Bar review: On Dining Lounge, Central, serves great cocktails
The vibe: situated in what looks like an office building on a quiet side street, On Dining Kitchen & Lounge is the latest venture from chef Philippe Orrico. The cocktail bar, on the floor above the fine-dining restaurant, is chic yet cosy. Chairs are upholstered in turquoise velvet, the ceiling is painted with bright patterns and there's an outdoor space where you can relax and enjoy a view of the harbour. Staff are knowledgeable, friendly and efficient.
The drinks: the man behind the signature cocktail list is celebrity bartender Giancarlo Mancino, whose own vermouths feature in many of the drinks. Everyone wants to revamp the classics, but these fresh takes are genuinely inventive; the emphasis is on premium liquor.
We tried four Mancino creations. The Onegroni (HK$120), rested overnight in a clay pot, was smooth, rich and complex with the flavours of red vermouth, bitters and two types of gin blending seamlessly. The Mancino Rickey (HK$130) was cool and refreshing with Japanese notes of yuzu and fresh shiso leaves. Made with reposado and anejo tequilas, the Margarita Shot (HK$120) had a delicate hint of bergamot and a touch of Himalayan sea salt grated over the top, while the Tonka Beans Sensation (HK$140) was an intense combination of espresso and vodka. Gourmet finger food and fine cheeses are available.
The verdict: a class act and a welcome haven of tranquillity close to Lan Kwai Fong. Service is attentive and professional, the decor is stylish and drinks are top notch.
On Dining Kitchen & Lounge, 29/F, 18 On Lan Street, Central, tel: 2174 8100. Open: 11.45am-late