VEA Lounge

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You’d have to have been in a coma not to have heard of Hong Kong’s homegrown rockstar bartender, Antonio Lai. The man behind internationally recognised local sensations Origin, Quinary and The Envoy, whatever concoction this mixologist shakes turns into liquid gold.

His recent project on Wellington Street with Vicky Cheng, of Liberty Private Works fame, VEA opened to much acclaim, especially the cocktail/food paring menu, which was a joint effort. One floor down form the restaurant sits VEA Lounge, a new bar with a separate drinks menu carefully curated by Lai himself.

We start with a Cleopatra Formosa ($170). Served in a brass pineapple-shaped capsule injected with pine smoke, we enjoy the fresh citrus tang alongside the fragrant star anise syrup, while the burnt perfume of the smoke lingers on the sinuses. Next we select the limited Drive-in Date Night ($140), a concoction of Nikka whisky and popcorn syrup. This cute drink comes with a cone of shaved ice and pineapple syrup clipped to the side of the glass. The novel pairing of popcorn and whisky works like a charm, the kernels teasing out the toastiness of the spirit.
The offerings at VEA appeal to a multitude of senses, whether it’s the sight of the brass pineapple, the feel of the shaved ice on our tongue, or the taste of the drinks. We love our experience at Lai’s latest venture, but we expect no less from the mixologist with the Midas touch. Lisa Cam

VEA Lounge 29/F, The Wellington, 198 Wellington St, Central, 2711 8639; vea.hk.

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