After a delayed arrival, Hnin Pwint arrived in Hong Kong and took up her position as Club Rangoon’s head mixologist and bar manager. Her entrance prompted attention in Hong Kong’s F&B community, due to her stellar track record working at some of the best bars in the world and competing in prestigious bar competitions. Months in the making, she has released her first cocktail menu at Club Rangoon, which takes guests on a personal Burmese journey.
Club Rangoon becomes an intimate spot during the evening. Complete with comfy bar seats, it feels like a hidden gem for drinks.
The concept behind her anticipated debut is influenced by French philosopher Gaston Behalord’s Poetics of Space (1958), and details how imagination evokes memories and feelings in ones mind. Applying this concept to muscle memory (particularly taste and smell), Hnin harnesses common pantry staples found in a Burmese household to evoke comforting, happy memories of home. Guests are also encouraged to ponder on their own special memories or emotions that come to mind with each sip.
To start the evening off, I recommend ordering the well-balanced Ma-gyu-thee ($118) – meaning tamarind, a quintessential ingredient as the focus for the cocktail. New Zealand Scapegrace vodka, homemade tamarind liqueur, lychee juice, and rose and coconut essential oils (also made in house) are mixed. Each sip is initially sour but slips into a tangy and slightly sweet ending from the lychee juice and essential oils which lessen the denseness of the tamarind.
On the boozy end, 3PM in Rangoon ($128) captures the popular tea culture in Burma. Tea time during the afternoon is the perfect pick me up, especially during the summer. Wild bourbon, tea liqueur, citrus, and chai spices are shaken. Gold coated milk skin is topped over the topsy turvy drink. For me, this drink reminds me of autumn or an apple crisp from the citrus and warm, mellow flavours from the chai. Smooth and spirit forward, the drink has a ton of earthy flavours throughout. I appreciate how the citrus adds a dynamic twist.
For something light, Edge of water ($118) was a memorable order and spotlights hydrating, young coconut water. Focusing on the southern region, this tropical drink is fruity, not too sweet, – like a vacation in a cup. Fragrant on the nose, the drink is strong in guava, but tastes creamy from the coconut water, with some salt adding a beachy touch.
This impressive, off-the-beaten-track menu is well executed, with each cocktail vastly distinct in flavour profiles and alcohol concentration. The idea of Burmese food may be an unfamiliar cuisine, especially for first time guests who aren’t familiar with the country, but cocktails make the culture and known ingredients approachable and are simply divine in flavour. I recommend trying the food at Club Rangoon to complete your evening experience!
G/F, 33 Aberdeen Street, Central, 2503 3077
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.