Hong Kong’s favourite modern Australian restaurant, Hue, has launched a cocktail trolley that brings the classics straight to your table.
You might know this (but you can now say you do), but cocktail trolleys are not only making a big come back, but have been around a very long time. Sure, the original concept was a little more straight-laced, as trolleys were pushed through offices and sitting rooms laden with steaming pots of tea and wedges of lemon slice.
It took Prohibition, that culture-altering experiment in terror-inducing teetotalleranism, for the humble tea trolley to take on a new, badass mantle. Through the 50s and 60s, an era that not only gave birth to but bolstered the three-martini lunch, the arrival of the trolley marked the beginning of happy hour – somewhere around 5 pm.
Fast forward to today and, in keeping with the revival of classic cocktail culture and the arrival of high-quality craft spirits and mixers, the cocktail trolley is back, allowing would-be imbibers the chance to custom direct their very own Manhattan or Martini.
It’s a fitting new addition to Hue, the modern Australian restaurant perched harbourside in Tsim Sha Tsui. With panoramic views of Victoria Harbour, it’s the ideal setting in which to while away an evening over a few well-made drinks. The new whisky and cocktail trolley, helmed (if you’re lucky) by bar manager Steffen Willauschus, will serve up an enviable selection of Old and New World whiskies, as well as the Rat Pack of the classic cocktail world: Martinis, Manhattans, and Old Fashioneds. Each libation will be crafted, to your exacting specifications, before your very eyes using boutique spirits worthy of such a canvas.
If you prefer innovation over tradition, Hue has also created a seasonal series of new contemporary cocktails ranging from the Black and White Old Fashioned, a marriage of black sesame and roasted coffee-infused Michter’s Bourbon, black toasted beetroot, and chocolate bitters; to the Dandelion, a sundowner of Tequila Ocho, mezcal, and spiced clear pineapple juice, topped with soda and a pinch of nutmeg.
For something a little lighter, there’s the visually-stunning Coral Peach Rosé, a fruity blend of gin, strawberry, and rosé vermouth reduction, compressed Korean golden peach, lemon, and thyme; and the low ABV Marigold Flower, with burnt vanilla-infused sake, clear melon, and citric acid, garnished with spring flowers.
You’re also in luck because the arrival of the new cocktail trolley coincides with the launch of a new a la carte menu by Executive Chef Anthony Hammel that showcases modern techniques and Australian ingredients.
Highlights include a modern rendition on the classic shrimp cocktail, with confit Carabinero prawn dressed with harissa Marie Rose sauce and served on romaine lettuce; steamed Oolong tea-smoked pigeon wrapped and seared with braised pork fat and served with black garlic puree and smoked beetroot oil; and foie gras ravioli with poached abalone, sliced kombu, and pan-seared chicken heart, and topped with a game bird consommé.
Also look out for roasted halibut paired with confit spanner crab, lemon curd, and sake Beurre Blanc and topped with a trio of caviars; and pan-roasted Te Mana lamb rack and confit lamb belly served with grilled red pepper, dukkha spice, pomegranate molasses puree, and miso.
You can enjoy these new dishes with the set dinner menu (two courses HK$580++ pp and three-courses HK$680++ pp) or the chef’s tasting menu (five-courses HK$800++ pp).
Just be sure to leave time for a second round with the trolley.
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