Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sequel to a Bar Pop-up

We have to keep reminding ourselves it's not Friday just yet when we were sipping drinks at MO Bar at the Landmark Mandarin the week before the Christmas long weekend. The New York City-based speakeasy bar PDT (short for Please Don't Tell) is taking up permanent residence at the hotel soon but before that, they hosted one last pop-up at MO Bar for a preview of what they are going to offer.

I was there when they did their first pop-up at the hotel almost 2 years ago and loved everything I have tried, and this time they are introducing something new that are exclusively available in Hong Kong only, with some brought straight from their original bar in New York City (which curiously hid next to the hot dog joint Crif Dogs at East Village).

Felt like something strong tonight so I started with Sunday Stroll with bourbon, Campari, 10-year-old Madeira and Coffee Shochu from "our very own" Sunday's Grocery. Smoky, sweet, with a stroke of strong coffee flavor and served on the rock in an old-fashioned glass... just what I needed to after a long work day. The Citrus Safari - another new cocktails for the Hong Kong bar - was more like a gin-and-tonic with a touch of citrus (italicus and kabosu) and shiso adding to the refreshing taste.

It's not only cocktails we were excited about in the menu. PDT is also famous for its selection of bar food and the few of us essentially swept the menu twice. The Honkie Dog is one of two new items on the menu with free-range "Bermmels Big" Pork sausage topped with scallion crab mayo and creamy XO sauce on a brioche bun. Another one I like was the John John Deragon which was one of the signature hot dogs of PDT, with beef sausage served with cream cheese, bagel spice and scallions... it's unlike the ordinary bagel flavor with the extra creamy sauce served slightly warm. And if there's one drink that matched best with hot dogs, I would say it's probably PDT's signature Benton's Old Fashioned with bacon-infused rye whiskey, maple syrup and bitters. That was my last drink before hitting the road.

I know there's the old saying that suggests "if it ain't break, don't fix it", but I thought the new tater tots on the menu, a Japanese-inspired one with kewpie Mayo, Takoyaki Sauce, shredded nori, bonito flakes and scallions toppings, were equally excellent, if not more. Just like an okonomiyaki. Of course, that is not to say we didn't enjoy the classic version with cheez-whiz and diced jalapeno.

Can't wait to see the permanent venue when it's unveiled later this month. Will they have the "secret" entrance inside a makeshift phone booth just like how they do it in New York? We will see...

(The event was by invitation and courtesy of Landmark Mandarin Oriental)

When? December 21 2017
Where? MO Bar at Landmark Mandarin Oriental, 15 Queen's Road Central, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Tater Tots "Return from Japan"

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