Friday, 9 February 2018

Bar Review #22: Please Don't Tell (PDT) Hong Kong opens...for good

If an article about PDT opening in Hong Kong on this site sounds familiar, that's because we wrote that very article two years ago. That was a temporary pop-up though, and as impressive as it was (and it really was), after a few months it was gone....until now.


Clearly buoyed by the popularity of 2016's pop-up bar, New York's world famous "PDT" (aka Please Don't Tell) has returned to Hong Kong, filling the same space (the mezzanine above MO Bar in Landmark Mandarin Oriental), in a much more permanent fashion. We attended the media launch last week, which gave us a good chance to explore the new space, sample the new cocktails and try the new menus (fear not, it's still hotdog-heavy).


The entrance is (of course) via a phone booth (hint: Press 1) and the space, whilst small, has large booths for 5 groups, and counter seating for 8. The drinks menu features 15 drinks (our preview night menu had 8), and again includes a number which have been given a Hong Kong / Asian twist, including:
  • Big Fan, a refreshing shandy served with Cabeza tequila, lime juice, pink peppercorn, guava and Moonzen Fuijan radler
  • Safari, combining ELephant Gin, Italicus Rosolio, Kabosu, Shiso and East Imperial Burma Tonic
  • Umbrella, a refreshing aperitif combining Blandy's Rainwater Madeira, Tio Peppe Fino Sherry (YES!) and Kamm & Sons British Aperitif.
  • Bad Hunter, a John Collins prepared with Chivas blended Scotch whisky, Fernet Hunter, lemon juice, dragon eye and Moët Brut Imperial Champagne
  • Milky Tea Punch, a rich flip composed of Ron Zacapa Centenario rum, Hennessy V.S.O.P. cognac, Rickshaw tea, condensed milk, Tayouran egg and Angostura bitters; and
  • Pear of Peres, a short, sharp cocktail with Rye, Cocchi, Genepi, Pear Brandy and Ango bitters.


The food menu echoes that of the pop-up (and the original in New York), with hot dogs including the Honkie Dog (fried pork dog with sakura shrimp and XO mayo) and Kimchi Dog from the New York menu (bacon-wrapped, deep-fried pork dog with Kimchi). Tater tots are back, and the Takoyaki Tots are a must - deliciously snakcable!


Drinks-wise, the Safari was a great way to kick things off (think of it as a slightly more complex G&T), followed by an Umbrella, which was a perfect aperitif. Bad Hunter was refreshing and complex (and a great use of "Fernet Hunter", which seems to be popping up everywhere in HK), and Pear of Peres was the perfect nightcap - short, brown and bitter, just the way we like 'em!


Industry legend / PDT owner Jim Meehan was mixing the drinks all night, and providing great chat too - giving some helpful suggestions / insights regarding a few recent vintage spirits bottled I'd acquired.


The whisky selection is good, with a selection of Japanese, Scottish, Irish and American whiskies, but really, you're here for the cocktails, and they're fantastic.


PDT Hong Kong is open now, for both reservations and walk-ins (although we suspect the latter will be difficult at first), Reservations can be placed one week in advance for parties of up to 6 people by telephone at +852 2132 0110 or email to lmhkg-pdt@mohg.com.

 

Cheers,
Martin.

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