The UB Post
KK Lounge • Kempinski
THERE IS A MIX OF CONVENTIONAL AND UNCONVENTIONAL IN TERMS OF THE DRINKS……. The new guest bartender from Scotland at KK Lounge in Kempinski Hotel Khan Palace, Mr Phil, has been interviewed about his overall international work experience.
We make our own syrups. All of our base syrups, such as pear syrup or strawberry syrup, are made in-house. We juice all of our lemons. Everything is done handmade. We want to create that handmade feel instead of pouring in readymade materials.
How will your team be working to promote and differentiate the KK Lounge from other bars?
In terms of differentiating from other bars, we do a lot of our preparation in-house. We make our own syrups. All of our base syrups, such as pear syrup or strawberry syrup, are made in-house. We juice all of our lemons. Everything is done handmade. We want to create that handmade feel instead of pouring in ready-made materials. Our team was discussing new cocktails and we’re getting the chef involved as well. The chef will be making interesting accoutrements to go with our cocktails. We’re also pairing them with food: the cocktail will be paired with food that goes along with the cocktail. We are trying to be different. Actually, we’re not trying to be different; we are being different. In addition, I believe the KK Lounge has one of the most extensive backbars in UB. We have a little flexibility with that, and we can cater to a wide range of tastes. We give our customers quality and consistency – that is very important.
Can you tell us more about the KK Lounge?
The KK Lounge opened only about two months ago. We will be introducing new cocktail lists and several different ideas for the weekdays and weekends. There is a mix of conventional and unconventional in terms of the drinks. Looking over your past work experience, you have mainly worked in managerial positions, such as senior sales manager and customer care
manager. What led you to come to Mongolia as a bartender?
I will be working as a support bartender. When I was 16, my first job was working in a bar collecting glasses. In the UK, you can’t bartend unless you’re 18. I’ve been working in restaurants, bars and hospitality for the last twenty years. What happened recently in China is, I was working for a wine company. I made an admission to myself to get back in front of the house. Not selling to the hotel, but working within and working with people face to face. The opportunity arose where Kempinski Guangzhou was opening up and I was working with them relating to wine. Since I was already with the Kempinski brand, I took this opportunity to experience an incredible country, and so far I’ve noticed that everybody is friendly and open.
Mongolian drinking culture is a little different compared to, say, the drinking culture of your home country of Scotland. Maybe in that vodka is more prevalent than liquor. Do you think you will have to adapt to that?
Drinking culture is one of those things that is global. Everyone has a martini, an oldfashioned, a negroni – that’s worldwide. With the KK Lounge, what we’re trying to offer and encourage is a more international drinking culture. We’re doing high-level cocktails; not necessarily ones that will break the bank, but we’re doing them well. Hopefully, my new move will be to make my own list. It’s signature cocktails, so it’s developing things. If something is different, it is perceived as ahead of the curve and that’s how we want to be thought of.
What do you hope to accomplish during your tenure at the KK Lounge? Are there any goals you have set?
Yeah, I want to try and put a little bit of my touch into my cocktails. I was speaking with some friends back home who are excellent cocktail bartenders, and I’m hoping to associate them slightly within what we do here. So if we can talk to them via Facebook and social media, we can share recipes and engage from the opposite sides of the world. While I was in Guangzhou, there were also excellent bartenders. So I’m hoping we can maybe replicate some of what they make.
All are welcome to try all new cocktails at KK Lounge.