28 Hong Kong Street, a Well Known Secret

Time for cocktails again! I have chosen Thursdays as the day to publish my “other than wine” reviews as I think its a nice way to set the mood for the weekend. Not to say that I couldn’t have some cocktails during the week (I visited 28 Hong Kong Street on a Monday) but it is less likely than me having a glass of wine.

28 Hong Kong Street is one of the first post-Mad Men speakeasy bars in Singapore. Its been around since 2011. Even though its not a big secret and it’s relatively easy to find due to the name pointing to the exact address, it is still clearly a speakeasy. There are no signs pointing towards it, and the door is not inviting to someone just passing by. You need to go there with a purpose and preferably with a reservation. We were there on a Monday, and despite that not being the busiest day of the week they only had a few tables available.

The service was first class from the start. We were shown to our table and the waiter explained the menu of the night. There was a “visiting” bartender behind the counter and he was making some of his own specials. The fun names of the cocktails and eccentric mixes caught our eye, this is not the place to order “just a basic Mojito”. I ordered a Shrub You Long Time with strawberry infused Gin (Gin, what a surprise) with some orange, dry sherry and a balsamic finish. It was delicious (although M didn’t like it). M ordered the Hulk Smash, mainly because of the wonderful name, but also due to the ingredients. It was served in a “smashed” tin cup to sweeten the deal. We also had a Singapore based friend with us and he first ordered a Old fashioned liked drink and on the first sip realized he did not at all like it. Staff were however very attentive and noticed that it was perhaps not what he would preferred and they straight away offered him to exchange it for something else without any cost. Big plus for being so attentive and the great service attitude.

As I mentioned, it was a Monday, so one drink was enough. However the menu was long and inviting so I could imagine spending the whole evening here. We didn’t have any food, but I eyed the burgers passing by our table and they looked delicious. Next time, I will have something salty to match my drinks.

Wineweek 14: Back to Business

This week the scenery ha changed. Colorful and tropical Singapore has changed to good old grey Sweden. I tried to take some pics from outside, but they where all too depressing. Not that I don’t like Stockholm, I love it, but this time of the year is always a bit colorless (like Helsinki, where I am from). Soon February will change to March and the anticipation of spring (with all it’s disappointing cold fronts) will lighten up the town. I expect we will be facing some cold setbacks up until the end of June, it is almost a national sport to put away your winter clothes too early, but at least there will be more light. But one thing I can say makes me extremely happy to be back, is our wonderful wine collection. After five and a half weeks of mostly disappointing (bad or too expensive) wine, I am ecstatic about all the lovely bottles at hands reach. Unfortunately M caught a cold on the flight back, so we did not really have any sparkling this weekend.

Looking back at the week, we started off well with a nice and anticipated dinner at Burnt Ends, a much talked about restaurant in Chinatown (Singapore). The service was very disappointing, and that was really a shame as the food was wonderful and that good food does not at all deserve to be paired with such sub-standard service.  A review will follow. We also continued our cocktail-tour at the Black Swan and 28 Hong Kong Street. Even though it was a Monday both places were full of life.

On our way back to Sweden we checked out the duty free selection at Frankfurt airport. The Champagne selection was a bit boring, but we picked up a few German sparkling wines to try out. Germany as a wine-country is developing in an interesting direction with a new generation of winemakers taking over the reins. We visited a wonderful shop, the Winery (review here), in London around New Year focusing mainly on German wines, and found ourselves drooling after Pinot Noirs and Sparklings alike.

After resting off the mild jet lag, we sat down on the couch, opened a bottle of red (Kloof Street Vintage 2012 from South Africa), and started looking into the future. It is time to get our business up and running. It’s not like we have been procrastinating, but our Cavas have now been sitting in the warehouse for enough time. It is time to get the sales going. So next week will be all about finalizing the paperwork. Also, it is only a week until M leaves for Portugal to meet some new producers (I will follow later for the weekend), so there is a lot to plan. After several months of communicating by email, we will finally be meeting our friends at Vieira de Sousa. They have a lovely range of Port wines we would love to add to our selection. Also, I am getting a bit hyped up after reading about some Portuguese sparkling wine producers. The grapes are new to me (Baga, Bical and Bairrada), but the production good old method Champenoise.