CLOSED - Bar review: Salvatore at Maison Eight in Tsim Sha Tsui
Bar opened by one of the world’s leading bartenders Salvatore Calabrese serves imaginative and complex cocktails in a luxe setting
The vibe: Maison Eight is a new luxury venue that includes fine and casual dining, the Club1829 Bollinger Champagne room and cocktail bar Salvatore – the first Hong Kong venture from Salvatore Calabrese, one of the world’s leading bartenders. The bar area flows smoothly into a lounge (The Ballroom) and then on to a spacious terrace with a spectacular view over Hong Kong Harbour. The decor is discreet and comfortable, stylish lighting effects are gentle rather than garish and there’s laid-back music from a live duo.
The drinks: the list of cocktails as is extensive and imaginative as you’d expect from someone with Calabrese’s reputation. We started with one of his signatures, the Breakfast Martini (HK$128, Beefeater gin, Cointreau, lemon juice and orange marmalade) which was deliciously refreshing and beautifully balanced. Smoky Hong Kong (HK$108, 12-year-old Chivas, 10-year-old Ardbeg, honey-infused Lapsang Souchong, ginger, lemon and orange bitters) was complex and intensely smoky with the whiskies standing out well and a nice tartness from the lemon. Mr Simon (HK$118, Rutte Old SimonGenever Gin, orange curaçao, Campari, agave syrup), a modern take on a recipe from 1862, was light, aromatic and elegant.
We were less impressed by the Hai Tai (HK$108, Havana 7 rum, orange curacao, absinthe, lime juice, orgeat syrup and Angostura bitters), which was initially overwhelmed by the aniseed from the absinthe but improved as the other flavours came through; and Remember the Maine (HK$118, Michter’s Rye and Bourbon, Mancino rosso vermouth, Amaro mix, cherry liqueur, fennel seeds), which we found overly sweet.
The verdict: a top-notch new venue that promises to be a great place to hang out in Tsim Sha Tsui. Strong concept, nice ambience, great drinks list catering to all tastes and fair prices (check out the Aperitivo Happy Hour deals and well-chosen wines by the glass).
21/F, 8 Observatory Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel: 2388 8160
Open: noon until late.
Aperitivo happy hour: Monday to Friday 5pm to 8pm