Cover The Seafood Box at Roji (Photo: Courtesy of Roji)

The food and drink happenings that you should know about this week

There's an explosion of flavour this coming week as restaurants look towards the celebration that is Mother's Day and beyond. Amid new restaurant openings, the announcement of our Tastemakers List for 2021, and the crowning of another local establishment as Asia's best, the excitement is palpable in restaurants, bars, and everywhere in between. Catch up with recent happenings and find out what to mark down in your calendars with our round-up below.

See also: Asia’s Most Influential: Hong Kong’s 42 Tastemakers 2021

Modern Izakaya Roji Opens In Lan Kwai Fong

Taking over the alleyway space that previously housed Brickhouse, Roji is a newly opened contemporary izakaya that interprets Japan's culture of late night drinking and tapas with a French influence. The space features a sleek design with neutral tiles and wood panelling, although it still opens out into the alley, and the layout—distinct bar and restaurant areas split by a high table—mirrors that of Brickhouse.

Headed by mixologist Lok Gurung, the bar menu dedicates many inches to highballs; among them, the Classic highball exemplifies Roji's approach, mixing Miyagikyo whisky with bonito-infused umeshu and manzanilla sherry for sweet and savoury notes, and lengthened with soda water carbonated using a Hoshizaki machine for five times more bubbles for a smoother mouthfeel. The signature cocktails are also notable—we recommend the Kinome (kinome-infused vodka, Fernet Hunter, coconut, citrus) and Nori (seaweed Campari, Green Chartreuse, strawberry, maraschino, jalapeño) for their herbal complexity.

The cuisine at Roji is approachable and moreish while retaining an edge of sophistication, as demonstrated in dishes like the king crab legs, blanched and peppered with a parsley and shiso blend; the hamachi sashimi, heaped with ikura, kombu and bottarga for umami; and the three tomatoes salad, which seasons fresh Japanese tomatoes with kombu dashi and shiso for a refreshing starter. Serving both well-considered food and drinks with in a convivial atmosphere, we can see Roji easily reviving this alley once again.

Roji, G/F, 20A D'Aguilar Street, Central, Hong Kong

See also: Imbibing On A Taste Of Kyoto With Chef Shun Sato And The House Of Ki No Bi

A Unique Shochu Pairing Menu At Zoku

Shochu is arguably Japan's best kept alcoholic secret. Unlike sake, this category of spirit is not brewed, but rather distilled mainly using rice, barley, sweet potato, and in some cases, even black sugar. In an effort to increase awareness of the category locally, the Japanese prefecture of Kagoshima has partnered with Mizunara's liquor distribution arm to arrange a shochu pairing menu at The Hari's resident Japanese restaurant, Zoku. 

Responsible for curating the drinks pairings is Shochu Meister, Yoshie Kakimoto, who has matched dishes like Kagoshima yellowtail prepared three ways with a Daiyame shochu highball; “flying fish” ceviche paired with Samurai No Mon mizuwari (lengthened with water); and Kagoshima wagyu steak served with Hachi Imo shochu on the rocks. Completing the experience is a dessert of mandarin sorbet served with soft cream cheese and kumquat, paired with a riff on the espresso martini made using Little Kiss coffee shochu.

The seven-course menu is available for the month of May and priced at HK$1,276 with six shochu pairings, or HK$888 for the food alone.

Zoku, 2/F, 330 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong; 2129 0338

The Holy Block To Take Over Sheung Wan's Shin Hing Street

Connecting Gough Street with Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan's Shin Hing Street is an unassuming pocket in the city that is home to some of Hong Kong, if not Asia's, favourite gastronomic concepts, such as Bedu, La Cabane, and Asia's Best Bar of 2021, Coa. These brands and more will be participating in an upcoming block party on June 5, organised by Holy Cannoli and due to take place at The Wild Lot, inevitably spilling out into Shin Hing Street below. For the price of one ticket, event-goers to The Holy Block are entitled to a signature cocktail from Coa, a Fernet Hunter special, a dish from Bedu, a cannoli snack from Holy Cannoli, and a glass of wine from La Cabane, along with a host of discounts and offers, while DJs Annika Fizzer, Bad Times Disco, and Guido Balboa will be spinning beats over the course of the day. Early bird tickets are currently going for HK$300; get them while they last online here

See also: First Look: Whey, Chef Barry Quek’s New Central Restaurant Dedicated To The Flavours Of Singapore

Elephant Grounds Partners With Wilson Fok For A Pear Jam Ice Cream Cookie

Former Tatler Dining editor Wilson Fok has launched a collaborative treat with Elephant Grounds this May. Reimagining the popular ice cream cookie, the Jam Date features masala chai ice cream and Fok's homemade cinnamon pear jam between two sable cookies. Available while supplies last, the Jam Date ice cream cookie can be picked up from all Elephant Grounds locations. 

Elephant Grounds, 8 Wing Fung Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong; 2778 2700

Dang Wen Li By Dominique Ansel Celebrates The Cronut's 8th Birthday

Chef Dominique Ansel's famed Cronut, a hybrid of the croissant and donut that launched its own worldwide craze in 2013, marks its eighth birthday this month—and to celebrate, Dang Wen Li by Dominique Ansel is bringing it to Hong Kong from May 12 to 30. This limited-edition Cronut will feature a flavour unique to Hong Kong: chrysanthemum honey ganache and homemade blood peach jam, which melds a light floral flavour with fresh peach notes. Baked fresh each morning, the Cronut will be available from Dang Wen Li's Harbour City boutique and ifc pop-up store, with a limit of six Cronuts per person.

Dang Wen Li by Dominique Ansel, Shop OT G63A, G/F, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, 3-27 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong; +852 2613 8618

See more: Where To Find The Best Bakeries In Hong Kong For Your Bread And Pastry Fix

Feather & Bone Introduces New Dishes For Spring

Showcasing Feather & Bone's meat and produce sourcing, the butcher-cum-restaurant has debuted new seasonal dishes for any occasion over the course of a day. The menu, curated by group executive chef Mick Bolam, features lighter dishes such as free-range coronation chicken salad and salmon fillet cooked medium-rare and served with sauce vierge and spring greens. Approachable breakfast specials include the meat-heavy Butcher's Burrito and veggie-focused Farmer's Burrito, while the hanger steak sandwich and house-cured salmon salad make for alluring lunch options. To wash it all down, Feather & Bone has collaborated with Young Master Brewery to create their first house beer, the Three Butchers lager, which can be served as a draught beer or taken away as a pack.

Feather & Bone, Shop 1, G/F, Bohemian House, 321 Des Voeux Road West, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong; +852 3705 0280

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