Ponty – she’s an old favourite in the city, standing just shy of celebrating a decade on Old Bailey Street. Known to be rowdy at the weekend, the award-winning bar (currently #33 on Asia’s 50 Best Bars list) serves up some of the best cocktails in the city and is well known for its rock-and-roll, American-esque vibe. The Pontiac is headed up by the powerhouse duo of Beckaly Franks and Jen Queen.
All the junior and senior staff have contributed to The Pontiac’s new menu in order to illustrate the full talent of the all-female team.
Left to right: Demolition Derby; 1-3-O.B.
1·3·O.B. (HK$108) represents The Pontiac’s continued commitment to their place in the neighbourhood (and stands for their address at 13 Old Bailey Street). Peanut butter whisky, Amaro Montenegro, hazelnut liqueur and sesame demerara are shaken together, making for a smooth, nutty and warming drink with a hint of cacao from the chocolate bitters.
Demolition Derby (HK$88), created by Queen, is personal. The drink, set with egg white, takes inspiration from a pisco sour, reminding Queen of her father, who worked with the local derbies in her hometown. It contains rosemary tea, peach and smoked honey, with lactose fermentation used to achieve the golden colour.
Left to right: Best Served Bold; River
River (HK$108) is a fruity, pineapple-focused drink that comes with a spiced-filled, warm ending. Best Served Bold (HK$108), a Chinese twist on its counterpart, defines the character of The Pontiac.
River was invented by a senior bartender of The Pontiac team, inspired by her roots in Shanghai. It contains baijiu, a culturally important Chinese liquor. Concentrated pineapple and the bartender’s grandmother’s five-spice soy sauce (extracted as a tincture) are mixed with dried sage. Homemade Sichuan peppercorn cordial is added and shaken with Ming River’s Sichuan baijiu to create a subtly numbing effect on the palate.
Best Served Bold is the drink that epitomises the physical bar. She’s sassy with some age to her, a fiery babe in the game and remains the baddest b**** in SoHo. The heavy hitters of whisky, Campari and red vermouth are aged in a salt-and-herb oak barrel that is soaked and swelled. The drink smells of lemon and is smooth, smoky and woody.
Presented in a 90s-style CD case, this new menu is a compilation of the bar’s culture and identity – both a celebration of the milestones it has achieved as well as an exciting look towards the future. Each drink is personal and filled with soul, reflecting the talent of The Pontiac family and their commitment to the importance of inclusivity and community.
Where: 13 Old Bailey Street, SoHo, Central
To contact: phone 2521 3855 (no bookings)
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.