KONG is our city’s newest little secret. Better known as Bread & Beast during the day, this gourmet sandwich spot has burbled along as a local takeaway lunch place... until now.
Bread & Beast still opens early for sarnies featuring freshly baked bread, slow-cooked meat and self-cured pickles. But, at night, the lights dim and you find yourself seated in one of the hippest places in town, offering a modern twist on local Hong Kong delicacies and creatively curated cocktails, many of which include Chinese spirits.
To start, the Ham +0 ($98), a refreshing vodka-based drink with salted-lemon kumquat syrup, house-made ginger lime and Angostura bitters.
Next up, the BJ Negroni ($108). Instead of the usual gin, KONG uses the locally loved alcohol baijiu, mixed with vermouth rosso, Campari and grapefruit zest. What’s better than a feast of food with good companions? An equally strong drink.
Warm, rustic ciabatta ($38) and scallion bing ($68), served with Huadiao liver pâté ($68) and strawberry ricotta ($78), were offered multiple times throughout the meal and were happily accepted each time. I personally am not a big fan of the texture of liver, however, this did not stop my colleagues from cleaning their plates. We even asked for a second round of bread to dip into the broth of what was remaining of the Angry Cauli ($78) – slow-cooked and charred cauliflower with toban-djan (chilli bean sauce) broth and chilli oil – a huge favourite at our table.
The shelter crab cheesy cheung fun ($168) is an example of a local delicacy fused with a modern twist that was excellently executed. The butter-fried lump crab was generous in portion, and the cheung fun, which is usually bland in taste, was lifted right off the scale with the cheese sauce and shelter-style spice crumbs.
The real winner here, though, was the crispy Brussels sprouts ($78). These are amped-up Brussels sprouts with fish sauce, chilli and crispy garlic – an unassuming dish that packed flavour to the nines. Did I mention that we also had a second serving of this? It was finger-licking good.
The lotus root chips ($48) with fuyue (fermented bean curd) aioli and spring onion came as the perfect substantial nibble to accompany our drinks –and just in time to fuel ourselves for KONG’s trivia night.
KONG, like its Bread & Beast sibling, is a down-to-earth, modern Hong Kong bistro that remains relatable to the average, but still discerning, diner. This new nighttime concept challenges the familiar Hong Kong cuisine we all know and playfully reinterprets it using innovative flavours and techniques that kept us at the edge of our seats, looking forward to more. The team at KONG are also some of the friendliest people I’ve encountered so far in Hong Kong (and that’s saying a lot). When it comes to KONG, go with one motto: drink deep, visit often.
3 Swatow Street, Wanchai, 2237 1868
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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