Second Draft, which opened recently in the new development Little Tai Hang, is a collaboration between Young Master Ales and May Chow, chef and founder of Little Bao. It’s already bustling, with the craft beer crowd converging on the spot for their local draft fix and some inventive cuisine.
The decor has a retro feel, with bilingual “no smoking” signs and some seating reminiscent of wooden seats in old trams. The bar area is impressive with a number of handles on the wall ready to pull some draft beers.
They also serve interesting East-West cocktails here such as the chen pei negroni (HK$110) and zi ma or sesame sour (HK$120), and the menu is a creative riff of flavours and ingredients.
Before ordering food I tried a hop-infused cider by Zeffer (HK$48 for 200ml) that was refreshing and a touch sweet.
Once we ordered our food, the dishes were served in quick succession.
Edamole (HK$48) – similar to guacamole but made with edamame – was a bit on the bland side, and served with oily deep-fried dumpling chips.
The HK French Toast (HK$68) is like your typical cha chaan teng indulgent treat, except instead of a thick slab of butter it’s a slice of foie gras that melts (slightly) on top. It is a combination that works: the savoury fattiness of the foie gras combines well with the sweet fattiness of the deep-fried toast with butter and syrup. It’s definitely a heart attack in the making, but well worth a try.
Tai Hang fries (HK$68) are a bar snack that’s good for sharing. The fries are generously sprinkled with powdered cumin, takana or pickled mustard greens, and dried chilli. Not that spicy, the fries can be addictive, and are a good complement to the alcohol.
Next came the beetroot and avocado salad (HK$88), which has a refreshing twist with yogurt and chin kiang vinegar and candied walnuts. Ma po burrata (HK$138) is a quirky combination of creamy cheese with a hint of chilli, followed by a mala slow burn. No wonder diners are up in arms when it’s sold out.
The main event was the flower crab pasta (HK$198), much like a Chinese version of a carbonara except with crab meat, bechamel, thick Shanghainese noodles and egg yolk. It comes with chin kiang vinegar that helps cut the richness and adds some brightness to the flavour.
Second Draft,98 Tung Lo Wan Road, Tai Hang, tel: 2656 0232