Been inside too long? Head out to somewhere special, whether it’s sleek and sophisticated, trendy in design or quirky (like a cocktail bar with no bartenders, for example)! Here’s a mix of new bars in Hong Kong and some older noteworthy ones too for you to try.
THE DAILY TOT
Rum fans, rejoice! Just opened on Hollywood Road, this place is all about the Caribbean dark spirit, with 11 rum cocktails the centrepiece of the menu. Don’t expect a tiki vibe though – more of a stylish Cuban feel.
If you’re looking for a cocktail with a distinct Asian edge, try Frank’s Library, hidden within the depths of Foxglove. The bar is an ode to Frank Minza’s adventures around the world and his lifelong appreciation of exotic spirits. The ‘Travel Diary” cocktail menu will take you from Japan to Thailand, with a few nods to Paris in between.
Located on Wyndham Street, Draft Land offers Hong Kong’s first menu of draft cocktails on tap. Yep, there’s a not a bartender shaking or stirring in sight. It may sound counterintuitive at first, but the bar’s enormous success in Taipei (that outlet came 26th on the recent list of Asia’s 50 Best Bars!) makes it worth a visit, even for the sceptics.
Sitting on the top floor of the transformed Central Police Headquarters, the Dispensary is nestled between The Chinese Library and Statement, cleverly linking East and West. While it’s not brand new, it’s worth highlighting for those who haven’t been to the newly re-furbed grounds. It offers a great range of cocktails and respectable wine list. Drop by on the way to or from dinner at either restaurant and make sure to have a look around Tai Kwun while you’re there.
All the old favourites…
Ozone Bar is officially the highest bar in the world, making it a Hong Kong must-do. It’s a great place to take guests. Savour a drink amidst the clouds at this sky bar and lounge located atop The Ritz-Carlton.
THE OLD MAN
In its three years of operation, this relative newcomer on the Hong Kong bar scene has come fifth, second and first in the annual list of Asia’s 50 Best Bars. Amazing! It’s an Ernest Hemingway themed cocktail bar in Central.
Coming hot on the heels of The Old Man in the top 50 was this Mexican-inspired bar that highlights traditional 100 percent agave tequila and mezcal cocktails (a coa is a blade used to harvest agave).
The flagship bar in the Rosewood Hong Kong takes Kowloon’s nickname as its own, and honours the district in its cocktail list. There’s also a comprehensive line-up of rare and vintage Armagnac, port and more. A live jazz band completes the sultry scene.
Rosewood Hong Kong Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
3891-8732 | darkside.hk
An oldie but a goodie, this Central venue is great for special occasions. Its rooftop bar offers a stunning 360-degree view of Hong Kong, which means it might be necessary to book. It also has a highly-regarded restaurant.
With a garden of 10,000 butterflies hanging from its ceiling, Iron Fairies has a luxe, dramatic feel. The fit-out pays homage to designer Ashley Sutton’s childhood near the goldmines of Western Australia. Expect boutique beers, crafted cocktails, great food and more.
This speakeasy-style bar has been named among the World’s Best Bars, with its cocktails singled out for creating a pioneering and exciting experience by playing with perception, flavour, and science.
DR. FERN’S GIN PARLOUR
Enter through a door styled to look the entry to an old-fashioned apothecary’s consultation room (the eponymous eccentric Dr. Fern) and indulge in gins mixed with fresh local herbs and botanicals, all said to be antidotes to stress!
PING PONG 129
Visitors are usually on the lookout for somewhere not too crowded, a big enough area to sit, a great drinks list and a cool atmosphere. Ping Pong has this plus more. Head here and wow your friends with huge gin and tonics in a secretive location.
There’s a secluded secret bar through a secret door at MO Bar (Mandarin Oriental Landmark). Every evening after 5pm, duck through the telephone box and enter PDT (Please Don’t Tell) for a New York vibe.
This article first appeared in Expat Living’s City Guide. Subscribe now to get your free copy!
Read more in our Wine and Dine section: