Originally a collaboration between Hong Kong’s best craft brewery, Young Master Ales, and award-winning chef May Chow (of Little Bao fame), Second Draft has consistently ranked in the Top 10 of the Best Beer Bar category since The Bar Awards Hong Kong made its debut in 2016. Since then, they’re one of two beer bars in the city that have taken home the award – making them a must-visit if you love gastrobars. The kitchen is currently helmed by Executive Chef Ah Man (who bears more than a passing resemblance to Steve Aoki).
Located in the laid-back neighbourhood of Tin Hau in the same development as boutique hotel Little Tai Hang, Second Draft has a retro look and feel that throws back to old Hong Kong. Think bilingual signs “no smoking signs”, a colour palette of off white and New Territory taxi green, and some wooden bench seats that remind me of tram seating. It usually gets bustling later in the evening, and the crowd is mostly a balanced mix of locals and expats.
It’s no surprise that the art of beer drinking is taken very seriously here. In fact, they’re the only bar in Asia we’ve been to that has three different pouring temperatures across 26 taps to serve different types of beers. Brews here come in three sizes – 200ml, 330ml, and 450ml – and if you’re spoilt for choice or doing some comparative tasting, you can always opt for their tasting paddle of three at HK$178.
With Young Master Ales invested in the project, drinkers will certainly find some of their best brews on tap here. We had a crisp and delicious Starfruit Gose (HK$70/HK$98/HK$116) – a collaboration between Young Master and Taihu Brewing, which is currently the best craft brewery in Taiwan. Fruity, sweet, tart, and a little salty, it certainly whetted the appetite for more beers. There was also the Hak Mo Sheung Double Chocolate (HK$70/HK$98/HK$116), a member in their barrel aged imperial stout series. After spending time in brandy and bourbon barrels with vanilla and cacao nibs, the result is a silky mouthfeel and an intense chocolate-vanilla palate.
Other Hong Kong breweries and international cult breweries (UK’s Cloudwater, Siren Craft and Finback Brewery from the United States) make up the rest of the tap list. Local beers on tap include Heroes Beer Co.’s lactose coffee porter Hunk Sir (HK$80 for 450ml) – served on nitro, no less – and Mixed Emotions (HK$47/HK$65/HK$77), a sour IPA by Carbon Brews.
That’s not all to the beverage menu, of course. There are also boilermakers and a short list of East-meets-West cocktails, such as the Chen Pei Negroni (HK$110). Made with with Rinomato and Ford’s Gin, the use of Chinese dried orange peel gives the drink a bolder nose, when compared to the classic recipe.
Don’t leave without trying the food. I’m a fan of the Sichuan dish of spicy and sour shredded potatoes, and was pleasantly surprised to find the JerJer Shredded Potato (HK$78) on the specials menu. Nicely crunchy, slightly tart, and quite spicy, the use of nama nori (unprocessed seaweed) was stroke of genius, adding some umami to the usually overall spicy and numbing effect.
For a savoury bomb, look no further than the Inked Croquettes (HK$32 per piece, minimum two to order). In creating a briner mix, squid ink is added to béchamel before dried oysters and flour are added. They are then hand-shaped, deep-fried, and served with house-made Chimichurri on top. These two dishes are just the tip of the iceberg, we’ve yet to delve into the mains at Second Draft, so we’re definitely going back for more.
Address: G/F, 98 Tung Lo Wan Road, Tai Hang, Hong Kong Phone: +852 2656 0232 Website: https://www.facebook.com/SecondDraftHK/ Opening hours: Mon-Thu 4pm-1am, Fri 4pm-2am, Sat 12pm-2am, Sun 12pm-1am
Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.