By: Sarah Richard
We scour the Hong Kong bar scene to bring you the new and the noteworthy. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it! This month, Online Editor Sarah heads over to the top floor of PMQ and discovers slick hideout Isono Bar and Eatery.
I’ve always appreciated Isono from afar – I can see right into its rooftop from my apartment – yet, I had never made the oh-so-long journey to actually go there. Finally after 6 months of spying on it I eventually made my way over, and am kicking myself I never made the effort before. If a place could rely just on first impressions to attract customers Isono would be thriving day in, day out. I guarantee there isn’t a soul that hasn’t proclaimed ‘this is amazing’ as they walk in. High (I mean really high) ceilings, two floors, open plan with slick timeless decor, all tucked away on the top floor of PMQ giving it that sought after, secretive feel.
The bar is mainly features gin; a pretty impressive selection of gin to say the least. Their menu is presented creatively on individual postcards showing exactly what goes into their masterpieces. It was a Friday evening, I deserved more than one (right?) so my friends and I made our way through their gin based cocktails. Our winners were: Washed Negroni (London dry gin, vermouth, blancosarti, and elderflower liqueur) and the Old Tom Fashioned (Old Tom gin, sugar cubes, Isono Mediterranean bitters). They also serve Estrella on tap – in full pint glasses – a rarity in HK.
Bite on this
This impressive space is also home to VASCO, Isono’s upstairs neighbour, serving a mix of French and Spanish fine-dining food. If you aren’t feeling the upscale vibe, Isono serves a delicious tapas menu at the bar, or a hearty Mediterranean dinner menu in their restaurant. We picked on some of the tapas dishes with our cocktails, including; the Cod croquettes and Tuna salad with paprika & parmesan crackers.
It is worth visiting just to see the space alone. The kind of bar you have been looking for in Hong Kong, but haven’t yet found (until now). The cocktails are flawless, tapas are small yet punchy, and the service balances the right mix of friendliness and professionalism (the manager Roberto is a great guy to chat to). Surprisingly this all comes for a very cheap price too. Everyday, on the tapas menu, beers start at $18 and dishes at $32. This could be one of the best bargains in Hong Kong – in a top floor bar in PMQ – why didn’t we know about this sooner?
Isono Bar & Eatery | 6/F Block B, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street | 2156 0688
Looking for more bar inspiration? Check out what bar we went last month here