Located on the lower floors of the new entertainment complex H Code, the sister property of H Queens which also houses Ichu Peru, Arbor, and Ecriture, H Code is home to trendier establishments such as the popular yakitori restaurant Birdie and now a newly-opened wine-focus restaurant Piin. This contemporary Chinese restaurant occupies the entire floor with a design similar to a wine bar where warm, dim lighting sets the ambience of the space. The highlight of its interior design lies in the lengthy stretch of the bar well-stocked with whiskies and fine wines on display, while the restaurant sports subtle tones of blue and grey. Seating is comfortably spaced apart, offering adequate privacy for guests.
While there is no shortage of Chinese restaurants with a good wine list, it is worth noting that Piin plays its food and beverage game differently. The menu features a range of dishes that seem reasonably priced, until you realise the price is for a single serving. We began with the restaurant’s signature smoky cold abalone with plum sauce. A name that was lost in translation, the only smoky element involved in the dish was the bed of dry ice upon which a single shell-on abalone sat. The abalone was tender, but the plum sauce was a tad on the sweet side. Honey-glazed crispy eel came in thick, hearty slices, deep-fried until the skin became crisp and the flesh stayed tender. The dish would improve greatly had the eel slices been evenly tossed with the glaze.
Cigar duck roll came highly recommended (at HK$168 apiece, it would be). The stubby finger of pastry looked the part of a real cigar, and came filled tightly-packed with the shredded meat of a braised duck. Unfortunately the poultry-filled spring roll was a tad over-seasoned. The dipping sauce blended sesame sauce and a sweet duck sauce and red wine reduction, a concoction that was far too sweet for the savoury treat.