Lobster Bar and Grill at Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong welcomes the Lebanese gem Jad Ballout to grace local bar-goers with his mesmerising concoctions from 15 to 18 June 2016.

During his four-day visit to Lobster Bar and Grill, Jad will dream up a slew of concoctions alongside Lobster Bar’s Head Bartender Balazs Molnar that will rattle the locals’ taste buds.  For his first visit to Hong Kong, he has specially created a cocktail named When in Hong Kong, which is inspired by the Hong Kong-style milk tea, alongside six other cocktails that best represent his spirituous bailiwick.  Jad is an expert in reviving venerable classic cocktails by giving them a new breath of life.  The nouveau Harvey Wallbanger – Havey Floor Banger – on the menu is the best example. (Please refer to the Appendix for the cocktail menu.)

“I like to take drinks that are not in fashion or trite and turn them into something intriguing again by sprinkling my twist on them,” said Jad.

Jad has been in the bartending industry for more than nine years.  In the pursuit of bringing international standards to Beirut, Lebanon, Jad and his partners decided to open the visionary Central Station Boutique Bar, along with three other bars he co-owned, and it is fast becoming one of the top bars in the city.

He garnered his skills, knowledge and experience from working at night clubs, restaurants, hotels, beach resorts and cocktail bars.  Food is a big source of inspiration for Jad’s cocktail creations; he takes cues from fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables found in the local markets.  He is also keen on using cooking equipment, such as chef’s smoking guns and the Perlini shaker, for his concoctions.

Jad believes entering bartending competitions on a global level can further strengthen and develop his artistry in cocktail making.  In 2013, he was the “Bartender of the Year” at Diageo World Class, where he represented Lebanon in the global competition.

In 2014, he had the honour of being selected as a member of the World’s 50 Best Bars Academy, the team that determines the World’s 50 Best Bars.

In 2015, as the winner of Lebanon’s leg of the Bacardi Legacy competition, Jad represented his country at the Global Bacardi Legacy final held in Sydney and took home the honour as the runner up.

Lobster Bar offers a convivial atmosphere to unwind and savour a series of innovative cocktails crafted by Head Bartender Balazs Molnar and his team of cocktailians.  Lobster Bar recently ranked fourth, the highest in Hong Kong, at Asia’s 50 Best Bars Awards 2016 by Drinks International and 18th at the World’s 50 Best Bar Awards 2015.  It was also shortlisted as one of the “Best International Hotel Bars” at Tales of the Cocktail’s 9th Annual Spirited Awards 2015 and was listed among the top 30 in “The Greatest Bars in the World” in 2015 by Condé Nast Traveler.

Lobster Bar and Grill opens daily from noon to 1 a.m. from Sundays to Thursdays and from noon to 2 a.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and the eve of public holidays.  For more information, please telephone Lobster Bar and Grill on (852) 2820 8560 or e-mail [email protected]

Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts currently owns and/or manages over 95 hotels under the Shangri-La brand with a room inventory of over 39,000.  Shangri-La hotels are five-star deluxe properties featuring extensive luxury facilities and services.  Shangri-La hotels are located in Australia, Canada, mainland China, Fiji, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Sultanate of Oman, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.  The group has a substantial development pipeline with upcoming projects in mainland China, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka.

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