Bar review: Dim Sum Library, Admiralty – smart-casual place offers Chinese dishes with cocktails, tea or coffee
Cosy booths and bar stools, an art deco Shanghai theme, great service and signature cocktails – many featuring tea – make this venue worth a visit
Dim Sum Library
Shop 124, Level 1, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty
Tel: 3643 0088
Open: 11am-11pm (Saturday and Sunday from 10.30am)
The vibe: the latest offering from Aqua Group joins the plethora of new restaurants and bars in the revamped Pacific Place. It’s a clever concept – a smart-casual place where you can drop in any time of day for dim sum or other Chinese dishes along with cocktails, tea or coffee. The theme is art deco Shanghai, nicely executed down to details such as the stylish black and gold serving dishes and period glasses for the cocktails. A spacious bar with a choice of cosy booths or bar stools leads into the restaurant at the back (there’s even a mahjong parlour). Service is attentive and professional.
The drinks: following the yum cha theme, all the signature cocktails feature tea in one form or another. Blackened Rosebuds (HK$90, Ketel One vodka infused with jasmine tea, dried lime, rose syrup, fresh lemon and Fever Tree tonic) lacked the complex flavours you’d expect, with the jasmine overwhelming everything else and only a faint taste of rose coming through at the end.
One Thousand Years of Song (HK$85, jasmine tea-infused Tanqueray gin, white peach purée, yuzu and lemon juice, egg white) had too much tannin from the tea, giving a bitter aftertaste, and sprinkling tea leaves on top as a garnish is a mistake unless you like chewing tea leaves.
Also featured are art deco classics including a range of gin and vodka martinis along with some more unusual period cocktails.
The Aviation (HK$80, Tanqueray gin, fresh lemon juice, maraschino liqueur and crème de violette) was nicely balanced although the purple colour the drink is famous for was unaccountably missing. On the plus side, drinks are good value for the location and the drinks list gets brownie points for specifying if they’re served long, short over ice or straight up.
The verdict: creative food (the contemporary dim sum are delicious), elegant decor and impeccable service make Dim Sum Library well worth a visit. However, you may be better off sticking to the classics or drinking tea, rather than the tea-based cocktails.
Other places in Pacific Place we’ve tried recently