Review: Ted's Lookout

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 January, 2013, 5:58pm

G/F Moonful Court, 17A Moon Street,
Wan Chai
Tel: 2520 0076

The vibe: aiming for a speakeasy feel, with white New York subway tiling, brushed concrete floors and Hong Kong's almost ubiquitous exposed pipes, the small bar is dark and comfortable. It was even warm on the wintery night we visited. The painting of the partially naked woman clutching some kind of bear seemed a bit too contemporary for the 1920s feel.

The drinks: while the menu seems to be undergoing a lot of tweaking, so far there are only six wines on the list. We tried two reds (a Vina Pomal tempranillo from Rioja and a Chancet Rocks pinot noir from New Zealand, HK$70 each). Both wines were served too cold to show any of their characteristics. Avoiding the eight oddly named American craft beers (fancy a Rogue Dead Guy anyone?), we gave some of the 20 signature cocktails a try. The list is interestingly written with lots of cocktail lore about the origins of the drinks. Judging by the length of time it took for them to arrive, no doubt the drinks are also lovingly crafted. They don't quite live up to expectations though. The Pisco Sour Reborn (HK$90) merited an "innocuous" while the Southside (HK$100), a gin and lime-based concoction, tasted minty and salty more than anything else. Calling a drink Mexican El Diablo is setting up an expectation of spiciness to come - this HK$105 mix of tequila, ginger ale and lime juice with a "crème de classic" float tasted like a watery tequila.

The verdict: this spot might be better suited to summer. I would revisit with a small group, perhaps for the 2pm to 6pm happy hour of unlimited nachos with beer or the weekend brunch's free-flow Bloody Mary or champagne (HK$198). We never did find out who Ted is or what he's looking out for.