James Suckling Wine Central is a wine bar (first and foremost) but also a Korean-esque fusion restaurant (James' wife is Korean). The restaurant is a labor of love, a dream that James and his wife Marie have had for a long time. Going there sort of feels like you are visiting your wine-loving friends who are sharing with you their favorite wines together with their favorite foods.
The wine list is massive, consisting purely of 90+ scoring wines (by James Suckling, of course), whose scores are conveniently displayed on the menu. There are special sections such as "James’ Cellar Selection” and “Wines of My Career (100-point wines)” that reflect James Suckling's own personal favorites, wine that he says " I revere and love to drink." He self admits that there's a "heavy emphasis on Italy, Bordeaux and Port."
The best part about coming to James Suckling Wine Central is the HUGE selection of by-the-glass offerings (over 500 bottles!). They use the Covarin system to preserve their wines, so they are much more willing to let guests sample nicer bottles by the glass.
We had tons of fun, both ordering different wines (so that we could try each others' glasses), thus sampling even more kinds!
The food reflect Marie Suckling's Korean background and represents comfort foods from her childhood. Familiar Korean dishes such as Korean seafood pancake, beef sauteed with rice cakes, and Korean fried chicken are tasty and fill up the stomach, allowing us to drink even more wine. It's certainly nice to have good food at a wine bar. The portion sizes are on the smaller side, so definitely order more than one items. We ordered four dishes plus cheese, and we finished everything.
It's really unusual to have a place like this in Hong Kong, and for that I'm really grateful. I'm sure the pandemic has not made it easy, though for now it still appears to be open (12PM - 6PM, in line with current rules). From time to time the wine bar hosts special wine events, such as Open Tastings and Masterclasses. I do hope to have more opportunities to go back. There are just so many wines to try!
James Suckling Wine Central
2/F, 22 Staunton Street,
Central, Hong Kong