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Hong Kong bar reviews

Bar review: Fang Fang in Lan Kwai Fong – unusual Asian cocktails get top marks

With fascinatingly creative drinks inspired by the five elements of the Chinese zodiac and happy, knowledgeable staff, this new bar in the LKF Tower is well worth a look

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 August, 2017, 3:47pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 August, 2017, 3:47pm

The vibe: Sophisticated modern Chinese. The premises are divided into two sections: a spacious bar with plenty of comfortable seating, and a restaurant beyond. Design is elegant and restrained, with dark earth-tone colours and metallic highlights. Staff know the drinks well, are happy to give recommendations, and are pleasingly enthusiastic (always a plus).

The drinks: The signature cocktail list is inspired by the five elements of the Chinese zodiac. The menu explains the concept and is charmingly (and helpfully) illustrated with drawings of how each drink is served alongside introductions of each element.

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While the combinations of Chinese- and Japanese-influenced ingredients looked pretty weird on paper, we were impressed by how well they worked together in the glass. All the drinks we tried were complex, well-balanced and pleasantly potent – not to mention correctly served, with no mountains of ice in sight. Kudos to the mixology team for getting the fusion concept right.

We tried one drink from each element:

Water: Paochi (HK$110, kimchi vodka, yuzu, sesame, cinnamon, sea salt) was intensely flavoured and citrusy with just a tiny tang of kimchi at the end, although the cinnamon foam on top was too sweet for our taste.

Metal: Wu Xing (HK$110, pineapple rum, banana, Sichuan pepper, lime, yogurt, chilli) was refreshing with a delicate, creamy texture and a nice little bite from the pepper and chilli.

Fire: Omikuji Girl (HK$120, chilli tequila, barley sochu, yuzu, cardamom, shiso, five spice) was a smart take on a spicy Margarita with the cardamom adding a distinctive touch. It came served in a ceramic figure of the eponymous girl complete with a special fire effect (get your smartphones ready to video).

Earth: Grounded Yellow Dragon (HK$120, dark rum, ginger, Chinese almond, lemon, cinnamon, peaty whisky) was also attractively presented in a pottery cup which the server proudly told us had been hand-painted by the staff. The drink was rum dominant, rich and sweet with just a touch of smokiness from the whisky.

Wood: the strangest sounding offering, was Komorebi (HK$110, gin, Chartreuse, lemon, Chinese almond, coriander, fennel, chickpea), a poetic if untranslatable Japanese term referring to the play of light through leaves. It took a bit of courage to order this one, described by the server as “a party in your mouth” and pale green in colour. However, the complex combination of flavours was surprisingly harmonious, like a chilled vegetable soup with a good kick of gin and an intriguing aftertaste of chickpea.

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The verdict: If you’re up for unusual drinks with an Asian flavour, this is the place – top marks for creativity, bartending skills and welcoming service.

Fang Fang, 8/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central. Tel: 2983 9083. Open: 5pm-11.45pm

Other Lan Kwai Fong bars we’ve tried recently:

Bar review: Employees Only in Lan Kwai Fong – professional staff and bags of character

Bar review: IQ Bar, Lan Kwai Fong – a real find for the discerning drinker