Wylde for Liquor: Tea Room at Bun House

Keith Barker (Chow)-Main turns Charlie Chan and investigates a louche Soho den.

Chuck on a vintage cheongsam and beetle down with your beau - sharp in a retro slimline shot silk suit - to Tea Room at Bun House. Inspired by exotic Hong Kong Harbour’s irresistibly debauched drinking dens of yore, set to sultry 60s Shanghai chantoosays’ wistful warbling played on a shonky Seeburg jukebox, Chicagoan dude Alex Peffly’s moody dive is homage to his wife’s exotic Cantonese heritage.

Lit Tretchikoff green under garish neon signs, willowy Miss Wongs ferry lotus crisp, duck tongue fries, chicken gizzards, pork neck and kow choi skewers and over twenty arcane cocktails to adventurous paying punters. Many of the basement flop-house's fixes rely on China’s national spirit, baijiu, that, to Westerners unaccustomed to its distinctive bittersweet acrid top notes, has the iffy whiff of a Beijing kick-boxer’s jockstrap.

Thankfully, in head shakermaker Franky Rodriguez’ signatures - Sour Plum & Liquorice Root, Kumquat & Wormwood, Chocolate & White Rabbit, Buddha Apple & Cream - much-maligned baijiu tastes more heavenly than a Shaolin temple’s holy water. We likey!