Hidden away in one of Hong Kong’s most revered contemporary French restaurants, La Suite is a sensual new speakeasy with the vive of a private hotel suite.
Hong Kong’s cocktail bar scene is always in flux, with new openings every week and classic locations reinventing themselves. The newest addition is La Suite, an intimate speakeasy hidden within chef Olivier Elzer’s elegant Clarence restaurant at Potting Street’s H Code complex.
View this post on Instagram
Combining luxurious decor with an outdoor lounge and views of Central Hong Kong, the new mixology divan is a tribute to French culture. Managing the bar’s beverage program is Max Traverse, a French native with over two decades of experience in prestigious establishments in France, London and Hong Kong (he’s the founder of the city’s first rum festival and tiki bars) and at La Suite he returns to his roots, with a signature menu laced with tradition and unexpected herbs and spices.
These include saffron, a revered spice with a history as rich and golden as its threads. Saffron has long been cherished in French cuisine for its unique flavour and vibrant colour and it brings its luxurious credentials to drinks like The Missing Key, a gin fizz that combines the crispness of London Dry No.3 Gin with the tartness of fresh lemon juice, the richness of egg white, and the earthy characteristics of turmeric syrup, fresh thyme, and a sprinkle of saffron.
Alternatively, the Saffron Negroni offers a vibrant reinterpretation of the classic libation, with saffron-infused Tanqueray Gin, harmonised with the bittersweet profiles of Campari and Cocchi Rosso Vermouth, and perfected with a hint of saffron syrup.
The bar’s signature cocktail, La Suite, is a refreshing blend of Ketel One Vodka, crisp apple juice, and a mix of raspberry and blackberry purees, enriched with crème de cassis, a dash of lemon juice and vanilla whipped cream. Or for something a little stronger, The Lucky Star (below) is a daring blend of J.M Rhum Agricole “Fumée Volcanique” and the licorice-like absinthe and star anise, complemented by a twist of lime zest.
For those who appreciate a cocktail with depth, the Le Smoking Old Fashioned is a smoky rendition of the Old Fashioned which infuses Michter’s Bourbon with fragrant rosemary and Griottines cherries, accentuated by the complexity of Angostura and Jerry Thomas Own Decanter Bitters, with sugar cubes and orange zest to round out the flavours; while the Spicy Chocolate Rob Roy combines Macallan Double Cask 12yo and Cocchi Rosso Vermouth with chocolate bitters and the gentle heat of Piment d’Espelette.
Central to the experience is La Suite’s bar menu, which features chef Elzer’s tongue-in-cheek “Yakifrenchy” concept, a series of French classics reinvented into skewered delights designed to complement the spice-infused cocktails.