I was so excited to go out mid-week with hubby and let someone else slave over a hot kitchen. Hot Sauce is a funky, edgy cocktail bar/Asian tapas restaurant, adjacent to the QT hotel (formerly Museum Hotel). It definitely exceeded my expectations.I was instantly wowed as it’s just so unique. Make sure you to take time to study the groovy décor. It’s dark night-club-like and illuminated with neon lights and funky art. Very Asian. The ceiling is covered in bamboo steam bowls. On a wall at the entrance you are greeted by a good number of Asian Gold and white ornamental happy cats waving to you. Make sure you wave back!. From a feng shui perspective, these cats are known to bring in wealth. We’re big fans, even though they can look tacky. Not here. They’re right at home as they’re part of the art.
There is a mix of high stools/booth seating or lower seating alcoves for drinks and shared plates. There’s a separate area at the front with these cool black comfy arm chairs and tables. There are changes to come too with these areas so that’s very exciting.In the middle is a huge bar and you can be served on either side. The kitchen at the rear is open plan and great to watch the chefs go chop, chop, chop.
This is such a great place to meet with local friends (and to impress ones from out of town), or to hire out for a special event.
We were warmly greeted by lovely male waiters who were passionate and knowledgeable about their drinks, food and service. We were advised that this was a new menu so they were keen for our feedback.
There were about 10 signature cocktails on the menu with amazing cool names. I also saw on their website they have a Happy Cat Happy Hour on Fridays and Saturdays from 4pm to 6pm including some teapot cocktails. Good to know right so you get more bang for you buck. Plus you can reserve a table for 8 or more in advance.
They have a huge selection of beers, liqueurs and wines. Hubby chose a Happy Cat lager to go with the Happy cat decor/theme. I went with the waiter’s recommendation – Utsumi sour. It was delicious however I was just slightly disappointed it wasn’t served in a sexy, stemmed cocktail glass. So next time I will check that out.
Now let’s get down to the food business. The menu was so mouth-watering. It was like a “I want it all and I want it now” moment. Each dish was marked GF or DF to cater for those with food intolerances or choices. Big tick. Hubby quickly jumped in with an order of edamame. This was followed by crispy squid. Both of these dishes were so tasty and stunning in presentation. Service was very swift also.
We bumped into some friends so got chatting away while our next dish, the free range Shanghai pork pot stickers sat looking at us, simmering in their gorgeous sichuan sauce. Divine. We dived in quickly after some blah blah blah and I quickly managed to get a snap of the last dumpling, before hubby devoured it. I was tempted to drink the leftover sauce. It seemed a shame to waste.
As hubby’s not a fan of duck, our second to last dish was free range pork bao. These were so delicious and full of flavour. Darn if we’d kept that Sichuan sauce, we could have poured it over the bao.
The final dish of the night was no doubt in our minds, the winner. Lip smackin’ free range popcorn chicken with pineapple, fried garlic and siracha mayo. OMG it was just sublime.
All portions were very generous too which is great when you’re sharing and good value for money. Don’t you love it when a menu speaks to you that you plan to come back even before you’ve left?. I already know what I’m going to order; the duck bao, some skewers (salmon, beef, vegetarian, pork or chicken), raw beef tataki, raw tuna, Asian lamb ribs, banana-leaf wrapped fish, prawn wontons and market greens. Um I may have to spread that out over several visits.
Happy campers,. Happy cool cats at the end of this outing for sure. They’re open 7 days 4pm til late. You’d swear you were in Japan and I haven’t even been to there yet! Next year.