Momentai, latest entrant to the Sai Kung bar-restaurant scene, will open on Friday 22 September, co-owners Niko Smirnoff and Courtney Horwood said. Niko said the time the doors will open has not been decided, but Momentai will be in full swing by noon on Saturday.
Much has been done but it is clear there is still a lot to do. The 12-tap copper beer tower and refurbished pool table have been installed. Colourful Portuguese-like ceramic tables are in place. Bowie, the town’s ubiquitous sign painter, is working on a map of Sai Kung for one of the walls, Niko said. Students from the UST are creating a “Rube Goldberg Pokemon-type machine” to amuse patrons.
If Niko and his co-owners (the third is Michael Lam) carry out their promises they may greatly improve the Sai Kung music and nightlife scene. Agreement has been reached with coordinator Jim Lewis for the first-Saturday-of-each-month Sai Kung Live performances to continue. On Friday nights jazz musicians from clubs on the island will enliven the waterfront, on Saturdays local bands such as Pineapple Jam and Levelling Out will perform, and on Sundays, acoustic guitar players. That’s what Niko, a musician himself, says is all going to happen.
We asked to see the menu. It is not ready, he said, giving us a bit of the flavour: appetisers — Thai crab cakes, cucumber-wrapped tuna tartar, poke rice balls with tuna and avocado, “all under $100” and mains — “straight forward juicy beef” burger $120, Aussie steak with gravy and mash, vegetarian beef Wellington — prices undecided. Chef Steve Keyes, formerly of Hebe 101, was beavering away in the kitchen getting ready for the off.
All three owners are Sai Kung residents. Niko said they have employed 12 staff, six of whom will be part-time. The seaside location is one of the best in all Hong Kong. Just how attractive the Momentai team can make the place remains to be seen.