Recently open in Central is The Lounge at ZEST by Konishi (with ZEST being the fine-dining restaurant that’s open one floor below the bar). The acclaimed chef behind it is Mitsuru Konishi, whose accomplished history includes being the executive chef of Wagyu Takumi, where he earned two Michelin stars in 2014. The Lounge is his first foray into more casual cooking.
Partnering with Chef Konishi is fun-loving and knowledgeable bar manager Jonny Amir, who has put together quite the cocktail list (all cocktails are $138). Of the ones I tried, my favourites were Quinine and Voyage.
Quinine: this beautiful cocktail is light and refreshing with a velvety texture. In addition to Spanish gin tonica, there’s white peach liqueur, white port and burnt honey. Inside the glass is also some hibiscus ice, so the colour and flavour of the drink change slightly as the ice melts.
Voyage: this one is for those who love a strong drink with a twist. There are sweet, sour and smoky notes from the hibiscus-infused mezcal along with creamy vanilla accents from the Weller bourbon. Some Italian Barolo Chinato Marolo liqueur adds that something extra. While the drink alone is rich and delicious, it also comes topped with a thick chocolate shell and is dusted with matcha powder.
The bar food
Complementing the elegant drinks are some interesting bites. They range from pure comfort, such as the Wagyu mini burgers and fries ($110) and chicken karaage ($175), to the elegant pan con tomate ($88).
The kitchen is small, but the bites are very well prepared. I’d happily reorder any of these dishes, though if I had to pick a favourite, it’d be the shrimp and guacamole pan con tomate. Each ingredient was fresh and delightful, and the bread was so airy.
The Lounge at ZEST by Konishi is wonderfully elegant. It’s a unique gem in Central having all the key ingredients: sophisticated drinks, interesting bites, classy surroundings, city (and sunset) views and a solid price point.
29/F, 18 On Lan Street, Central, 2715 0878
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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