If, like us, you have been strolling past H Code on the reg this month, hoping to find that the summer’s most buzzworthy new bar had opened its doors overnight, you can rest easy: Tell Camellia is officially open for business.
The bar, a quasi-hideaway located at the back of the red-hot F&B hub (see: The Chicken Bar, Saketen), brings together two acclaimed figures in the Hong Kong bar scene in Sandeep Hathiramani and Gagan Gurung. You might know them as the founder of Gin Festival HK and the bar manager at Fang Fang, respectively. Both have more accolades to their credit than we care to list here. It suffices to say that they’re pretty good at what they do.
Tell Camellia has a very distinct focus: tea. Each cocktail – or ‘teatail’, if you will – is named after the origin of the tea blend it features. For example, the Australia is built with Yalangi Rain Tea from the northern reaches of Queensland, as well as Tim Tams, clarified strawberry, blue cheese, whisky and a garnish of bite-sized koala biscuits. Sounds a bit like an upscale version of a dinner you might have made for yourself when you were in uni, doesn’t it?
Other regions highlighted include Kenya, Turkey, Japan and Sri Lanka, and unusual ingredients like milk wine, plankton and raki (an anise-flavoured liqueur popular in Turkey) all make an appearance.
Equally attention-grabbing are the T&Ts – herbal teas re-distilled with gin and paired with boutique tonics. Italian almond and truffle T&T, anyone?
The price tag puts the proverbial cherry on top, though. All drinks cost $95 plus 10 percent for service. Considering the quality you’re getting here – and the rising price of cocktails citywide – that’s a relative steal.