The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong has opened an exclusive New York-style speakeasy for January only. The Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel’s pop-up re-creates New York City’s beloved PDT (Please Don’t Tell) bar, complete with a secret entrance and signature cocktails.
To emulate the East Village original, the hotel’s MO Bar has been completely made over. The glamorous bar’s private room, The Shell, now resembles a trendy high-end cocktail den. Think edgy brick and wood paneling accenting the brightly shining bar, with quirky hunting lodge decorations spotting the walls.
PDT in New York has a clandestine underground entrance. To gain access to the Hong Kong pop-up, you have to be in on a similar secret. We’ll give you a hint: The doorway is cleverly hidden inside a vintage phone booth, giving the experience a trace of Prohibition-era stealth.
Through January 30, guests of the swanky lounge can partake in PDT’s menu, a fusion of New York City classics and fresh Hong Kong creations. Luxury spirits from the Diageo Reserve World Class collection are served in drinks mixed by PDT founder Jim Meehan, general manager Jeff Bell and veteran PDT bartender Nick Brown.
There are 12 carefully crafted cocktails on the limited-run menu. Benton’s Old Fashioned is a clear highlight, made with Benton’s bacon-infused Bulleit Bourbon, bitters and maple syrup. But citrus concoctions such as the Cardinal (gin, aperitivo, sweet vermouth and a splash of grapefruit juice) and the 1-2 Punch (a single malt whiskey shandy with lemon and grapefruit juice, oleo-saccharum — which adds a citrusy flavor — and local lager) are definitely worth sampling as well.
The NYC bar entrance is concealed behind a hot dog stand; so, continuing in that tradition, PDT Hong Kong’s menu includes local chefs’ spin on the American snack staple. Inventive approaches include Japanese cooking techniques, Chinese flavors and a “demon dog” created by chef Alvin Leung to surprise your taste buds. Proceeds from each hot dog benefits charity. Richard Ekkebus, the hotel’s food and beverage director, added the only Western-style hot dog (the Frenchie) to the primarily Asian-inspired roster, making the menu a delightful medley of international franks.