Honestly, every other post these days are about new recipes. I’d honestly like to have more time to write about insights into the bar industry, but I’ll be honest, nothing comes out without sounding overwhelmingly pretentious these days.
But more to the point, I recently finished in the top 3 for the preliminary round for the HK portion of Diplomatico’s 2017 World Tournament, and literally just submitted my entry for Diageo’s 2017 World Class Winter round. Find the recipes in their usual spots:
Two things I’ve got to point out at this point. First, I apologize for the awful photos. I was not about to lug around an expensive DSLR camera around on a trip to the best bars in Seoul. Two, I don’t normally lead a jet-setting lifestyle as I seem to have thus far portrayed.
Over the New Year, I was in Seoul, Korea, visiting my mother. Naturally, as any bartender would, I took the opportunity to have a go at some of the well-renown bars around the city. What followed was a three day bender with some lovely lunches and family time squeezed in between.
Quinary is something of a household name here in Hong Kong, especially among those who value a good tipple or two. The brainchild of Antonio Lai, this Quinary takes its name from it’s mission: to tease and tantalize the 5 senses through the use of various molecular preparations. Those familiar with the techniques will see various staples of the molecular gastronomy arsenal; spherification, foams, sonic prep infusions, and slow cooked infusion via a sous vide machine. Not so common in the gastronomy world but more so for mixology is the use of redistillation through a rotary evaporator, and carbonation with a Perlini shaker.
Oh and did I mention that Quinary was voted one of the world’s top 50 bars? The success and popularity of Quinary lies beyond it’s provocative drinks, and is instead due to that intangible that any great bar has. The bartenders are always up for some fun and a bit of banter, the clientele exude that high-octane adrenaline that so defines the finance industry in Hong Kong, the furnishing is a seamless blend of modernist steel and concrete, and old-world leather lounge chairs. The music is, while not of unique character, suitable to get that heady, out-and-about feeling, especially during peak hours, when the Quinary fills up with the rich, famous, and gorgeous.
The American team behind New York City native Fatty Crab and Fatty ‘Cue shook the industry when they opened up 2005, and they continue to do so now, in their Hong Kong branch. unlike a regular franchise, each of Fatty Crab’s venues hold it’s own personality, and Fatty Crab HK is no different. Or, it its. I mean its different from the other restaurants. You know what I mean
Whereas the West Village venue is all about the food, and the Brooklyn Fatty ‘Cue is about the barbecue, Fatty Crab HK puts cocktails on the spotlight, boasting the experience of head bartender Joao Balzani, and a robust cocktail menu developed by Philip Ward. Although the basic signature cocktail menu is carried over to the US branches, the Fatty Crab HK bar keeps developing its own cocktails, with special off-the-menu items available using the latest ingredient the bartenders are experimenting with. Homemade grenadine, grape and sage liqueurs, cilantro shrubs, and beetroot syrups are the least of which you might be surprised with.
Fatty Crab keeps to its US roots with an industrial chic decor, and old school hip hop and R&B playing over the sound system. With the critically acclaimed restaurant just next door, succulent Malaysian inspired fusion barsnacks , a little heavier than the standard fare than at most other bars, and raw bar offerings are readily available. My personal favourite at the moment is the Smoked Scallop Crudo, piquant Fatty Sliders, and the perennial favourite, the Pork Belly Buns