An invitation bought two distinct but complimentary destinations of an evening. First was Koko, the izakaya on Wyndham Street with a splendid terrace and a fine line in sake. Al fresco bites included the Suzushii Uni Cocktail, a clever little appetiser. Soba Tsuyu is frozen into a cube and placed into a whisky glass with somen noodle, fresh uni and the final addition of a grilled prawn to add a firm texture. ($108)
Back indoors in one of their funky booths, the signature dish at Koko is king crab meat and uni on top of rice cooked in king crab bisque. If you like crab, then this is a one way ticket to heaven. ($268)
Ribs are always, always a good thing and back inside they were fought over for all the right adjectives: Sticky, spicy, sweet. ($188)
A ‘mushroom hotpot’ was much better than its name suggests, partly thanks to liberal shavings of white truffle. Hokkaido rice is cooked with homemade mushroom stock before sauteed Shimichi and King Oyster mushrooms are added along with truffle paste. Whether you call it a risotto or a hotpot, it still showed a chef who knows what they’re doing and how to balance flavours and timing in a notoriously fickle dish. ($168)
In desserts, the molten chocolate lava cake with green tea did exactly as it was instructed and performed on cue, the barrage of spoons attacking it like a game of Hungry Hippos c 1984. ($98)
Excellent sakes from a collection that includes serious vintages – Koko’s owner is legendary Japanese footballer Hidetoshi Nakata – fueled the conversation before we decamped a couple miles east to Ophelia.
Far younger and cooler kids already know this is one of the hottest bars in town, thanks to its entertainment and décor. Suffice to say that a combination of cheong sam, long legs and peacocks make for an evening unlike many other in Hong Kong. Drinks – or libations, depending on your sense of irony – Here’s a teaser, for a video, check it out here
Ophelia is at Shop No. 39A, 1/F, The Avenue, Lee Tung Avenue, 200 Queen’s Rd E, Wan Chai +852 2520 1117