Review: PIIN Wine Restaurant in Central, Hong Kong
Burgundy wines meet Cantonese cuisine at the new H Code building in Central
The latest building to hit Hong Kong’s Central district is H Code. If you’ve been to neighbouring Tai Kwun, you’ve likely noticed this building as it’s being scaled by a large golden gorilla. I’m not sure if the gorilla is permanent but it gives you an idea of what the building wants to be: a cool spot for creatives to work and play. Naturally, a number of new restaurants have decided to make their home here including PIIN Wine Restaurant.
PIIN, which roughly translates to ‘taste’ in Cantonese, takes up the second floor. The vibe is elegant and sophisticated but the comfortable seating ensures guests will be able to relax. Bottles are tastefully placed around the restaurant showings just a sliver of the over 2,000 Burgundy wine options available. The restaurant was founded by the owner of Château de Meursault and Château de Marsannay (also part owner of the Carrefour supermarkets), and looks to make Burgundy wines, often considered the most prestigious in the world, approachable for all. While connoisseurs will find a lot to love (rare vintages and older, large format bottles are a focus), it’s also suitable for enthusiasts with around 30 options available by the glass.
So why did the owner choose to build a whole restaurant around the pairing of Burgundy wines and Cantonese cuisine? Turns out it’s because both are delicate and all about playing with different textures. The restaurant’s philosophy is to find the right balance between the wine and the food so that the aromas and intensities are complimentary. Sounds like a treat for the taste buds so we were excited to dig into a six course menu with dishes from PIIN’s Signature ($980) and Premium ($1,180) set menus created by Chef Ming who was previously at Fook Lam Moon.
Amuse bouche of fresh guava with plum jelly
Smoky abalone with plum sauce
Seasonal double-boiled soup with fish maw, bamboo pith, and sea whelk
Deboned chicken wing with garlic glutinous rice
Slow-cooked pigeon smoked with Jasmine tea leaves
Japanese bean curd braised with Maitake mushroom
Classic clay pot rice with steamed minced pork
As for the wines, we started with the 2015 Meursault from Château de Meursault, before moving onto the 2017 Clos de Jeu from Château de Marsannay and the 2014 Volnay Close des Chenes from Château de Meursault. Now I’m certainly not a wine expert (definitely more enthusiast than connoisseur!), I did really enjoy trying the wine pairings and seeing how the flavours changed on the tongue. For example, I thought the 2015 Meursault was ample and round, and brought out the sweetness in the abalone while the 2017 Close de Jeu’s fruitiness excited the flavours of the oily, fragrant chicken course when it hit the tongue. If you’re into experimenting with flavour and texture combinations then PIIN could be a fun spot for a date or group dinner with friends.
PIIN is likely to be a hot table for wine connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike. The selection of Burgundy wines has got to be the biggest in town and the food pairings are done very well. Look out for masterclasses and dinners based around special bottles to be happening soon.
H Code, 2/F, 45 Pottinger St, Central, 2832 7123
*By invitation for Foodie
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