May 11, 2018
Mott 32 doesn’t need the contrast of the bland bank HQ above it to make an impact. Named after the address of the first convenience store in New York’s Chinatown, this voluminous basement lies like a diamond in the dark under the Standard Chartered building. It oozes style and has a menu to match. Most of the sleek interior is devoted to a restaurant that serves some of the most celebrated Cantonese and regional Chinese dishes in the city. The Peking duck, seen hanging in a glass cabinet by the kitchen, has to be pre-ordered, but for those just coming for a walk-in drink at the bar there’s a luxe selection of snacks and appetisers to choose from; evening dim sum of crab and caviar soup dumplings and crispy coated BBQ pork buns are some seriously good accomplishments to the drinks on offer. Liquid refreshment comes from the Chinese apothecary-styled bar that retains its own feel as a self-contained space, set back from the octagonal central dining room. The mix of Chinese and colonial that inspires the theme that pervades extends to the cocktail list. The Old Harbour is a tweaked Old Fashioned with fresh chrysanthemum and goji berry, while Mott St. Cooler adds some Szechuan pepper to zing up the blend of vodka, ginger, apple and vanilla syrup. Add the quality and attention to detail, from the bar blends to the décor, to a smart but relaxed clientèle and you have a winning combination to be savoured.