Bar Review: Old China Hand, Kennedy Town

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 July, 2013, 9:12am

Old China Hand, Kennedy Town 1C Davis Street, Kennedy Town

Tel: 2865 1181

The vibe: since spring, the former Pier - a long, narrow bar a short distance from the Kennedy Town seafront - has been rebranded as a branch of one of Wan Chai's most famous expat hangouts. So now the homesick Briton living in the west of the island has somewhere to go without running the gauntlet of the lightly-clothed ladies of Lockhart Road. The takeover isn't quite complete, however, as the neon light outside says "Old China Hand," while inside a sign says "The Pier". But there's sport on the big screens, HP Sauce bottles on the tables and apple crumble on the menu.

The drinks: Everything an expat could desire. Stella, Heineken, Guinness and for the more adventurous, San Miguel and Tsingtao (which used to be the Anglo-German Brewery until 1916 - not a lot of people know that), all HK$53 to HK$60, with HK$10 off during happy hour (3pm-9pm). Wine is HK$48 to HK$58 a glass and, if you're celebrating a big bonus, Moët & Chandon champagne is HK$850 a bottle, while a solid line-up of cocktails, all HK$65, includes mojitos, margaritas, Singapore slings and daiquiris.

The verdict: if British pub grub circa 1980 is what you miss most, step inside. This may be the last place on the planet still to serve chicken in a basket ("original recipe since 1977"). The "all day breakfast" isn't - the kitchen doesn't open on weekdays until 3.30pm - but after the "world big breakfast" of two eggs, two sausages, bacon, mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, baked beans and hash browns (HK$108), you won't want to eat again all day. Other British pub classics available include chicken tikka masala and bangers and mash, both HK$128. But frankly, anywhere that has an assistant manager called Rogie Madrigal is all right by me.