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Tasteful and subdued beer bar nestled among the antique stores of Upper Lascar Row that offers a good range of brews from Belgium and a promising food menu
Upper Lascar Row has long been derided as tourist trap among Hongkongers, a concatenation of dubious antiques and tacky Mao memorabilia suitable only for those with a passport in hand. The arrival of Blue Supreme, an excellent new craft beer bar, however, should provide even locals motivation to head to this strip of Sheung Wan.
The proximity of residents means Blue Supreme currently takes last orders at 10pm, so this is no place to go large with your friends on a Friday night. Surprisingly, that works in the bar’s favour as it feels like an ideal date spot. The laid back atmosphere, modern jazz soundtrack, dark teal walls, wooden furniture and sense of space created by the high ceiling and floor-to-ceiling windows all generate a particularly inviting ambience.
Save for half-a-dozen wine options, the drinks menu is dedicated to beer. At the moment the focus is almost exclusively suds from Belgium, with a focus on bottle-conditioned brews. A chat with staff reveals that Blue Supreme imports all its beers direct. While the upside to that is the bar offers a specifically curated range of around 50 high-quality brews, at the moment its options are geographically restricted while the owners develop their contacts around the world.
Flicking through the menu, which is organised by flavour profiles – a helpful guide for the uninitiated – we kick off with the VI Wheat by Brasserie de Jandrain-Jandrenouille. A golden pour, this is a smooth, drinkable beer with plenty of hops and hints of wheat. Light and refreshing, certainly, but probably not the most exciting drink in the house.
We should mention, food is taken seriously at Blue Supreme – options like shakshuka, dill and feta or Australian striploin with gem lettuce and salsa verde aren’t your ordinary pub grub – and one member of staff even ventures to call the space a ‘beer-focused restaurant’ rather than a bar. Still, the food options are limited compared to the drinks and in lieu of any pork scratchings or the like, we make do with milk and cookies as our snack of choice. It’s very good. The cookie arrives oven-fresh, warm and wrapped in a thick navy napkin. It goes perfectly with the milk, which is enhanced by a mint reduction that helps provide a delightful edge.
Attempting to be more adventurous on our second round, we order the Bourbon Barrel-Aged Arrogant Bastard, an intense 8.1 percent tipple made by Stone Brewing in California. A dark amber ale, the bourbon comes through gently on the nose but on the palate it’s a trough of malt and pine. There’s even a slight medicinal tinge among the long, bitter finish. Not for the faint of heart but definitely of interest for connoisseurs.
Blue Supreme makes for a welcome addition to Hong Kong’s expanding range of beer bars. It’s pleasantly decorated, intimate without feeling cramped and both food and drink are fairly spot on. Forget the tourists and make this your new local spot.
21 Tung Street
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