The Envoy is one of my favourite bars in Hong Kong. Located in Central at The Pottinger hotel, it’s just as wonderful for Friday night drinks on the terrace as it is for a quiet weekday tea in the bar. It drips colonial chic, with dark wood, damask-like wallpaper and colourful velvet accents. As part of Tastings Group (which includes Quinary, Origin and VEA), it’s no surprise that The Envoy has developed a reputation for top-notch drinks. For the summer, new bar manager Hungie Fong has crafted the Picnic Spritz, Waterfalls and Stranger Fruit cocktails. Naturally, these drinks deserve to be paired with great food, and we were excited to try some dishes from the new colonial-inspired small plates menu created by Chef de Cuisine Chetan Kohli.
Pani puri is a common street snack in India. It’s essentially crisp, hollow shells filled with toppings. Eating it can get a little messy, but overall I liked the DIY concept, where we tapped open our shells and filled them with various chutneys, spiced potatoes and even chicken broth. Our table tried the Asian salsa with Indo-Chinese elements option ($118).
I highly recommend the butter chicken lollipops ($108). For the price, this is great value for seven lollipops. The meat was tender and the sauce was moreish.
The spiced popcorn shrimp ($118) was also good value. The shrimp were large and fresh, with a flavourful batter and a punchy sambal dipping sauce. Devilled eggs ($72) aren’t usually my favourite snacks, but this herbal-tea-enhanced version was delicious. Fear not, these don’t taste medicinal at all; the tea just adds a subtle kick to the creamy yolk. The fish and chips ($88) were elevated by an addictive curried tartar sauce – absolutely delicious.
My favourite savoury dish of the night was the bangers and mash ($118). The sausages were flavourful without feeling greasy, and the mashed potato was buttery perfection piped into swirls. There was also a large amount of caramelised onion jam that was just sweet enough and added interest to a dish that otherwise could have felt too heavy.
Being big fans of Southeast Asian spices, I had high hopes for the beef rendang cannelloni ($148). Unfortunately, while the beef was nice and moist, the flavours were too subdued. The fact that it was deep-fried also made it a bit too heavy overall.
To end our meal, our table tried the banoffee pie ($80) and Milo lava French toast ($88). Everything about the pie was great, from the cookie crumb base to the fresh whipped cream. The focus was more on the fresh banana than the coffee/toffee flavours. Depending on what else you order, the French toast may feel a little too carb-y, but it’s a crowd-pleaser with its gooey chocolate core.
The Envoy’s new small plates menu is a success. These bar bites are interesting and sophisticated, perfect for sharing (or not) and pairing with a well-made beverage or two. Many of the dishes are delicious, but I especially enjoyed the butter chicken lollipops, bangers and mash and banoffee pie.
3/F, The Pottinger Hong Kong, 74 Queen's Road Central, Central, 2169 3311
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