The latest building to hit Hong Kong’s Central district is H Code. If you’ve been to neighbouring Tai Kwun, you’ve likely noticed this building – and the large golden gorilla scaling it. I’m not sure if the gorilla is permanent, but it gives you an idea of what the building aims to be: a cool spot for creatives to work and play. Naturally, a number of new restaurants have decided to make their homes here – look to PIIN Wine Restaurant.
PIIN, which translates roughly to “taste” in Cantonese, takes up the second floor of H Code. The vibe is elegant and sophisticated, but the comfortable seating ensures that guests are able to relax. Bottles are tastefully placed around the restaurant, showing just a sliver of the over 2,000 Burgundy wine options available. The restaurant was founded by the owner of Château de Meursault and Château de Marsannay (also part-owner of the Carrefour retail chain) and looks to make Burgundy wines, often considered the most prestigious in the world, approachable for all. While connoisseurs will find a lot to love (rare vintages and older, large-format bottles are a focus), it’s also suitable for enthusiasts, with around 30 options available by the glass.
So why did the owner choose to build a restaurant around the pairing of Burgundy wines and Cantonese cuisine? Turns out it’s because both are delicate and all about playing with different textures. The restaurant’s philosophy involves finding the right balance between wine and food so that the aromas and intensities are complementary.
We were excited to dig into a six-course menu, with dishes from PIIN’s signature ($980) and premium ($1,180) set menus, created by Chef Ming, who was previously at Fook Lam Moon.
Amuse-bouche of fresh guava with plum jelly
Smoky abalone with plum sauce
Seasonal double-boiled soup with fish maw, bamboo pith and sea whelk
Deboned chicken wing with garlic glutinous rice
Slow-cooked pigeon smoked with jasmine tea leaves
Japanese bean curd braised with maitake mushroom
Classic clay pot rice with steamed minced pork
We started with the 2015 Meursault from Château de Meursault, before moving on to the 2017 Clos de Jeu from Château de Marsannay and the 2014 Volnay Clos des Chênes from Château de Meursault. Now, I’m certainly not a wine expert (definitely more enthusiast than connoisseur!), I did really enjoy trying the wine pairings and seeing how the flavours changed on the tongue. I thought the 2015 Meursault was ample and round and brought out the sweetness of the abalone, while the 2017 Clos de Jeu’s fruitiness excited the flavours of the oily, fragrant chicken course when it hit the tongue.
PIIN is likely to be a hot table for wine connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike. The selection of Burgundy wines has got to be the biggest in town, and the food pairings are done very well. Look out for masterclasses and dinners based around special bottles. And note that there is a private room that fits up to 16 guests. If you’re into experimenting with flavour and texture combinations, PIIN could be a fun spot for a date or group dinner with friends.
2/F, H Code, 45 Pottinger Street, Central, 2832 7123
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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