Cover Source: Hutong

We round up the food and drink happenings that you should know about this week

Time waits for no man, and the same can be said of the local food and drink scene this month, as new openings and novel menus continue to delight our senses heading into Christmas. Read on to find out where to tantalise your tastebuds this month.

See also: Opening In Central, 1111 Ones Elevates Local Ingredients With Geologic Grandeur

 

Raise Your Glass

In the run-up to its formal awards ceremony in London on December 7, The World's 50 Best Bars has unveiled its extended list of bars ranked 51 to 100, with two Hong Kong bars featuring in this section. These are Penicillin and Argo, both relatively new bars that are making their debut on the list at 59th and 72nd places respectively.  Penicillin and Argo have had an outsized influence on the local and regional bar scenes in their few months of operation, with Penicillin being awarded the Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award by Asia's 50 Best Bars 2021 earlier this May.

Asian bars had a respectable showing on this year's 51-100 list, taking up 13 places. The highest placed was Kuala Lumpur's Bar Trigona at 52nd, while other bars that may be familiar to the itinerant drinker include Tropic City in Bangkok (62nd), 28 Hongkong Street in Singapore (71st), and Hope & Sesame in nearby Guangzhou (94th). Stay tuned for news of The World's 50 Best Bars ceremony on December 7 to find out the 2021 rankings for the top 50 watering holes in the world.

Ice Ice Baby

Cult Australian ice cream brand Gelato Messina has attracted regular queues out its doors on Pottinger Street since its October opening, and now the lines are only set to grow longer as it begins to sell its head-turning ice cream cakes. 

The debut collection features a handmade selection of five gelato cakes and three "Trans" cakes, the latter of which have a travel time of up to three hours outside of the freezer. Most recognisable is the original Dr Evil’s Magic Mushroom (HK$1,500) with its bright cap of red and white, featuring flourless chocolate sponge layered in rich dark chocolate gelato, peanut cookies, and dulce de leche. Other options include the How Now (HK$800), a cow-patterned version of the tres leches milk cake that pays tribute to Messina's own dairy farm; and the Bombe Alaska (HK$800) featuring milk chocolate gelato, raspberry sorbet, raspberry gel, and chocolate crunch, covered in a torched raspberry meringue.

Gelato Messina, 37-43 Pottinger Street, Central, Hong Kong; gelatomessina.com.hk

See also: 10 Last-Minute Foodie Gifts from Hong Kong Brands

Bubbles And Black Gold

Treat yourself this season with the Petite Coupe experience at speakeasy-in-speakeasy, Frank's Library. Meant to evoke the Roaring Twenties of a century prior, this special collaboration brings together Pommery, a label that pivoted to champagne under the guidance of the founder's widow, Louise Pommery, eventually becoming the first champagne house to produce the brut style; and Royal Caviar Club, founded by Oxana Dragun. 

On offer are Pommery's Brut Royal, Brut Rosé Royal and Grand Cru Millesime 2008 expressions, each of which can be paired Chinese Royal Cristal caviar, French Royal Baerii caviar, or Dutch Imperial Ossetra Rare caviar respectively from HK$780 up. A range of bespoke champagne cocktails have also been designed for the occasion, including the Red Mill (osmanthus-infused Appleton rum, Rosolio di Bergamotto, Suze, Pear Williams, Pommery Brut Rosé Royal) and La Garçonne (Sagatiba Pura, muscat liqueur, fresh pineapple, coconut, Pommery Brut Royal).

The Petite Coupe experience is available to book from Wednesday to Saturday, 6pm until late, ending on December 30.

Frank’s Library, G/F, 18 Ice House Street, Central, Hong Kong; +852 2116 2449

Scone Like The Wind

Coinciding with the Christmas season, local scones specialist Holy Bake has set up shop in IFC mall for the next three months. The pop-up store is the brand's second, following their debut at Harbour City, and showcases a range of scones that go beyond the original recipe's milk, eggs, sugar and flour. Anticipate flavours like bacon and cheese, ginger and honey, red velvet with milk chocolate and more, or pack four scones and two festive cookies to gift to your loved ones for HK$280 (those booking before December 10 can enjoy an early bird price of HK$268).

Holy Bake pop-up store, LA2, Podium Level 1, IFC mall, Central, Hong Kong

Related: Christmas 2021: 16 Best Afternoon Teas in Hong Kong

À Votre Santé

Get the best of both worlds with Dr. Fern's Gin Parlour's new menu of wellness-focused cocktails. Featuring botanicals known for a range of health benefits, health-conscious drinkers can imbibe on three new cocktails: Dr.’s Ramble with its base of Porcelain mandarin gin, sleeping-aiding chamomile tea, and rejuvenating lemon juice, fresh blackberries, and raspberry syrup; the Tropical Antidote, featuring anti-inflammatory lemongrass-infused Widges gin, vitamin-packed pineapple, and a pink salt rim; and finally, the Mango Sedative, bringing together pomelo, mango and coconut to boost gut health, blood sugar regulation and immunity.

The bar's extensive G&T menu also sees some new additions, like the Generous Green Organic gin with rosemary and grapefruit tonic, and Sakurao Hamagou gin with London Essence bitter orange and elderflower tonic.

New Horizons

Hutong has completed its move from its home of 18 years in One Peking Road to new digs on the 18th floor of H Zentre, complementing the postcard-perfect views with a brand new terrace and a roomier footprint. The longstanding restaurant's decor still features touches inspired by Beijing's rapidly disappearing old town, as well as the Forbidden City: a full-scale replica of a brick-lined Peking alley welcomes diners to the space, while handcrafted wood panels and doors, glowing red silk lanterns and the traditional wishing tree can be found throughout.

In the main dining room, diners can feast on signatures like the ‘Red Lantern’ crispy soft-shell crab, Peking duck, roasted suckling pig served flaming tableside, and mandarin fish in salted egg yolk broth. Dim sum is also available for lunch and dinner, with morsels like charcoal yu xiang crispy pork dumplings, beef brisket xiao long bao, and pan-fried mapo tofu bao adorning the dim sum sheet.

The all-new Apothecary Bar also continues Hutong's cocktail offerings, which will change with the seasons and take ample influence from Chinese spices and botanicals. Adjacent is the Moon Terrace, replete with opium divans that offer the same stunning panoramic views of the city.

“We wanted to capture a feeling of old Peking and the essence of Hutong which people know and love, but at the same time give it a beautiful fresh makeover with some more contemporary touches,” says David Yeo, founder of Aqua Restaurant Group and designer of Hutong’s new home.

Hutong, 18/F, H Zentre, 15 Middle Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong; +852 3428 8342, hutong.com.hk

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