The new season calls for new creations, and Rosewood Hong Kong’s famous flagship bar, DarkSide, recently released the new edition of its concept menu series. Highlighting the game of Chinese tile-based mahjong, the menu showcases the craftsmanship and artistry of hand-drawn mahjong tiles and interprets game elements for a new cocktail experience.
The menu “The Art of Mahjong” replaces their very conceptual Moon menu which offers eight cocktails inspired by the phases of the moon. This year, the menu features their offerings in a black box that opens like a mahjong table, complete with dice and mahjong tiles with symbols designed by mahjong tile makers Ricky Cheung and Karen Aruba. DarkSide has also printed limited edition mahjong game cards to give away to their VIPs and special customers. To continue Rosewood Hong Kong’s “A Sense of Place” guiding philosophy of supporting and showcasing local talent and businesses, DarkSide has commissioned local glassblowing artisan Soekjing Studio and long-running local brand Tung Yao Ceramics. famous date for the development of Chinese pottery, to design the handcrafted glassware and ceramics used to serve drinks.
The eight cocktails ($180/cocktail) are grouped together in the flower and seasonal mahjong tiles that feature the four gentlemen, a collective term referring to the four plants – plum blossom, orchid, bamboo and chrysanthemum – which represent virtues very popular in Chinese culture. ; and the seasons which represent the flavor notes of spring, summer, autumn and winter. Customers can order the drinks based on their favorite ingredients from the Four Gentlemen or their favorite seasons, but if you’re not sure, you can just roll the dice and let the mahjong box choose the drink for you.
We recommend starting with the refreshing highball inspired by salty lime soda, Summer – served in an elegant mouth-blown glass of Nikka Days Japanese whiskey, salted lychee and Hong Kong amaro made from locally grown herbs, garnished with fresh salted lychee – before moving on to the cream Winter – a penicillin riff made with Chinese sweet potato, ginger and Matusalem Gran Reserva 15-year-old rum topped with chewy sweet potato candies. To open your palace, opt for the Orchid, a contemporary version of Margarita using tequila and mezcal with flavors of spring onion and dendrobium orchid served in a handcrafted ceramic bowl with etched orchid designs. For an edgy sip, opt for the Old Fashioned twist, Bamboo, made with taxillus (a small evergreen shrub) flavored whiskey and bamboo distilled sake, served in a stackable bamboo pot, topped with a homemade nugget candy (made with yomogi powder and marshmallow) that we crunch before tasting the drink. Our favorite from the menu is the bold and savory martini twist called Plum which uses vodka, tomato consommé, calendula cordial and salted plum – very easy to drink but packs a punch.
DarkSide is also blending new sustainable drinks, including a homemade liquor using recycled ingredients from Rosewood’s bar and kitchen. In collaboration with ecoSPIRITS, a company pioneering an innovative closed loop distribution system for spirits, every drink you order from the sustainable menu helps plant a tree in Asia. Click here to see how many trees are already planted with the help of Rosewood Hong Kong.
For more information, visit darkside.hk.
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