Bar review: Second Street Comfort Food & Bar in Sai Ying Pun – unpretentious, good value
This popular local neighbourhood bar serves decently made drinks at reasonable prices in a casual setting, and is definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area
The vibe: located on – you guessed it – Second Street, this is a casual bar and restaurant on the ground floor of the Island Crest residential complex, two minutes from Sai Ying Pun MTR Station. Given its handy location in a popular residential area, it’s no surprise that on a Friday evening the place was packed,mostly with young locals. There’s a small bar near the entrance, and a larger room with tables if you want to eat as well as drink. While there’s nothing fancy about the décor (serviceable wooden tables and chairs) the staff are exceptionally friendly and helpful.
The drinks: no signature cocktails here, but the list of classics and range of spirits shows how times have changed – a few years ago, you’d have been lucky to get anything more than a beer or house red or white in this kind of setting. Standard cocktails are HK$68. A lime daiquiri was pleasant, if on the light side; they usually serve it frozen but they were ready to accommodate a request for the straight-up variety. Prices are higher if you choose premium spirits. After a disappointing martini with Hendricks (HK$98) which had been drowned in vermouth, we specified extra dry for one with Tanqueray (HK$78) and the result was a very decent martini indeed. A manhattan with Maker’s Mark (HK$98) was correctly made and strong.
Prices are good value, especially as there’s no service charge (although since the staff are so nice, it would be a hard-hearted customer who didn’t leave a tip). There’s a decent choice of well-priced wines by the glass or bottle and happy hour offers bottled beers at HK$40 and draught (San Miguel), house wine and house spirits at HK$48.
The verdict: what you see is what you get; if you live or work in the area, this welcoming, unpretentious neighbourhood hang-out is well worth checking out.
Second Street Comfort Food & Bar, Island Crest Tower 1, 15-19 Second St, Sai Ying Pun, t el: 2503 3325.
Open: 11am-10.30pm. Happy hour: 12.30pm-9pm
While you’re in the area: