Everything at Alvy’s screams New York City, from the neon red logo to the pizzas and quirky “Employees Must Wash Hands” signs in the bathroom. The Kennedy Town neighbourhood bar is a three-way collaboration between Patrick Gatherer (formerly of The Globe), the founders of Young Master Brewery and veteran designer Paul Gelinas (the man behind the interiors of May Chow’s Second Draft). A long wooden bar passes through the main dining area and several intimate diner booths, then runs into an open kitchen with a fire-engine-red pizza oven. On the tables, alongside neatly placed cutlery and no-frills, white oval plates, there are plastic toy dinosaurs in place of the usual reservation signs. There is something undeniably cosy and welcoming about Alvy’s.
Given the association with the folks from Young Master, we had high expectations for Alvy’s booze selection. Sure enough, there are fresh local brews on tap, rare imported beers, all-natural wines, as well as the city’s most extensive collection of US craft whiskies, served straight up or in cocktails. To eat, we start with latkes ($78) with Cantonese-style toppings of char siu and geung yeong (ginger and spring onion paste), a playful prelude that sets the tone for the rest of our meal. Essentially reinvented buffalo wings, the Yu Kwen Yick fried chicken ($88) is tangy, spicy, and pairs excellently with the floral witbier we ordered. Sourdough-base pizzas are the stars of the menu. We opt for the a la Vodka ($108), a charred, thin, chewy pie topped with rich vodka tomato sauce and sinfully melted mozzarella bocconcini, dusted with shaved pecorino for an extra umami kick.
We load on more carbs for dessert in the form of a dozen Italian zeppoles (deep-fried dough balls sifted with powdered sugar) and salted manjari chocolate. We have no regrets.
Alvy’s is a much-needed addition to Hong Kong’s small but thriving craft beer scene. More than a bar, this is a restaurant with comfort food done well and a strong selection of beers, both local and imported. The New York-inspired menu with sprinkles of Hong Kong elements took us by surprise (the good kind), and you’ll probably catch us back at Alvy’s soon for a beer and the rest of its pizza menu. 8/F Holland Street, Kennedy Town | T 2312 2996