Bar review: Soul Food in SoHo – no-frills Thai with Bangkok vibe
Thai ingredients creatively used in intriguing cocktails in this lively, packed and noisy space that brings a taste of Bangkok to the streets of SoHo
The vibe: inspired by Thai street food, on a hot Hong Kong night Soul Food certainly brought back memories of the streets of Bangkok. Lively, packed and noisy, with friendly service, it’s a good spot to grab a quick drink and a bite, although neither the cramped space (we could hear every word our neighbours were saying) nor the frenetic feel are designed for chilling out.
The drinks: house cocktails, all priced at a reasonable HK$98, make creative use of Thai ingredients. The resulting range of flavours is somewhat limited – six out of eight drinks included lime juice (and the other two had lemon juice) – but they do go well with the food.
Best of the bunch was the Sukhumvit South Side (kaffir lime gin, lemon juice, mint leaves), a delicious, complex take on a martini, served straight up. The Lemongrass Daiquiri (rum, lemongrass, lime juice) tasted like home-made lemonade with a kick of rum.
Jai Yen Yen (gin, passion fruit, pineapple, cucumber, lime juice, ginger beer) was nicely refreshing, with the cucumber adding a distinctive note. However, the gin seemed to have gone missing and it felt more like a soft drink. The promisingly named Bangkok Bastard (gin, bourbon, kaffir lime leaves, lime juice, ginger beer, bitters) was surprisingly dry, almost bitter, with an intriguing aftertaste from the lime leaves.
Wines by the glass are smartly selected to pair with spicy dishes, beers include Thailand’s own Chang (HK$58) and for the abstemious, there’s a choice of exotic mocktails (HK$78) or non-alcoholic classics like fresh lime soda (HK$48).
The verdict: nothing fancy but good fun and good value if you’re looking for a bit of Bangkok street heat in SoHo.
Soul Food26-28 Elgin Street, SoHo, tel: 2177 3544
Open: Sunday to Thursday 6pm-11pm; Friday and Saturday 6pm until late. Lunch on Saturday and Sunday 12.30pm-2.30pm
While you’re in the area
Bar review: Upstairs at Belon, SoHo – superb drinks, impeccable service and a tranquil spot to chill out and chat