Alvy’s

Crave - - FEAST - Words Iris Wong Pho­tos Sa­man­tha Sin

THE RESTAU­RANT

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.

THE FOOD

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.

THE VER­DICT

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

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