We all know the notorious Club 1997, a stalwart on the Lan Kwai Fong bar scene. The somewhat grotty reputation of this age old bar did initially put me off when I was invited to try out its newly renovated sister, Post 97. Set directly above Club 1997, Post 97 literally seems worlds and decades away. The recent revamp has switched up the concept and sees Post 97 go back a century to 1897, with a Victorian setting. From the windows to the furniture, the Victorian touch has infiltrated the bar, giving it a new life.
When you first walk up the stairs to the bar, you’re greeted by a strange looking ‘faux pharmacy’ – meant to look like a traditional Chinese medicine counter. This is actually a part of a bigger story that really ties the concept together, which is based around the fictional character of Theodore St John, “a botanist, chemist, adventurer and well-travelled gentleman” (check out his portrait behind the counter). The botanist and travel theme pervades the bar, and I love the mysterious feel, with dimly lit corners, luxe leather chairs and strange oddities and details scattered about. This would be a great place for an unusual date or quiet cocktails with the girls.
Arguably the highlight of the new Post 97 is the drinks. The cocktail bar is its pride and joy and serves up a truly inspired menu that looks like an old notebook with scribblings of botanist notes throughout it!
What I love about Post 97 is that instead of a wine-pairing menu, they have a very focused cocktail-pairing menu. We were lucky enough to try a range of the cocktails, all of which were unique, exquisitely crafted, beautifully presented and most importantly, delicious. Whilst Leslie loved the Botanist Brew which includes Earl Grey-infused The Botanist gin, Mancino vermouth bianco, cardamom, lemon juice, honey syrup, rhubarb bitters and Angostura bitters and comes in a quaint little teacup, my favourite was the Punica Swizzle.
An ice-cup filled with pomegranate seeds sits on the top of a red glass, with a sprig of fresh rosemary sprouting out of the side. Stunning! With rosemary-infused Ketel One vodka, pomegranate, lemon juice, vinegar and syrup, this drink is perfect for a refreshing kick. The taste of the rosemary vodka is truly spectacular and I would definitely order this unique cocktail again.
As mentioned above, many of the dishes at Post 97 have been created to complement the flavours of cocktails, resulting in some delicious combinations.
This carefully curated pairing was evident in the tender, slow-cooked Victoria Farm Lamb Ribs and the Punica Swizzle. Both drink and food used the herby and sweet flavours of rosemary and pomegranate, which really brought out the rich flavour of the lamb. We loved the combinations of flavours which resulted in a fresh, clean feel to this dish – definitely one to order! The lamb was meltingly tender and literally fell off the bone… I only wish there had been more!
The Octopus Lollipops were presented beautifully, and the little bites of potato with the meaty octopus and creamy aioli make for a refreshing starter. The addition of smoked paprika gave an extra little boost to the otherwise quite bland flavours, bringing the ingredients together. The perfect little bites to go with the glorious drinks!
The Beef Sliders were juicy and moreish, and we loved how the chips came in a little plant pot, tying in the ‘botanist’ theme once again.
To finish off our meal we tried the special ‘Blood Orange and Negroni Jelly‘. Rather than being a traditional dessert, this had a bittersweet bites and cleansed the palate after the main meal. We loved the presentation which inspired us to try and make similar versions at home!
Jay, the bartender, has worked at some of the best bars around town and in Macau, and he really understands the concept behind the new Post 97. His passion for cocktails really came across in his careful explanations of the food, drinks and setting, and we found it so interesting to learn about all the little details. All the staff were very attentive (granted it was pretty early and there was no one else there at the time!). We look forward to going back at a busy time to see if service is still as up to scratch!
Post 97 definitely delivers on the carefully crafted cocktails. With a mysterious, Victorian-themed decor, good food and a great concept, this is definitely a must-try if you’re looking for a new dinner hangout with the girls or a cosy date night spot. It might be smack bang in the middle of Lan Kwai Fong, but you certainly don’t feel like it once you step inside…
Hi, I’m Lauren and I was born and raised right here in Hong Kong. That being said, with a blonde-haired, blue-eyed mum from England and a Chinese-Australian father, I would definitely say that I grew up as a third culture kid! I love every part of this city and all its many contrasts; from the green of the country parks (and the scary monkeys…) to the shimmery lights of the skyline – it never gets old. I’ve always loved to travel and living here is such a privilege as we’re so close to so many incredible countries and different cultures. I’ve always got a bad case of wanderlust and I’m constantly on the look out for an adventure… here’s to my new adventure at Sassy!