Second Draft, a newly-opened gastropub in Tai Hang, might be mistaken for a vintage Hong Kong café at first glance, given its white and fern green wall that is partially decorated with mosaic black and white tiles and some familiar bilingual signs like “No Smoking” or “Fire Exit Keep Clear”.
This bar is the result of collaboration between local craft brewer Young Master Ales and May Chow, the chef and founder of Little Bao, a popular modern restaurant in Sheung Wan.
The venture was set up with the aim of bringing forth new interpretations of traditional bar food and snacks that go perfectly with locally brewed craft beers on tap, according to Chow.
Most of the offerings from Second Draft are a mix of the East and the West.
Flower crab pasta, for instance, is inspired by scrambled egg white from Shanghai and Italian carbonara. In this redefined version, the main dish comes with real crab meat, egg yolk and thick Shanghainese noodles well-dressed by a Béchamel sauce fine-tuned by Chinkiang vinegar.
Crispy vegetable rice topped with Shanghai-style Scotch ale braised pork leg is another feature dish from the bistro.
Braised in Scottish ale for 24 hours, the pork becomes so tender that each bite would melt the meat into the mouth right away. Thanks to the heat maintained by the cast iron mini wok, the pickled vegetable rice mix is slightly burnt, adding contrast of crunchiness in the dish.
Farro risotto is a vegetarian main course option where the farro is cooked al dente and tossed with market-fresh mushrooms and parmesan.
Bar snacks like fried chicken with Chinese nam yue roasted garlic dip or Australian hanger steak would be best companions to a pint of a beer.
A collection of Young Master Ales is offered here, like the Young Master Classic and the Island 1842 Imperial IPA.
Other highlights include craft beers from Lion Rock Brewery and Stonecutter Scotch Ale by Renaissance Brewing and imported fresh from New Zealand.
On top of beers, biodynamic wines, spirits, cocktails and coffee are also on offer for the patrons.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Sept. 12.
Translation by Darlie Yiu with additional reporting
[Chinese version 中文版]
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