Hong Kong is an amazing, dynamic city, says Andrew Cibej. The only thing that's missing? "A natural Italian wine scene." It may not surprise you to learn that Cibej (pictured above left with sommelier Giorgio De Maria), the proprietor of Sydney restaurants Vini and Berta and Surry Hills wine bar 121BC, and a backer of Chippendale's Ester, plans to do something about it. He's bringing a touch of the Vini magic to Hong Kong with an offshoot of 121BC.
But don't expect these twins to be identical. "121BC meets Vini" is how he describes the wine bar-trattoria hybrid he has planned for the food-and-wine-centric Soho district. The space? Designed by Sydney architect Anthony Gill (who also did the Vini, Berta and 121BC fit-outs), it'll be slightly bigger than the original, seating 45 to 50 people. The food? Simple, share-friendly Italian plates by former Vini head chef Dan Johnston. And the wine? "All directly imported, curated by one Giorgio De Maria [a GT Sommelier of the Year awardee for his work at 121BC], with services facilitated by ex-Vini sommelier Simone Sammuri." 121BC Hong Kong is slated to open in late August, and, if its siblings are anything to go by, it's great news for the more adventurous drinkers of the protectorate. 121BC, 42-44 Peel St, Soho, Central, Hong Kong.