Creative cocktails and French cuisine at J’s Bar Bistro

Movie-themed cocktails and healthful, yet comforting French food is everyone's idea of a good evening. J’s Bar Bistro offers this and much more in a fashionable, laid-back setting.  

We were invited to try J’s Bar Bistro’s semi-buffet lunch menu, perfect for private parties and other events. Conveniently located only three minutes away from the East Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station, this bistro is one of seven esteemed restaurants in The Royal Garden hotel.Designed with an impeccable blend of European and Chinese interiors, J’s Bar Bistro has an opulent bar, with teal and tan stools and dark wooden table tops. Here, award-winning mixologist Stanley Au works his magic. Every drink at the bar is inspired by 1942 American romance film Casablanca, and if you ask nicely, Stanley will very graciously explain the dreamy story behind the creation of every drink. The It’s Complicated cocktail is a lavish purple drink with French absinthe, lavender and other ingredients that symbolise the tangled, complex love-triangle between Ilsa Lund, Rick Blaine and Victor lazlo (go watch the movie!). One of the signatures- the Ilsa Lund cocktail, is a beauty, much like the actress who plays Ilsa in Casablanca. The sweet, subdued pink cocktail comes in a long stem bowl glass covered with freshly grated coconut, and topped with a gorgeous rose petal and delicate golden beads- representing the innocence and beauty of Ilsa.

The main dining area is created for ultimate comfort- cozy chairs and long sofas surround marble table-tops, with a projector screen playing FTV shows and programs. We started off our three course meal with the wide variety of healthy appetizers from the buffet counter. The asparagus with soft-boiled eggs, as plain as it may sound, is a scrumptious blend of textures and flavors, and kept us going for seconds. While one of our absolute favourites was the quinoa and red beans salad, the corn with shredded cheddar cheese also did not disappoint. The pandan roll was soft and to our surprise, extremely flavorful. So much so that we wouldn’t mind nibbling on the bread all by itself.

For the main course, we chose the braised angus beef cheek, mashed potatoes, cinnamon apple and red wine sauce. While the meat was definitely tender and soft, it lacked flavor and relied entirely on the sauce for all its zest. The creamy mashed potatoes complemented the sauce well, and the cinnamon apple added an interesting tangy touch to the meal.

The dessert selection at the buffet counter was impressive. The butterfly cookies, although seemingly sugary, were not overly sweet. On the other hand, the peach tart, with a flaky exterior and soft interior and tangy peach filling, might be too sweet for some. The star of the dessert section was the bread pudding- soft, perfectly sweet pudding with all the right spices, topped with condensed milk, was a winner.

All in all, J’s bar Bistro is a great place to spend a night out with friends with innovative (and potent!) cocktails and wholesome comfort food in a stylish setting. So get yourself to East TST now- it’s 5 o’clock somewhere in the world!

Najuka Redkar

Restaurant Details
2/F, The Royal Garden, 69 Mody Road, East Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
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