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07 Sep 2021 By

Bar Maestro Ricky Paiva Shakes Up More Than Cocktails at Restaurant JAG’s New Cocktail Joint — Flow.

How excited were we when we first got news that Michelin-starred Restaurant JAG was re-launching a bar above their dining room, and with veteran bartender Ricky Paiva, no less! The mustachioed craft bartender, who first made his mark on the local cocktail scene at Manhattan, now brings his considerable talent and experience to this new concept — a progressive cocktail bar that echoes the restaurant’s dedication to seasonality.



 “Flow will be a very collaborative approach. We want JAG diners to feel welcome upstairs for a pre and/or post dinner drink and we want our guests to enjoy JAG as well. Our goal is to create a cohabitational space with a seamless dynamism for our guests across both floors. While the cocktails and hosting are my territory, our bar-bites menu will be an inspiration of my cocktail recipes and Chef Jeremy’s culinary genius. Each plate will reflect my Californian vibe – fresh, light, seasonal with Jeremy’s signature French refinement,” said Paiva.




I’ve had the pleasure of dining at Restaurant JAG a couple of times, and Chef Gillon’s French omakase menu really celebrates the best of fresh seasonal produce, which he marries sublimely with wild foraged herbs of Savoie. Needless to say, I was quite looking forward to the food upstairs too. How often do you get elevated bar bites from a fine-dining kitchen, right? I fell hard for the delicate Blue Crab, fragranced with laksa and lemon thyme (foraged in Savoie exclusively for JAG), topped with buckwheat crumble and fresh herbs. Feel like something plant-based? Try the Artichoke Hummus (below), with taggiasca olives and roasted hazelnuts.



The drinks menu is cleverly divided into 3 sections: Living Room (classic), Garden (seasonal) and Playground (creative). The Living Room is an inviting space, filled with familiar favourites. The refreshing, aromatic Burnt Lemon is Ricky’s take on a whisky sour (Wild Turkey bourbon, here). An ideal aperitif, methinks. 



Then, take a walk in the Garden, where the air is awash with the scent of fresh botanicals. Here, Ricky takes inspiration from Chef’s herb-filled kitchen, crafting elegant tipples like Strawberry, a light, effervescent cocktail made with Poor Toms (a lovely strawberry gin from Sydney, Australia) and lemon verbena.



For something headier, join Ricky at his Playground (if you dare), where you’ll meet the full force of his fevered imagination. Shibui (above), for example, is sheer elegance, made with Isle of Harris, a Scottish gin that uses sustainably harvested seaweed, which I imagine gives it a depth like konbu in dashi. He layers on the flavours with house blend vermouth and umami bitters, giving the martini a complexity its minimalist appearance belies. 


And, if it’s not already clear, all the glassware is so gorgeously refined too. So pinky-liftingly elegant that you can almost hear Debussy in the background. Almost. But because it’s Ricky, you won’t be hearing a classical music playlist, but (when the music ban lifts) a rockin’ soundtrack of the 90s courtesy of Pearl Jam, Nirvana et al. Can’t wait.

Flow Bar 76A Duxton Road, Level 2.

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