Tastings Group Launches ROOM 309, led by Executive Mixologist Antonio Lai
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<<24th August, 2018 – Hong Kong>> A seemingly ordinary hotel room within chic boutique hotel The Pottinger Hong Kong, ROOM 309 is a surreptitious and refined cocktail haven in disguise helmed by acclaimed Tastings Group’s Executive Mixologist, Antonio Lai, the mastermind behind award-winning Quinary, Origin, The Envoy, Angel’s Share Whisky Bar & Restaurant, and VEA Restaurant & Lounge. The mystery that has long shrouded this room has finally lifted, as ROOM 309 is officially open to the public. That is, if you know how to find it.
To gain entry to the elusive bar, guests must first check in at “The Reception” to receive a keycard. Once tapped in, eyes are drawn to the richly decorated interior, the work of Hong Kong-based interior design consultancy Artichaut Limited. With intricate design details such as antique wood pillars adorned with lion heads, stately writing desk, and formal stationary pieces, the sophisticated yet plush interior calls to mind a hotel room where travelers – be it a poet, playwright or intellectual – used to stay during frequent visits to the city. The lion, as seen on pillars, has been chosen as the spirit animal of ROOM 309 for its crepuscular nature, being the most active during the mystical hours of dusk and dawn. Liminality (twilight hours, or the “space in between”) symbolizes fluidity and endless possibilities including that of imagination, and thus circles back to the concept of ROOM 309.
In this highly intimate drinking den, seats are limited to only 22 guests. Under the expert guidance of Executive Mixologist Antonio Lai and Bar Manager Hungie Fong, guests will be treated to a menu of handcrafted cocktails and modern classics shaken and stirred to subvert their senses in presentations circled around the theme of imagination, promising an experience unlike any other.
Room 309: The Invisible Menu & The Classics
At ROOM 309, there is so much more than what meets the eye. The saying goes true to the unique cocktail menu, an experience that offers a temporary departure from reality into a world of imagination. The bar team has created a selection of eight longstanding classics, or the 309 Classics, as well as eight cocktails under The Invisible Menu. On this special menu, the bar team combines advanced culinary techniques and a dose of fantasy to unleash a new level of cocktail appreciation from the absence of preconceived notions of colour. These colourless libations allow guests to heighten their sense of taste and experience an unbridled flavour complexity.
Prepare your senses for the masterfully crafted cocktails on The Invisible Menu. Lacking colour yet packing intriguing aromas, flavours and textures, The Invisible Menu is the future of cocktail appreciation. The Vanishing Watermelon Martini (HK$128) features centrifuged watermelon juice, Cointreau, simple syrup, basil tincture, Absolut Elyx vodka and a subtle sea salt foam. The
Banana di Mana (HK$128) is a unique potion of Beefeater 24 gin, banana nectar, coriander tincture, simple syrup, soda water and micro herbs, and is also available as a spiritfree cocktail for those who wish to opt for a non-alcoholic option. Crystal Old Fashioned (HK$138) will appeal to lovers of peanut butter, with a recipe of re-distilled peanut butter bourbon, homemade wood chips bitters and banana concentrate.
From the Classics, the Balalaika (HK$128) brings to mind the theme song from “Doctor Zhivago”, in which the unique sound of balalaika resonates against a full orchestra. The cocktail is an infusion of Absolut Elyx Vodka, Cointreau, lemon and orange zest; sure to strike a chord with the drinker. Between the Sheets (HK$128) is a feisty concoction inspired by actress Norma Shearer, the embodiment of sexually liberated womanhood reflected in films such as “Morocco”. The cocktail is a sophisticated mix of Martell VSOP, Cointreau, Havana 3-Year-Old rum and lemon. Audrey Hepburn was the starlet muse for Coffee Cocktail (HK$138), inspired by her breakfasts at Tiffany’s with a coffee and croissant. Surprisingly, Coffee Cocktail does not include coffee at all, but still manages to hit the spot with Remy Martin VSOP cognac, ruby port, whole egg, simple syrup and grated nutmeg. Explore the rest of the .
Let your imagination run wild at ROOM 309, now open in the heart of The Pottinger Hong Kong.
About ROOM 309
ROOM 309 is tucked away in a charming boutique hotel, on the third floor of The Pottinger Hong Kong. While not a speakeasy, entry is by invitation only. In this one-of-a-kind hotel room, expert resident bartenders whip up an array of personalised cocktails, making the experience an intimate affair for no more than 20 guests at a time. Can you imagine that?
Now hold it, and expand that thought — ROOM 309 could be a room where imagination blooms. Could this be where a writer from the 1960s spent months and months poring over hundreds and thousands of manuscripts for their novel, which has become a classic of today? Could this also be where an artist from the 1970s sat and painted picture after picture worthy of a handsome fortune? Could this also be where a celebrity couple from the 1980s that graced the silver screens have come to carry on their off-screen romance? Or, could it very well be, where bartenders from the 1990s once sat and pondered over the possibilities of turning their hopes and dreams into reality, in the form of a beautiful cocktail haven?
With endless possibilities behind these doors, come on in, and see for yourselves. Check-in at “The Reception” and tap your keycard on the wall to enter a realm where there is always room for cocktails… and imagination.
Monday to Thursday: 5pm – 1am
Friday & Saturday: 5pm – 2am
(last call is 30 minutes before closing)
Contact – ROOM 309
*No reservations taken, walk-ins only