Rating: ★★★★☆

Address: UG, The Excelsior Hong Kong, 281 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay 銅鑼灣告士打道281號香港怡東酒店地庫

Telephone: 2837 6782 

雖然才剛剛踏入十二月, 但由於天氣已轉冷, 忽然很想和朋友安排聖誕大餐。在怡東酒店地庫的雙城吧是一間英式酒吧。以前有跟朋友在週末來這裡一邊喝酒一邊觀看直播球賽,但來吃午飯還是等一次。發現傳統英國菜式如特級漢堡包配有機雞蛋和啤酒脆漿炸魚薯條做得相當不錯, 炸魚的脆漿外層炸得甘香鬆脆, 漢堡包的牛扒鮮味多汁。星期一至日中午還有咖哩自助餐供應(每位$198, 週末$228, 小童半價)。 雖然沒有試過味道如何,但價錢看起來並不算貴。

As we enter December, the city is feeling more festive than ever, and lovely decorations have sprung up all over the shopping malls and buildings in Hong Kong. This is the perfect time for a Christmassy gathering for me and my friends at the British gastro pub, Dickens Bar, in Causeway Bay.

Named after the English writer Charles Dickens, Dickens Bar is a long-standing establishment in the basement of Excelsior Hotel. A delightful selection of drinks and classic British dishes are offered, but what the bar is most famous for is the live broadcast of sporting events in the evening.

The food is rustic, down-to-earth and delicious, and a famous curry buffet lunch is also offered at $198 (weekday)/ $228 (weekend) per person (and at half price for children). It seems not such a bad idea at all to hit Dickens Bar at some point in winter!

(1) My friends and I were not entirely in the mood for fried food that day, but we felt that we could not leave a gastro pub without ordering some fish and chips, and we were right. The Beer battered fish and chips with salad and tartar sauce ($198) was brilliantly done – the batter was thick, crunchy and satisfying, and the fish was tender and juicy, just like how it should be. There was a generous serving of chips on the side, which were really tasty, and scarily not one of them was left uneaten…

(2) Another recommended dish is the Dickens Bar burger with smoked bacon, organic egg, cheese, pineapple, tomato, garden greens, crispy onion ring and side of chips ($188). The beautiful sunny side up immediately got our attention and made us feel really hungry. Instead of plain buns, the burger was sandwiched between cheese buns, which were scrumptious. The bacon was thick and wholesome, and what impressed us the most was the burger patty, which was incredibly fresh and full of natural beef flavours! 

(3) Seeing that one of my favourite dishes, Confit duck leg with braised lentils and jus ($188), was on the menu, I couldn’t resist ordering it, but it turned out not to be as good as the other dishes. While the skin was gorgeously fried so that it was thin and crispy, the meat inside was on the dry side. The jus tasted all right, but the lentils were too soft and mushy.

(4) The BBQ short rib with buttery mash and green beans ($198) arrived last, and this dish exceeded our expectations. The short ribs were alluringly soft and tender, and the buttery mash was creamy and splendid.

(5) While the boys were busy drowning themselves in beer, the girls ordered the much more civilised Rekorderlig Strawberry Lime (Medium sweet cider 500ml, 4%, $56). A little sweet and not too alcoholic, Rekorderlig had a light, fruity strawberry taste and could just about go with any food that you order.

(6) How can a Christmas gathering feel complete without some hot mulled wine ($75)? This spiced, warming drink can also be ordered with unlimited refills at $190. I can see some thirsty faces amongst you…

(7) If you are bored of iced lemon teas, the Peach & passion fruit tea ($44) is a good alternative. The peach and passion fruit taste was not too noticeable, but it was nice and not overly sweet.

Conclusion: I have been to Dickens Bar several times before for drinks with my friends, but this was the first time I had actually eaten there, and I was rather impressed with their hearty British pub food!