Brand-new Santé Wine Bar has opened in the heaving heart of Wanchai within J Senses on Johnston Road. Under the same ownership as Bo Innovation, Santé aims to offer a neighbourhood wine bar for all who enjoy great bottles, especially discovering new ones. The chic yet cosy décor has been devised to put guests at ease so that they can relax alongside friends in a comfortable atmosphere in one of Hong Kong’s coolest ‘hoods.
The British chef helming the kitchen is David Shuttleworth, who comes with a pedigree that includes several Michelin-starred restaurants. Shuttleworth will be creating seasonal Mediterranean dishes designed to complement the different wines on offer.
We asked Priscilla Lai to describe her vision for Santé.
What is the ethos behind Santé?
Santé means “health” in French and is also the chosen word in France for toasting before taking a drink. The French treat drinking wine as a sharing of blessings and luck. We hope to bring these good wishes to life for the people of Hong Kong. I hope Santé will be seen as a place where you can enjoy emerging wine brands alongside more established brands, paired with great food.
How did Santé begin?
I first thought of the idea a year and a half ago. I wanted to provide a place for people to come and share the experience of great wine and food in a cosy and sophisticated environment.
How do you feel about Hong Kong’s dining scene?
I love the variety on offer for the consumer, but I also find it can be expensive too.
What are some of the signature dishes on the menu?
We won’t have a set menu, as the food will be seasonal and ever-changing. This allows us to prepare dishes to complement the wines we have, to make for purposeful food and wine pairings.
Will most of the wines you feature be French?
Yes, they are mainly from France, but we carry wines from around the world, including biodynamic and natural wines. We will have familiar established brands at Santé, but our focus is on educating our customers by bringing in lesser-known wines from small chateaux.
What kind of crowd do you think will be attracted to Santé?
I think we will attract a real mixture of professionals, from young to old, who have an interest in wine and are keen to try new wines they haven’t experienced before.
What are three words you would use to describe Santé?
Cheerful, sharing and experience.
Shop 4, J Senses, 60 Johnston Road (Ship Street entrance), Wanchai, 2336 3906
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