In light of COVID-19, we encourage diners to take precautions when going out. You can also support your favourite restaurants by getting takeaway and delivery.
The Pontiac has a lot of milestones to celebrate. First and foremost, they’ve recently taken the #26 spot on Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2021 – the sixth consecutive year they’ve been included on this lauded list. They’ve also released a new line of cocktails to kick off their Killer Pineapple sustainability launch, partnering with ecoSPIRITS and using their Plantation 3 stars rum.
This quirky bar welcomes all with its throwback music and rock-and-roll classics. I have never felt more at home walking in on a late night out with friends, and it’s one of the few grungy, American-style dive bars you’ll come across in Hong Kong.
The new menu itself is youthful and animated versus its previous counterpart, which was dark and moody. Hong Kong–based artist Riya Chandiramani has transformed Head Bartender Beckaly Franks’ inspirations, taken from art, film, literature and history, into a fun menu design.
The bunny near the hopscotch at the bottom corner of the menu represents Scottie Can Hopscotch ($88), on the right, which is low-key boozy and smells of caramel and lemon oil. This cocktail was inspired by the golden days of training under the Roman Empire. Each sip tastes like amaretto and comes with a clean finish. Amaro Montenegro, Jamaican rum, sweet vermouth and salt are used in creating this cool concoction.
Shades of pink dominated our first round as we began with Starting Gun ($108), influenced by the rise of artillery and Beckaly’s closest friends. This drink reminds me of a G&T and contains notes of fresh pear and cucumber. Applewood Coral dry gin is used and gives a light pink hue to the slightly fizzy cocktail, which is light and refreshing all around.
On the other hand, Heir & a Spare ($88), inspired by the popular Netflix series The Crown and the British royal family, demonstrates that the spare (versus his elder counterpart, the conservative heir) is much more fun and has the freedom to do as he pleases. This drink is fruity, spunky and wild in flavour, just like the second sibling. Vodka, Aperol and grapefruit oil are combined with quinine to create a slightly sweet cocktail with a citrusy aftertaste.
The Pontiac has always had a sustainable focus when creating its cocktails, and the bar has now partnered with ecoSPIRITS to create a twist on the Long Island iced tea, dubbed Shells & Cigarettes ($88). The drink itself doesn’t contain any tea, but it uses the citrus scrap oleo saccharum (essentially meaning “oily sugar” in Latin, with the oil and citrus essence extracted from the peel), Coke float and clarified milk to smoothen the drink. These ingredients are shaken with Widges gin, Tried & True vodka, ecoSPIRITS Plantation 3 stars rum and tequila.
High Tide Martini ($108) is something unique to opt for. Partnering with Sai Ying Pun izakaya Okra, this martini with a difference has been crafted with authentic Japanese flavours. Gin and dry dashi vermouth are mixed together with Okra’s wormwood tincture and garnished with pickled celery, which amplifies the saltiness of the drink. Your palate will be filled with smooth, savoury notes and a blast of dashi.
The Pontiac’s eclectic new menu is already a big hit – with a very friendly price point to boot considering the bar’s Central location near Tai Kwun. This quirky watering hole stands out from the rest, attracting a fun, energetic crowd, and we love its focus on sustainability.
13 Old Bailey Street, SoHo, Central, 2521 3855
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.
For more reviews like this, like Foodie on Facebook