Saturday, July 5, 2014

Drinks at M Bar

Thursday is the new Friday? Well we can only dream that may happen one day when we all don't have to work after Thursdays, but nonetheless, I was out late last Thursday evening for an excellent time at M Bar on top of Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, to try out some of the drinks created by the visiting bartender Giancarlo Mancino. It did almost feel like a Friday evening.

Giancarlo - formerly of Otto e Mezzo and Il Milione just nearby - has his own namesake brand of artisanal vermouth (the Mancino Vermouth) and that was used in many of his signature drinks. He's at M Bar for one night only as the guest mixologist, and that probably has delighted many of his fans in town. I arrived early at 6 something and the bar was already packed with people wanting to have a piece of him - I meant his drinks.

I started off with the Vintage Negroni featuring his Rosso Amaranto and garnished with a twist of orange and grapefruit peel. I love its complexity of flavors - a bit of sweetness, a bit of bitterness but everything's in perfect balance; it's masculine strong but not so much like a punch in your face, if you know what I meant. I then moved onto something more "feminine" - the "Improved" Pisco Sour (with Mancino Vermouth Bianco Ambrato) which was dangerously sweet but refreshing without being wishy-washy in its citrus flavors. Later on I capped my night with an Old Fashioned - bourbon, bitters and a citrus twist on top.

Gorgeous view was another attraction in M Bar (other than the food and drink and people watching). Even though the place doesn't open up to the best, direct view of the Victoria Harbor (that belongs to the restaurant Pierre just next door), it still featured a great view of the skyscrapers in the city. I arrived just in time to catch a glimpse of the perfect twilight, and the view of the night, especially during the Symphony of the Light show at 8pm every day, was just as breathtaking.

We were here mainly for the drink but of course, we did eat as well. Food at MO rarely disappoints, even for simple food on offer at M Bar. The pulled pork mini sliders - first introduced downstairs at Captain's Bar about 2 years ago - are always my favorite - soft buns, slightly sweet but super tender meat with just enough barbecue sauce. Scotch eggs were done with quail eggs and while there's less of a meat flavor like the regular version, this one was cute and tasty; I wasn't fond of lamb usually but I chowed down a few samosas and loved them; on the other hand however, the Cheese platter was a bit ordinary with the predictable choices but still delightfully presented with good variety of condiments.

Thanks MO for the kind invitation and yes, Thursday can be the new Friday if you said so.

When? June 26 2014
Where? M Bar, 25/F Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, Central

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