Rummin’ Tings (CLOSED)
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Fine tiki bar near the Soho escalator
The Caribbean is a huge region thousands of miles away from Hong Kong – but that hasn’t stopped two sets of brothers from opening up a tiny slice of palm breeze life right on Hollywood Road. The under-the-escalator spot known for being a proprietor’s curse (it’s where Wyndham Street dies) may be tiny but it’s big in spirit.
The brainchild of Fatty Crab brothers Rohit and Harsh Roopchand, and Manoj and Manesh Chellaram, the hip new shack serves up both liquor and little plates. And rum! Enough to make any rasta rebel cry – there’s a vast selection of white (St George Agua Libre, $200), dark (Rhum JM Very Old Vintage 1995, $420) and gold (Renegade Waterfall Grenada, $520). But the cocktail shakers are out, so we go for a Passionate Buttah ($100) and a Ramping Shop ($90). The former is a Brugal Extra Dry Rum concoction dashed liberally with cinnamon and butter notes, squeezes of passionfruit and lime, and basil – refreshingly dry with an apple pie-esque aftertaste that lingers on the palate. The latter is simple, the main ingredients being Angostura Reserva Rum, watermelon and lime. The thistle-like shado beni addition finishes each fruity sip with a delicate grassy aroma.
Passion buttah (left), Ramping shop (right)
We move on to Lawd Ah Mercy ($120), a spicy but disappointingly watery twist on an old fashioned, and finally finish with a ridiculously smooth pina colada ($120). We don’t get a much-needed side of beach with that, unfortunately. We have a go at the bites as well, trying the callaloo and cassava chips with spinach and okra dip ($50) – nothing special – and the ‘dutty doubles’ ($50), two bara (flat fried bread) rounds dolloped with chickpea curry. Both dishes boast a spicy zing.
There are flashes of authenticity here and there at Rummin’ Tings – goat stew, the insane amount of rum – but overall, it’s your reliable, run-of-the-mill bar dressed up in fun Caribbean gear. Not to say it isn’t worth checking out. Ysabelle Cheung
Rummin' Tings, 28 Hollywood Road, Central, 2521 2033; rummintings.hk.