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Two of the world's best bartenders are joining hands at Vea this May

Written by
Craig Sauers

We’ve experienced too many four-hands dinners to count. Four-hands cocktails, however, not so much. But Antonio Lai of Vea Lounge (among many other Hong Kong institutions) and Frankie Solarik of Toronto’s BarChef are here to change that. The two doyens of drinks will join hands – metaphorically, we presume – at Vea on May 2 and 3, creating six-course cocktail tasting menus based on a tropical theme. 

Both bartenders are known for working at the cutting edge of the industry. Solarik, whose BarChef was named one of the ‘top seven new and innovative bars in the world’ by Food & Wine Magazine, has earned a reputation for incorporating culinary techniques and personal experiences into his whimsical creations. In other words, he’s a damn good bartender. Maybe, even, the best in Toronto.

Lai, meanwhile, is well-known across the region for his sense of daring as well as his multisensory approach to mixology. From Quinary to Room 309 to Draft Land, it’s hard to find fault with any of his bars, let alone the different game-changing drinks designed for all of them.  

Did we mention that both have literally written the book on cocktails? Those would be Solarik’s Bar Chef and Lai’s Multisensory Mixology and its enhanced companion, Addicted to Multisensory Mixology

The four-hands cocktail experience is being called ‘Birds of Paradise’, and it won’t be all drinks. Vea’s executive chef Vicky Cheng will also be whipping up elevated bar snacks and canapés for the occasion. The bar can accommodate only 12 guests at a time over three sessions a night, though, so book now if you want to secure a spot. Seats are going for $780

If you can’t snag a seat, worry not: you can still try some of Solarik’s drinks at Vea outside of the four-hands experience. Walk-in guests can order three signature cocktails from BarChef, including an elderflower spritz and an amaro and Campari sour. Not a bad consolation prize.

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