Thursday, June 15, 2017

Drinks at the Barber Shop

Despite the un-proportionally high number of drinking venues at MO, I thought I have tried them all – then I was told there’s a little bar in Mandarin Barber which actually opens to the public (not just the customers at the barber shop) And one Monday evening, my friend J and I went to check it out.

I have never been to this level of the hotel (the second floor) but I was impressed with the colonial style décor in dark wooden tone – on one side as I walked out of the elevator is the Victorian library that is their business center, and on the other side in a more Art Deco style is the Mandarin Barber providing a full set of barber services to men with the reception area carrying a number of grooming products. The bar was located at one corner and carried a small selection of fine alcohols.

The main reason we were here was to check out the new rum pop-up promotion available during happy hour at the Barber with a finely curated selection of rums along with rum cocktails and Caribbean-style snacks. I am not a connoisseur, but I do occasionally enjoy a good glass of rum either at home or elsewhere, and I was amazed at the collection of rums they got on offer, from a fine series of Havana Club and a few less common bottles from different countries and in different styles.

I started with their namesake Mojito, served in highball glass with Havana Club, pomegranate syrup, lime sauce, soda water and fresh mint. It was refreshing with the minty flavor and punchy with that 3-year-old light rum with the distinct accent of vanilla. Just what I needed in such hot weather to wind down after a long day at work.

With dinner plan in our minds we only went for a few light snacks to share while sipping on our drinks. The Espanadas was well-baked with a golden, buttery crust, and inside was a mixture of sliced chorizo and dill sour cream filling, with hot sauce on top. It has great flavor and surely decadent with that flaky galette-style crust.

The Cuban Sandwich was the lighter one of the two dishes, but was lovely with the melted cheddar and honey-glazed ham in between slices of well-toasted bread served in canape size. And I like the taro chips on the side – it’s thin and delicately crisp (and tasty!) I probably ended up having one drink too much – but I wanted to try the Barbados Plantation rum on the rocks before we go. Smooth like silk with more complexity and more distinct vanilla note. Mildly sweet and super pleasant.

I don’t think I am old enough yet to appreciate the charm of a classic barber service, but I will definitely come back for more rum and snacks. Thanks MO for your invitation for showing us such a cozy venue for a drink (or two) and a perfect spot to hide away from the crowd!

(Event was by Invitation)

When? June 5 2017
Where? Mandarin Barber, 2nd Floor, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, 5 Connaught Road, Central
Menu Highlights? Espanadas: Chorizo, Dill Sour Cream, Hot Sauce
Drinks? Mandarin Barber Mojito, Barbados Plantation XO Rum

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