The newly opened cocktail enclave at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental lives up to anticipation, and offers creative drinks with a local touch

After a successful pop-up event in 2016 and much anticipation over its opening last year, PDT has finally launched its permanent location in Hong Kong. Taking residence in what was formerly MO Bar’s private room, the new speakeasy quickly assumed its role as the cocktail mecca it promised to be.

When we showed up at MO Bar at 4:45 pm, a crowd had already formed, but a manager strolled by, efficiently taking down names and details. Then, party-by-party, guests were invited to enter via PDT’s iconic entrance: a hidden telephone booth where guests must press the correct numbers (hint: you can use any number, as long as it ends in a 1) for the cloaked doorway to open, revealing the exclusive interiors where PDT resides. The bar space is petite, though comforting. Along the copper-lined bar are high stools overlooking the well-stocked shelves. Larger parties can settle in booths along the lengthy perimeters of the space, which is decked out with herringbone patterned wood ceiling and whimsical taxidermy, both elements coherent with those of the New York branch.

We settled at the bar, where bar manager Adam Schmidt quickly introduced the venue’s concept. A PDT New York alumnus for the past four years and recently relocated to Hong Kong for the opening, Schmidt is proficient in creating concoctions according to the guests’ preferences. We asked for recommendations, laying down our likes and preferences, and before long Schmidt served us Stop Light, PDT’s variation on the classic Negroni. A twist of orange embellished the glass’ rim, enhancing the gin-based concoction that went down dry and rich. Tanqueray 10’s botanicals fused with those in Dolin dry vermouth and Campari, which added a crimson hue to the beverage. Alternatively, the Safari offers an exotic touch to start the cocktail experience. A citrus-tinted variation of G&T, the addition of Japanese kabosu orange and shiso enhanced the cocktail’s herbaceous nature, while its bitter edge is emphasised by Italicus Bergamot Rosolio, a bergamot and cedro based liqueur.

Citrus continues to play a dominant role in PDT’s cocktail offerings, among them Paddington (with orange marmalade), and Zuyu Collins (with salted lime and yuzu soda), as well as Bad Hunter, a champagne and whisky-based cocktail, enhanced with Fernet Hunter and a touch of lemon. The refreshing whisky Collins has a zesty aroma from the fernet and lemon, and is already a popular order here.                                  

Another locally-inspired cocktail is the Milk Tea Punch, based on Hong Kong-style milk tea. A rum-based beverage with Hennessy V.S.O.P. cognac, this boozed version of the local brew has extra richness thanks to the addition of condensed milk and Taiyouran egg, yielding a smooth yet creamy texture similar to a tea-spiked eggnog.

The food menu is a one-pager that features bar bites including hotdogs designed by Richard Ekkebus, the hotel’s culinary director, as well as the bar’s popular tater tots. We recommend the Honkie Dog, where the pork hot dog is paired with crisp cabbage, sakura shrimp and a touch of mayonnaise made with XO sauce. The local touch offers heat and rich umami to the hot dog itself. It is best to request the hot dog be cut in half at the time of ordering so it can easily be shared.

Tater tots may be an unseemly bar bite of choice, but Hong Kong’s unique Takoyaki Tots feature a plate of crispy potato bites topped with tangy takoyaki sauce and Kewpie mayonnaise, with a rich sprinkle of shredded nori and bonito flakes. A curiously addictive treat to help your cocktails go down easily.

Tater tots may be an unseemly bar bite of choice, but Hong Kong’s unique Takoyaki Tots feature a plate of crispy potato bites topped with tangy takoyaki sauce and Kewpie mayonnaise, with a rich sprinkle of shredded nori and bonito flakes. A curiously addictive treat to help your cocktails go down easily.

PDT Hong Kong, Mezzanine Level, MO Bar, Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong; + 852 2132 0110

A meal for two with cocktails and service: around HK$1,000.

Rating: 4/5


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Each of our reviewers score restaurants based on four main criteria: setting, food, service, and drinks, taking into account more than 35 different points of reference including manners of staff, usefulness of the wine list, and whether or not the restaurant makes an effort to be environmentally aware. 5/5 indicates an exceptional experience; 4-4.5/5 is excellent; 3-3.5/5 is good to very good; and 2.5/5 or lower is average to below average. Before visiting a restaurant, the reviewers will book using a pseudonym and do not make themselves known to restaurant staff, in order to experience the venue as a regular guest—if this is not possible, or if we are recognised, we will indicate this in the review.