A good old-fashioned cocktail bar
Hong Kong’s cocktail bar scene is in a boozy arms race. Each new ‘haven’ or ‘den’ looks to outdo the last with that little bit more egg white foam, spun sugar or other such theatrics. It’s not so much a race to the bottom as much as a race to the most Instagrammable – though some might argue there isn’t much difference. But not so at the recently opened Khan. Straight away you feel it’s not buying into this game. It’s a classy set up but not over the top – bare black walls, varnished wooden high tables, an entirely open front and a single sheet of glass shielding it from the laneway on which it sits. This openness lends it an inviting air. This is an ideal spot for some low-key people watching, just like any good neighbourhood bar.
The hospitality extends to the service too, with welcoming and attentive staff. We order a Peach Pit ($150) to start. It’s an elegant drink of Japanese single malt whisky shaken with cloudy apple and peach liqueur, topped with bruléed egg whites and a torched vanilla-infused peach. It’s well executed but needs something to bind the ingredients together a little better when the egg white foam doesn’t quite hit your palate. Next up is The Sherpa ($150), a deceptively simple drink of Nepalese Khukri rum mixed with a homemade sugar of star anise, cinnamon, maple sugar, red wine and sugar syrup, in which cherries are kept. A single one garnishes the drink. It’s complex, with different flavours coming out in each sip. Infusing it with the cherry gives it another layer and it lingers on the tongue well after the final sip.
Good old-fashioned cocktails with quality booze and quality service alongside a friendly neighbourhood vibe. There’s a lot to like about Khan. Just don’t tell the Instagrammers.
Author: Dean Adamantidis
28 Peel St, Central