Local Brews: Joining the cluster of cool restaurants and bars on Peel Street, 65 Peel (yep, that’s the address too) is turning its attention to local breweries and seafood-centric bar snacks.
Look & Feel: Aside from a few touches of neon signage, Edison bulbs and a splash of bright paint, 65 Peel is not trying too hard when it comes to the design. The spacious address embraces an industrial, raw look and offers a mix of seating — big sharing tables, bar stools, private two-tops.
On the Menu: You can expect a long list of about 12 locally brewed craft beers on its drinks menu, including familiar faces such as Kowloon Bay Brewery, Young Master’s and Moonzen (all $80). The one-page menu of bar snacks feels like more than your average gastro pub fare, focusing on seafood and fried bites. Fill up on freshly shucked oysters, sea urchin tartare, and even seared scallops served typhoon shelter-style.
Service: While the bar manager seems completely on the ball (as you’d hope), the other staff members come across as oblivious and they’re not very familiar with the beers when asked. The food comes out without a hitch, but we wait with empty beer glasses for a solid 10 minutes, thirsty for a second round.
Jeng: We appreciate the selection of local Hong Kong brews all in one place. The Jade Emperor IPA from Moonzen Brewery balances bitters, hop and floral notes while the Nut brown Ale from Kowloon bay Brewery features a fruity aftertaste that goes down easy. As for food, we try about half the menu and are surprised by the variety and consistently exceptional quality. Standouts include the simple yet satisfying School Prawn Hat-Trick ($110), a plate full of slaty garlicky fried prawns. We also recommend the Twist Fries ($70), a healthy portion of curly fries with a zingy sour cream sauce on the side. For something lighter, try the seared scallops ($150), perfectly prepared and topped with cauliflower puree.
Not So Jeng: If you’re going to specialize in local beers and serve an edited menu, the servers should really be able to explain the difference between IPAs — even better if they can share in diner’s geeky craft beer enthusiasm. The smoked BBQ chicken wings ($90), while delightfully fragrant thanks to the curried pineapple, come with a slightly soggy exterior. Next time we’ll try a better mix of foods, to avoid an overly deep-fried dinner.
Great For: Catching up with friends, big drinkers, light bites, fried-food fix.
FYI: The SoHo space was formerly the home of Boca.
This writeup was based on an independent tasting. The Loop doesn’t guarantee/sell restaurant review coverage. See our editorial policy here.