Hong Kong’s largest independent craft brewery Young Masters has teamed up with Italian-American chef Vincent “Vinny” Lauria in opening an up-and-coming restaurant bar, The Guild. Located along the hip Keong Saik locale, this handsome-looking outfit is decked in dark wood, gold accents and warm lighting. A touch of rustic detail makes the space oh so-welcoming; we loved the Peranakan-style designs on both the tiles and beer taps. We paid the restaurant bar a visit; read on for the lowdown!
The Chosen One
With 19 craft beers to choose from, this is the spot for craft beer enthusiasts and soon-to-be converts. I like that there are three sizes to choose from – 200ml, 330ml and 450ml – which makes it easier for you to sample more without reaching your limit. The menu includes helpful descriptions of each brew, but do hit up the friendly bar folks (a shout-out to Yadhaven and Ronin!), and they’ll gladly explain more.
I was immediately drawn to Cha Chaan Teng Gose ($16 for 450ml), a Lambic-style sour beer inspired by the popular cha chaan tengs (restaurants) in Hong Kong. This unique and refreshing number was the highlight of my night! Other signatures include Mo’ Mo’ Wit ($16 for 450ml) and Another One ($16 for 450ml), both of which are dangerously crushable. If you prefer something heavier, Long Time No See ($36 for 450 ml) – dark, concentrated and punchy – will surely tickle your fancy.
Cocktail and wine connoisseurs are not left out here either; there’s a sizeable selection of original cocktails, highballs and natural vino to choose from. We went for an easy-drinking Los Cojones Highball ($16), a sparkling concoction with fresh lime, pineapple liqueur, rum and ginger beer. But, for something more exciting, try the Umami Gibson ($24), an unusual tipple that incorporates shitake-infused dry vermouth, pickled mushroom and onion.
From 5 to 7pm daily, selected beers are a steal at $10 each (450ml). You can also snare discounts on natural wines by the bottle, including the NV Cava Brut Nature Reserva Anne-Marie ($65).
Bite on this
If you’re expecting run-of-the-mill bar snacks here, think again. The Guild boasts a menu consisting of creative, elevated comfort food that’s worth every calorie. Helming the kitchen are co-founder and executive chef Vinny, who has cut his teeth in New York, Hong Kong and Manila, as well as sous chef Alton Huang, previously from Summerlong and Neon Pigeon. Favourites at our table included the amped-up mac and cheese ($18) with housecured egg yolk, scallion and (for an extra $6) char siu bacon, and super tender skirt steak ($32). If you only have space for one main, make it the BCM Tagliatelle “Bolo” ($22): handmade pasta, pork ragu, liver and pickled shitake. This dish alone warrants a second visit!
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