and bricks in the dining area, creating a rustic feel that is immediately countered with bright neon signs. TQM’s aim is to leave you with an authentic yet modern experience, both in food and atmosphere.
Price point: $$ – $$$
286 Queen’s Road Central, Central
Flamingo Bloom has recently opened a new location in IFC, perfect for grabbing an ice cold drink on your way to the ferry pier or to get a refreshing fix while you shop around. The ‘open bar’ concept is a way for Flamingo Bloom to bring transparency to their customers – no synthetic flavors are added in their drinks, they simply use all-natural, whole leaf teas. There are four premium base teas (Jasmine Tips Green Tips Tea from Fujian, Highland Oolong from Taiwan, French Rose Buds from France and Chrysanthemum Pu’er from Yunnan) to which you can add a variety of other ingredients to, like fresh fruit, boba pearls, latte, or salted milk cap. You can’t really go wrong with whatever you choose at Flamingo Bloom.
Price point: $
Shop 1032, Level 1, IFC Mall, Central
Although the weather is often unpredictable, us Hong Kongers love a good rooftop restaurant/bar. Thankfully, we now have another great option to add to our lists: Popinjays at the recently opened The Murray hotel. The restaurant boasts beautiful floor to ceiling windows that make the restaurant feel airy with plenty of natural light. The modern European menu was crafted by Chef Didier Quennouelle with an la carte, seasonal degustation menu available during the week, and their signature Birds of a Feather tasting menu on the weekend. Alternately, head to Popinjays for a signature cocktail or two with some classic bar bites.
Price point: $$$ – $$$$+
The Murray, 22 Cotton Tree Drive, Central
FUMI has just launched The New Japanese Brunch by Executive Chef Imai Masakazu featuring all-you-can-eat sushi (yes, please!). Available on Saturday’s from 11:30 am – 2:30 pm, indulge in an array of snacks like tempura and grilled skewers, and nigiri like sea bream and flounder. You also have the option of adding special nigiri, like toro, and other dishes at an additional price.
Price point: HK$450 per person
What’s New: Drinks
Rooftop Mirage Cocktail Menu @ Armani/Privé
Armani/Privé’s Central rooftop location is a mainstay for the city’s in-crowd. With the temperature on the rise, Armani/Privé have come up with a clever way to keep things cool. The Rooftop Mirage cocktail collection introduces a series of drinks poured over shaved-ice or gelato, Japanese kakigōri and Italian affogato style. Available exclusively for $155 from now until 30 October 2018, Armani/Privé mixologists will present five refreshing cocktails, with names like the Coco Matcha and the Art Basil, to help guests select the perfect summer rooftop tipple.
Price Point: $$-$$$
2/F, Landmark Chater, Central, 3583 2828
Lan Kwai Fong’s popular contemporary Asian outlet Fang Fang will launch an innovative new cocktail menu inspired by the Chinese zodiac and designed to enhance the interaction between consumers and the bartenders making their drinks, this mid-September. The new menu, which builds on the popularity of the bar’s previous menu, which was based on the Chinese five elements, with 12 following the timeless Chinese zodiac signs. A few of the creative cocktails will present in the special hand-painted cocktail glass, designed by award-winning Bar Manager Gagan Gurung. This new menu is aimed to launch mid-September and the delectable new cocktails during happy hour can be matched with an insightful new menu of bar snacks.
Price Point: $$ – $$$
8/F LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central
Check-in to ROOM 309 at “The Reception” and tap your keycard on the wall to enter this drinking den. ROOM 309 doesn’t claim to be another speakeasy, rather, this bar promises an intimate affair with no more than 20 guests and a range of personalised cocktails. Helmed by Antonio Lai, one of Hong Kong’s most well-known mixologists, you can be sure you’re in for an absolute treat. We’re particularly keen to try The Invisible Menu, a range of cocktails that lack color in order to experience their uninhibited flavor complexity.
3/F The Pottinger Hotel, 74 Queen’s Road Central
Tai Kwun seems to be the city’s new hub for restaurants and bars since it’s opening earlier this summer. One of the anticipated openings is designer Ashley Sutton’s latest collaboration with Dining Concepts: Dragonfly. This bohemian-style cocktail lounge will transport you to the late 19th century, drawing inspiration from American artist Louis Comfort Tiffany – over 500 cast iron dragonflies in turquoise glass lamps cover the bar’s ceiling. As for the drinks, expect plenty of signature cocktails presented in repurposed vessels, and a well-stocked selection of gin, whisky, and rum.
Shop 10 & 13 – G1, Tai Kwun, Hollywood Road, Central
Popular Wan Chai watering hole, Stone Nullah Tavern is re-launching their infamous “Beat the Clock” happy hour for a limited time. The revamp, known as the “Back-to-School” edition brings back the amazing bar deal that has all standard drinks starting at just $1 at 5pm every Monday through Friday, with the price doubling every 20 minutes until 7pm. Guests can knock back their choice of house wine, spirit or beer for the full two hours each weekday, or show up 20 minutes before happy hour ends and still enjoy beverages for only $32.
Price Point: $
69 Stone Nullah Lane, Wan Chai, 3182 0128
This city loves a speakeasy, but how about a speakeasy within a speakeasy? Foxglove is hiding something else behind its sleek, dark interior, namely, Frank’s Library, and the cocktail den has created some new drinks for the summer. The eclectic new drinks menu by bar manager Derek Tsui fuses fresh ingredients and premium spirits, and features potent barrel-aged cocktails. Six fresh concoctions are on offer, including the “Savoy Truffle”, oolong house-infused gin and honey water topped with cream cheese foam. The “Mad Tea-Party” has definitely caught our eye for its combination of Johnnie Walker Black Label, fresh apple juice, cold brew Earl Grey tea, caramel syrup, and garnishes of caramelized apple and block ice. Splurge a bit and go for the barrel-aged “Vieux Carre”, a heady mix of Hennessy VSOP, Bulleit rye whiskey, Antica Formula vermouth, Cocchi Barolo Chinato, Angostura bitters and Peychaud’s bitters, garnished simply with a lemon twist…sounds like it’s worth the $170 price tag.
Price Point: from $100 per cocktail
18 Ice House Street / 6 Duddell Street, Central
thisgirlabroad is a Canadian expat who packed her life up in the Great White North to move to a city filled with skyscrapers, dim sum, and 7-Eleven’s. She’s been living, working, and eating her way through Hong Kong for the past six years with no plans to slow down. Between working full time and managing her blog, you’ll likely find her with a flat white in one hand and a jar of peanut butter in the other.