Bar review: Khan, Central – drinks, finger food and occasional live music
Its heart is in the right place, with interesting drinks, appetising treats and accommodating staff, but more is needed if Khan is to succeed in an area saturated with good watering holes
The vibe: located on the pedestrian section of Peel Street just below Hollywood Road, Khan has a simple, laid-back feel. The front opens onto the street and the space inside is surprisingly roomy with the bar at the back, a bit of booth seating down one side, high wooden tables and plain wooden bar stools. A blackboard wall has the name “Khan” chalked on it in a variety of languages and scripts, including Bangladeshi and Russian. Service is attentive and one of the owners was behind the bar and happy to explain the drinks. It serves appetising finger food and hosts live music from time to time, although it was surprisingly quiet for a Saturday evening.
The drinks: the emphasis is on cocktails, with a list divided among original creations, classics and classics with a “twist”. We tried two of the signatures, both priced at HK$130, which is towards the top of the spectrum for the area. The Peach Pitt (Japanese single malt whisky, peach liqueur, cloudy apple juice, vanilla) came topped with egg white foam and a slice of caramelised peach. It was sweet without being cloying, although the peach could have come through more and the alcohol was not too much in evidence.
The Sherpa (Khukuri rum from Nepal, sweet vermouth and bourbon-kissed cherry) was a rum-based take on a Negroni, with a pleasant bitterness to it. However, the cherry tasted of aniseed rather than bourbon and the intriguing-sounding scorched mandarin in the description had gone missing. From the classics list, an actual Negroni (HK$80) had suffered an overdose of sweet vermouth, unbalancing the drink.
The verdict: Khan’s heart is in the right place but it needs to do more if it’s going to succeed in an area where the competition is so fierce.
Khan, 28 Peel Street, Central. Tel: 2851 8885. Open: 5pm-1am