The Savory Project Cocktail Bar Review | Delish Sips
REVIEWS

Delish Sips: The Savory Project, Umami Cocktails Showcased in Yummy Fashion

Bar history: Jay Khan and Ajit Gurung, the brains behind COA, Asia’s top-ranked bar for three years in a row, opened The Savory Project in May 2023 to expand their dominion in Hong Kong’s bar scene with a unique sipping point: savoury cocktails that showcase the power of earthy, umami-forward, and spicy liquors. Whereas COA is focused on the niche of agave spirits, The Savory Project doesn’t focus on a single spirit, but rather zeroes in on the niche of a single flavor profile, embracing salt and umami.

What’s the vibe and venue like: The Savory Project bleeds coolness and novelty. Doors open at 6 PM and instantly fill with a crowd of coolness eager to appreciate and sip funky, fermented cocktails. The massive floor-to-ceiling front-facing window encourages passersby to join the gang, while low-standing seats and tables bring people and conversation closely together. 

Delish Sips: The Savory Project, Umami Cocktails Showcased in Yummy Fashion

How much are food and drinks: Cocktails and mocktails cost HK$120, and snacks range from HK$88 to HK$228.

What food and drinks did we get: Teriyaki (HK$120), Peppercorn (HK$120), Thai Beef Salad (HK$120), and Fiata Vegetarian Pizza (HK$228).

Delish Sips: The Savory Project, Umami Cocktails Showcased in Yummy Fashion

Teriyaki: Starting with one of Ajit’s favourite pours, this white soy sauce-base cocktail brings tequila, honey, and masa maize flour together to drive a rich hit of salty umami, nutty sesame, and floral sugar. Each sip is smooth, tasting of a familiar Chinese sweet soy sauce.

Delish Sips: The Savory Project, Umami Cocktails Showcased in Yummy Fashion

Peppercorn: The spicy, tomatoey and earthy body of this drink holds well as an aftertaste, first seasoning your tongue with the pickle of the tomato and peppers, and then finishing with the tingle and spice of the cumin and MSG. The cocktail tastes of an improved Bloody Mary.

Delish Sips: The Savory Project, Umami Cocktails Showcased in Yummy Fashion

Thai Beef Salad: Finally, I got to try a cocktail that everyone has been raving about in Hong Kong this summer. Meeting rum with clarified peanut liquid, coconut, kaffir lime, and chilli, this drink excellently pairs the nutty sweetness of the Skippy peanut butter-coconut “juice” with a funky and spicy aftertaste from the Bird’s eye chilli and lime. Nutty, meaty, and tingly!

What we liked: The Thai Beef Salad cocktail makes for a memorable drink and effectively demonstrates Jay and Ajit’s mastery to create a selection of drinks holding strong umami flavour profiles. The explanation of each drink from Ajit shows his innate love for his new creation.

What we didn’t like: The Fiata Vegetarian Pizza falls flat as a food pairing to the funky umami cocktails. Yes, I am a bigger fan of salt-forward pizza cuts than Napolean-style pizza, but the creamy dollops of cheese and sweet tomato sauce do not match the complexity of the cocktails on the menu.

Delish Sips: The Savory Project, Umami Cocktails Showcased in Yummy Fashion

What you should order: Teriyaki, Peppercorn, Thai Beef Salad, Gibon 2.0, Garden to Glass, Seed of Life.

Location: The Savory Project, 4 Staunton Street, SoHo, Central, Hong Kong.

Contact details: Walk-ins welcome, no reservations accepted.

This food review is based on a complimentary media tasting provided by The Savory Project in exchange for a truthful review and no compensation. The opinions expressed within represent the views of the author.

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