Hong Kong – Vibrant contemporary gastrobar room 3 brings a wave of cherry-red to the lips with new cocktails and a platter of delightful tapas-style teatime treats for an evocative journey to Japan to celebrate Hanami, the flower-viewing season. Available from 27 March 2023 and blossoming along with the country’s cherry trees, the sakura-themed sips and elaborate Japanese spring spread boost the happy vibe of this modern-day speakeasy in fashionable H Zentre, Tsim Sha Tsui.
The spring cocktails can also be savored at KAPPOU MU, room 3’s serene sister restaurant in a pairing at lunch or dinner with its new sakura-inspired omakase menu of traditional kappou cuisine. The two Japanese dining and imbibing hotspots, which opened at the turn of the year and share an elegant reception area, are founded and managed by the dynamic hospitality management company Dining Art Group.
Sakura infusions will fuel merry hours of chatter in the three atmospheric interconnected chambers that comprise room 3 – called “room san” with san being the Japanese word for ‘three’. The glorious profile of Sakura Blossom (HK$150), the first of two new springtime cocktails, will prove irresistible to those who love delicate mixed drinks with luscious mouthfeel and a creamy finish. Vodka laced with sakura leaves is the powerful base note to which fresh lemon, house-made lemongrass cordial, slightly sour Maraschino cherry liqueur and egg white are liberally added for well-balanced and indulgent complexity. Echoing the first sign of spring, a light powder of sakura petals offers sweet red decoration atop the cocktail’s snow-white coat.
The other new creation for spring is Sakura Negroni (HK$150), an uplifting Japanese take on the classic Italian ‘stirred not shaken’ apéritif. While crafted in the traditional manner of equal parts gin (from master Japanese gin maker Roku), Campari, and Vermouth – with a splash of grapefruit for piquancy – the Vermouth is something special, a limited-edition of the fortified wine with sakura petals among its botanicals. Dry ice emits wafts of cloudy smoke as the cocktail is served in an old-fashioned glass embedded in a cool wooden box – a presentation that reflects the Japanese aesthetic of room 3’s skilled team of mixologists.
One of their compelling gin-based cocktails from a list of unique Japanese-inspired signatures is also perfect for spring. Sakura Cha (HK$150) is a refreshing tall drink of Japanese gin enhanced by the fruity tastes and textures of peach-infused jasmine soda and silver needle tea – and a lovely cherry-pink tinge from a suffusion of sakura petals.
The joyous glow of spring is also captured in a relaxing izakaya-style gastronomic journey at the contemporary gastrobar. Served from 4pm to 7pm daily, the room 3 Tanoshi Afternoon Tea Voyage (HK$388 for 2 people including 2 selected drinks) presents nine varieties of appealing snacks snugly ensconced within the grid of a chic wooden tray. Aptly named – ‘tanoshi’ means happiness in Japanese – this is the perfect serving in the ideal setting to whisk friends away to the blissful cherry-tree meadows of Japan.
This teatime or after-work encounter with Japanese-inspired tapas spans eight scrumptious savoury preparations and a delicious jellied dessert. Carefully prepared and fried or grilled with gusto by the experienced culinary team, the izakaya servings include Japanese Green Pepper and Mini Sweet Potato; Fried Lotus Root; and yakitori favourites like Chicken Soft Bone and Minced Chicken with Japanese Egg. Garlic Chicken Wing highlights another part of the succulent bird. Pickled Burdock Root provides a clean, crunchy veggie palate cleanser, while the colourful, contrasting textures found in the moreish duo of Snow Crab Meat Tobiko and Tossed Mentaiko Udon slip down beautifully. The sweet finale is Mizu Shingen Mochi – glistening ‘raindrop cake’ that melds black sugar syrup, roasted soybean powder and agar-agar (seaweed gelatin).
This tempting sharing set includes a glass of house wine, beer, juice, soft drink or Sakura tea each, or the chance to sip one of the aforementioned trio of sakura-enlivened cocktails at the special price of HK$88 (originally HK$150).
Bringing memories of sakura viewing a step closer, the spacious interiors of room 3 are inspired by nature and the Japanese landscape. The handiwork of award-winning interior design studio Minus Workshop, brown and natural tones and bamboo motifs are weaved across three distinctively themed spaces and moods that extend over nearly 2,000 sq. ft. Flexible seating arrangements throughout provoke socialising and relaxed chilling.
The ‘Akasaka Room’ is the first, the biggest and the liveliest of the spaces in which to settle back for spring tapas and cocktails. The statement bar provides a close view of the animated mixology ritual, while a domed ceiling and mirrored stainless-steel spheres and surfaces afford elegant afternoon or early evening rendezvous. A breathtaking central chandelier and accompanying spiral trial of bamboo-leaf shapes grace the intimate ‘Ginza Room’ with its curved tables, mirrored wall panels and crystal inlays. The ‘Roppongi Room’ beyond is the cosiest setting, where a long, leaf-patterned inner wall evokes the feeling of picnicking under the trees.
For reservations, please call (852) 6361-8505 or visit https://inline.app/booking/room3/HZentre.
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