Bar review: Little Beer Room is smooth and cool with plenty of body
As well as the hoppy, malty brews - at least a dozen on tap, sometimes as many as 20 - this no-frills neighbourhood bar serves quality cocktails and decent food
The vibe: part of a small enclave of neighbourhood bars and restaurants beyond the end of Staunton Street, Little Beer Room is an extension of liquor retailer The Bottle Shop next door. The atmosphere is cheerful and relaxed, with lighting where you can actually see your companions – a welcome change from the semi-darkness most bars operate in. Although seating is bar stools, they’re unusually comfortable ones. Service is efficient, exceptionally friendly and impressively knowledgeable. Only open a few weeks, the place already has its act well together.
The drinks: as you’d expect from the name, pride of place goes to the hops and malt with an outstanding array of craft beers on draught. The Room generally has around a dozen on tap at any one time and can go up to 20. Japan’s Hitachino is one of the core brands and the Hitachino White Nest Ale (HK$88 per pint/HK$46 per half) was pleasantly fruity with a full, soft mouth-feel and subtle aftertaste.
Cocktail lovers are equally well catered for. The list offers stripped down classics – simple presentation, no weird and wacky ingredients – aimed at showcasing premium spirits. All the drinks we tried were excellent value at HK$90 each.
The delicate Dry Martini (Aylesbury Duck Vodka and Dry Vermouth with a twist of lemon) and the sumptuous Negroni (Edinburgh Gin, Rouge Vermouth) were both velvet smooth. The Daiquiri (El Dorado Rum with lime) and Tommy’s Margarita (Ocho Blanco Tequila, agave syrup and lime) were elegant and refreshing versions, although I did miss the usual Triple Sec or Cointreau in the margarita, which here uses the syrup as the sole sweet element.
The verdict: a breath of fresh air compared to more pretentious establishments, Little Beer Room is a terrific find for anyone who appreciates high quality drinks and top-notch service and is happy with a no-frills setting. It also serves house-made food and it’s a nice spot to chill out on a Sunday.
Little Beer Room, CentreStage, 15 Bridges Street, Central. Tel: 2799 4899.
Open: Tuesday to Sunday noon-midnight