Restaurant review: The Envoy in Central, Hong Kong
The Envoy is one of my favourite bars in Hong Kong. Located in Central at The Pottinger Hotel, it’s just as wonderful for Friday night drinks on the terrace as it is for a quiet weekday tea in the bar. It drips colonial chic with dark wood, damask-like wallpaper, and colourful velvet accents. As part of Tastings Group (which includes some of Asia's best bars such as Quinary, Origin, and Vea), it’s no surprise that The Envoy has developed a reputation for top notch drinks. For the summer, new Bar Manager Hungie Fong has crafted the Picnic Spritz, Waterfalls, and Stranger Fruit. Naturally, these drinks need to be paired with great food and I was excited to try dishes from their new colonial inspired small plates menu created by Chef de Cuisine Chetan Kohli.
Pani Puri is a common street snack in India. It’s essentially a crisp shell filled with toppings. This can get a little messy but overall I loved the “build your own” concept, where we tapped open our shells and filled them with with various chutneys, spiced potatoes, and even chicken broth. Our table tried the Asian Salsa with Indo-Chinese Elements option ($118).
I highly recommend the Butter Chicken Lollipops ($108). For the price, this is great value for seven lollipops. The meat was tender and the sauce was moreish.
The Spiced Popcorn Shrimp ($118) was also good value. The shrimp were large and fresh, with a flavourful batter and sambal dipping sauce.
Devilled eggs aren’t usually my favourite snacks, but this herbal tea enhanced version was delicious ($72). Fear not, these don’t taste medicinal at all but add a subtle kick to the creamy yolk.
The Fish and Chips ($88) were elevated by an addictive curried tartar sauce. Absolutely delicious.
My favourite savoury dish of the night was the Bangers and Mash ($118). The sausages are flavourful without feeling greasy, and the mashed potatoes are buttery perfection piped into swirls. There was also a large amount of caramelized onion jam that was just sweet enough and added interest to a dish that could have otherwise felt too heavy.
Being big fans of Southeast Asian spices, I had high hopes for the Beef Rendang Cannelloni ($148). Unfortunately, this one didn’t do it for me. While the beef was nice and moist, the flavours were too subdued. The fact that it was deep fried also made a bit too heavy overall.
To end our meal, our table tried the Banofee Pie ($80) and Milo Lava French Toast ($88). Everything about the pie was great from the cookie crumb base to the fresh cream. The focus was more on the fresh banana than the coffee/toffee. Depending on what else you order, the french toast may feel a bit too carb-y but it’s crowd pleaser with its gooey chocolate core.
There are many good aspects of The Envoy’s new small plates menu. These bar bites are interesting and sophisticated, perfect for sharing (or not) and pairing with a well made beverage. Many things are delicious, but I especially loved the butter chicken lollipops, bangers and mash, and banofee pie.
3/F, The Pottinger Hotel, 74 Queen's Road, Central, 2169 3311