Earl of Clove cocktail
Let’s face it – this town is full of lazy, under-committed sinners when it comes to the delicate industry of food and beverage. Many a proprietor thinks that plonking down a watery poor man’s G&T warrants a hefty price tag and the less said about the décor, service and vibe of some places, the better. But that’s where The Saint has played all its cards right – taking over the cosy spot where McSorley’s used to be on Elgin Street. It’s inviting without being overbearing, cool without being nauseatingly hipster and, best of all, it doesn’t try to be something it’s not.
The drinks menu is refreshingly accessible and easy to navigate (great for those who don’t want overcomplicated drinks with 20 ingredients) and comprises cocktails, wines and beers. We go for the Eastside ($98) and Earl of Clove ($98), upon the waitress’ recommendations, both of which are gin-based cocktails. The dry Hendricks cuts through muddled cucumber and mint well in the Eastside. It’s worth the 15 minutes it takes to make. The Earl of Clove, which consists of gin, Earl Grey raspberry syrup and lemon juice, sounds better than it is – it’s slightly too heavy on the lemon, which makes it unbalanced in its tones. But, regardless, these drinks are lovely to enjoy in the open-air platform space that overlooks Elgin Street.
The Saint has retained most of McSorley’s layout – including two screens continuously playing football (muted, thankfully) – but with some finer touches, like its brass detailing, elegant minimal railing staircase and pops of yellow colour in the seats. It’s also worth noting its food menu, which we don’t try but are extremely tempted to – the bacon-wrapped boar scotch egg and toffee banoffee pie in particular catch our eye. We’re not swooned by the drinks but they’re solid, and with an airy environment and a food menu to match, hopefully The Saint can convert us all. Ysabelle Cheung
The Saint 55 Elgin St, Central, 2522 2646; thesaint.com.hk.
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