OPEN BAR SUNTORY BAR MAS­TER HOUSE

HK Magazine - - NIGHTLIFE - Eve­lyn Lok

The buzz: Seems like ev­ery­one’s try­ing to run the op­po­site di­rec­tion of generic beer th­ese days. The owner of long-stand­ing pre­mium whisky and cigar club Kin­lonz 1492 in Lan Kwai Fong has teamed up with Suntory Beer Com­pany to bring us Hong Kong’s first con­cept bar by the Ja­panese beer and spir­its giant. And while a com­mer­cial con­glom­er­ate is be­hind it, this joint fo­cuses on serv­ing its more rar­i­fied line of Pre­mium Malt’s beer (yes, that’s an apos­tro­phe; no, we don’t know why) and its Hong Kong-ex­clu­sive va­ri­eties.

The dé­cor: Tak­ing over the nar­row two-story space that used to be Rock­a­billy and The Irish Priest, the ground floor is dimly lit, dom­i­nated by a long, min­i­mal­is­tic wooden bar with sturdy navy leather chairs. The bar­tender takes ut­most care in the clean­li­ness and pre­sen­ta­tion of ev­ery­thing, us­ing only fil­tered wa­ter to clean the specif­i­cally shaped glasses that con­tain the dif­fer­ent brews. Up­stairs is a more ca­sual space, with ta­bles for larger groups and softer mu­sic to make for eas­ier con­ver­sa­tion.

The drinks: Known for its pil­sner-style beers, the OG sig­na­ture here is the Pre­mium Malt’s Pil­sner ($80 for 380ml): With twice-roasted malts, light on the hops, and poured with a 7:3 ra­tio of beer to head, it’s very, very smooth. For some­thing even more ex­clu­sive (and Mas­ter House is the only place you can drink this in Hong Kong), you’ll want to or­der the Pre­mium Malt’s Mas­ter’s Dream ($130 for 380ml)—made with “di­a­mond” bar­ley roasted three times for what Suntory says is a more lay­ered fla­vor. An­other ex­clu­sive is the Pre­mium Malt’s Aroma ($100 for 380ml)— the aroma in ques­tion be­ing a hoppy one. Non-beer-drinkers can be kept happy with a range of quin­tes­sen­tial Ja­panese high­balls (from $80), made with whiskies from Ya­mazaki, Hakushu, Hibiki, Laphroaig and more.

Why you’ll be back: With pre­mium Ja­panese beers also comes classic Ja­panese hospi­tal­ity and in­sane at­ten­tion to de­tail. You’ll be well taken care of here. This ain’t no booze and peanuts-on-the-floor-type place, and with the av­er­age Hong Kong beer drinker turn­ing their nose up at Hoe­gaar­den in fa­vor of craft, rare or al­ter­na­tive brews, Mas­ter House is worth a visit.

G/F, 12 Lan Kwai Fong, Cen­tral, 2703-9300.

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