When we headed to Hong Kong, I knew that the last thing we wanted to do was to head to Hard Rock. The Island is swimming with awesome bars, with new ones being added each week. Therefore, it’s important to do your research before you head there as many of the guide books become outdated before you’ve got them home from Waterstones, or iTunes if you’re one of those digital natives.
We found so many bars that we loved along the way that it’s hard to list them all in one post, but here are some of our favourites:-
58 Hollywood Rd, +852 2851 3223
There are cocktail bars and then there are cocktail bars run by SERIOUS mixologists. Quinary is definitely the latter. Run by the infamous Antonio Lai, he takes a food science approach to cocktails, appealing to all 5 of the senses. It’s insane! The drinks here are pricier than some of the other bars that you’ll visit, but they are worth EVERY SINGLE DOLLAR. We opted for the Early Grey Caviar Martinis and my favourite which was the Marshmallow Milkshake. Served in mini cola bottles, the vodka smells sweet, infused with popcorn before the addition of egg whites and sugar. It takes you back to being a kid… but with alcohol. It’s epic.
48 Wyndham St, +852 2668 5583
Are you human? Do you have a pulse? Do you like gin? If you answered yes to all of these questions, then Origin will be your new found love in Hong Kong. Serving some of the best gins that you can lay your hands on and a comprehensive menu of gin based cocktails, Origin is not only cool but will have you wanting to go back for more as soon as you’ve walked out of the door. We took one of the tables outside to watch passers by and whilst Dickie ordered a Old Fashioned, which was apparently epic, I opted for a cocktail which reminded me of a lemon sorbet. He denies it but I know Dickie had drink envy. C’est la vie.
Lily & Bloom
33 Wyndham St, +852 2810 6166
Tucked away on the 6th floor of the Lan Kwai Fong Tower on Wyndham Street, this bar is speakeasy in style but not in size. It’s dark luxurious interior spells a mixture of industrial romance and offers the most amazing martinis. They serve food too, which have received mixed reviews. Personally, if you’re looking for somewhere cool and understated for drinks where you won’t be interrupted, you could do worse than heading here. P.S. can you spot us?
Yardbird (also an awesome restaurant, so post coming on that soon)
33 Bridges St, +852 2547 9273
No longer the new kid to the block, Yardbird is STILL getting rave reviews and it’s easy to see why. Firstly, you can’t go here without eating here, it’s amazing. But if it’s drinks only that you’re after, well they have that covered too. Located in the achingly hip Sheung Wan district, it’s waiters are too cool for school and yet surprisingly helpful and their cocktail making skills are second to none. Always busy, the bar offers a relaxed space for you to chill, a popular spot with many of the ex-pats. Be prepared to stand.
151-155 Hollywood Road, +852 3151 7771
This is a great little unpretentious bar (rare in Hong Kong) which specialises in craft ales, sake and random cocktails. We stopped here after an afternoon of shopping as it’s street-side location and open front makes it perfect for people watching. Opt for the Beerlini (that’s right, champagne replaced with beer, which shouldn’t work but REALLY does) or a Monkey Porn. Just because.
Shop 1, L/F, Welley Building, 97 Wellington St., near Graham Street
Hidden away as a discreet doorway through one of Hong Kong’s last remaining wet markets, 001 is a treasure trove for anyone who loves a speakeasy. Surrounded by 1920s decor and ambiance, you could easily be fooled into thinking you’d been transported back 100 years. With the awesomeness (READ: strength) of the cocktails, there’s a very good chance this could actually happen if you stay there for too long.
17a Moon Street, +852 2520 0076
An American Western restaurant and bar, we sadly found this to be a little style over substance with the service lacking and the staff dying to finish their shift. HOWEVER, it is in one of my favourite neighbourhoods of all time and it is, oh so pretty. So be sure to pop in here for a drink. We could have just been unfortunate as we did turn up at 10.20pm! The bar was still packed and the drinks menu was extensive, so they’re obviously doing something right.
If you’re serious about cocktails (it’s no joking matter) be sure to tread off of the beaten track – take a wander past central and Lan Kwai Fong and find some of the hidden gems out there. Hopefully the above will give you a starter for ten. We enjoyed them. From what we can remember.