Sai Kung’s been waiting and anticipating a truly great craft beer bar, following the promising launch of Casa and its sister restaurant in the square years ago. Their taste buds whetted, residents and daytrippers alike should be pleased with this lovely family-friendly spot that’s opened on the waterfront – perfect for watching the sun set – with 13 taps of local brews and a great (albeit broad) food menu with a bit of something for everyone.
Hong Kong brews are the name of the game here, with 12 taps plus a cask. On our visit, there’s a good representation of the local scene including beers by Lion Rock, Kowloon Bay, Black Kite, Yardley Brothers, Heroes, Hiiro Seed and Moonzen. We start with the exclusive Kowloon Bay Hoi Lung IPA ($64 for 500ml), a 5.4% brew made with salted lemon, and then dip into the Yardley Brothers’ Machine Men ($74), their cryo-hopped session IPA – both are tasting fresh and served just right. Then we decide to visit an old friend: the Lion Rock Oatmeal Stout ($70), which is creamy-thick, with notes of coffee and tasting better than we ever remember it.
We could keep going for hours… but it’s a school night. Beyond draught, there’s a nice bottled selection with a handful of imports, including ciders and ginger beers – and though the focus is beer, there are cocktails, a few wines by the glass and plenty of refreshments for the kids. Momentai will also be doing monthly tap takeovers by local breweries, with Moonzen first up in February, followed by Gweilo in March.
With the former chef from Hebe 101 in tow, there’s some tasty stuff coming out of the kitchen. While appetisers are fairly diverse (and vegetarian-friendly), the main menu’s a bit unfocused, with some standard pub grub such as burgers and fish ’n’ chips side by side with poke bowls, pasta and risotto. While this could be a detriment, it does mean that there’s something for everyone – and seeing a lot of families in Sai Kung, we can understand the appeal with some fussy kids (or adults) in tow.
Starting with appetisers – as one does – we jump for the SKFC (Sai Kung Fried Chicken) ($60), which pairs surprisingly well with the tang of the pineapple adobo chutney that accompanies it for dipping. Our mains arrive, and we tuck into the hearty Pig-Out Pork Burger ($120), which does fair justice to the slow-cooked barbecue pork, slathered in a tangy-smoky sauce, though the sweetness from the brioche bun pushes it a bit over the top. And the Jerked Vegetables ($38) as a side is simply divine – lovely, lightly caramelised veggies in a dry-rub spice that prove to be a surprising highlight. For another main, Niko’s Bacon-Wrapped Chicken ($140) is a ridiculously huge slab of chicken breast, juicy and served on a delectable bed of butter-whipped mashed potatoes with baby carrots and fennel sauce. Roll us on out of here!
Niko, the dapper young gent who cut his baby teeth at Casa, finally decided to fly the nest and go it on his own with this space – and for those of us in or near Sai Kung, we’re certainly pleased as punch to have a proper spot to hang out and soak in the waterfront views. (Sitting on those plastic chairs and cracking a brew in front of The Bottle Shop is a nice option, but it’s not quite the same.) Great local beers in a chill spot, with rotational options, tasty bites and exciting things on the horizon – we can’t wait to see what’s next.
Kiosk 1, Waterfront, Wai Man Road, Sai Kung, +852 2792 8991, fb.com/momentaila