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Along Wyndham Street lies a bright red door and blue brick wall where bemused guests, firstly, are pondering how to open the door and, secondly, trying to figure out what Hugger Mugger is.
Understated and unassuming, the basement stairs lead to a dimly lit, sophisticated British salon for cocktails, with a puja door leading to Chaiwala, where scrumptious modern Indian dishes are served.
Taking influence from 1970s London, Hugger Mugger has released their new menu of cocktails ($95 each), with the majority using gin to keep your night light and refreshing.
Easing in, I recommend the citrusy Pressed for Thyme or Bastardised Gimlet, which is sweet and comprised of cucumber shaken with Tanqueray 10 gin, mixed citrus and lime leaf.
Earthy at the nose with a thyme garnish and notes of lemon on the palate, Pressed for Thyme uses Gin Mare, herbal liqueur, salted pineapple and lemon to create a complex cocktail.
Another concoction I enjoyed is I Am a Leprechaun, which moves away from its sweet counterparts and is a twist on the Moscow mule, this time made with Beefeater gin, lime and basil. This drink went so well with an order of shoestring curry fries ($70).
For something floral and reminiscent of an English garden, Bees Down Under is particularly popular during happy hour, harnessing chamomile, lemon, Tasmanian leatherwood and honey applewood gin. Surprisingly not too sweet, notes of nutty honey and clean chamomile are layered in each sip.
If you want to move beyond gin, the Chaiwala espresso martini is a modern Indian twist on the classic drink. It pairs well with the Bombay fried chicken ($90), tossed in a bright orange spice mix with curry leaf and served with pickled tomato mayo. Jodhpur gin, Avion Espresso and masala chai are shaken together, with warm layers of cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom throughout.
Manuel’s paloma may not be English or Indian inspired, but it’s a fruity classic dedicated to Pirata Group’s founder. A smoky all-rounder, it’s made with Alipús San Baltazar mezcal, rhubarb, grapefruit and lime.
Hugger Mugger is a cosy and elegant watering hole versus the myriad of music-blaring bars in nearby Lan Kwai Fong. It’s great for intimate chats with friends or as a precursor for date night before continuing with a meal at Chaiwala. Most of the cocktails are on the sweeter side, but they all encourage drinkers to reach for something more complex than the standard beer and wine. The daily board of rotating gin and whisky is ready to be poured and keeps the crowd interested.
Basement, 43–55 Wyndham Street, Central, 2362 8988
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.
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