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Three budding restaurateurs, all locals, to open new craft-beer bar next month

two faces smalley

Nikolai Smirnov and Courtney Horwood

 The new craft-beer bar opening in town in the middle of September will be operated by owners Nikolai Smirnov, Courtney Horwood and Michael Lam.  All are Sai Kung people. Both Nikolai and Courtney are well-known as former Casa Group staff, Courtney as general manager.
Niko said, “We have a large space with alfresco dining, and a strong European relaxed seaside town influence in the decor”. The bar is to be called Momentai, meaning no problem in Cantonese.  Niko won’t confirm the location yet, saying he is not allowed to until “the keys are handed over”. The chat about town is that the location is special, but we will respect Niko’s wish that it not be revealed for the moment.
Niko goes on, “We want to create a space that can only exist in Sai Kung. Our service will be genuine and friendly like a family owned restaurant — you’ll be served just as often by one of the owners as any of our staff… We’ll have some great entertainment options… We have already purchased a pool table, and there will be regular live music. Joseph Marchione will be flying in from Beijing to play two nights on October 6 and 7 with a five-piece band. They’re the same musicians you’ll find at the hippest jazz clubs in Central like Peel Fresco where I regularly go see myself. We have some other surprises in the works that I can’t confirm yet, but we are looking into getting a working arcade machine for customers to duel each other at Mortal Kombat, or any of the other games available in our two-player cabinet.”
Fourteen craft-beer taps will be installed with a cold room to keep all the beer preserved. The focus will be on locally made beers from breweries such as Lion Rock, Kowloon Bay, Moonzen and Mak’s Brewery. English Bitter, made by Yardley Brothers Brewery, will be on tap.
Steven Keys from Hebe 101 will be head chef, Niko said.  “We will be putting a lot of effort into creating vegetarian dishes, international bar snacks and fusion dishes to go alongside what you’d expect from a restaurant and bar, like burgers and fries.”

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