8 New Bars in Hong Kong for Your Next Night Out

As a hotbed for bartending talents, Hong Kong is now home to a bumper crop of exciting new bars that are worth visiting.

Photo: Terrible Baby

1. Terrible Baby 

Those who have lived long enough would remember Eaton Hotel from the nineties. It was given a complete makeover to become Eaton HK which, today, has a real indie vibe that points to founder Katherine Lo’s background in activism and filmmaking. As you take the neon-lit escalator up to the bar Terrible Baby, the mood transforms and you arrive in a space whose canvas of colors recall the 1960s feel of In The Mood For Love. The space boasts a lush outdoor terrace that overlooks some of Jordan’s neighborhood landmarks, a Music Room for live acts, and a gallery called Tomorrow Maybe, where there’s a calendar of changing art exhibitions. Cocktail names tend to be of the tongue-in-cheek variety, like the Let’s Go For One Bruh, a refreshing concoction that blends Italian Malfy Gin with Arancia and elements such as peach liqueur, pineapple, lemon juice, cilantro, and vanilla bitters.

More information here.

Photo: PDT (Please Don’t Tell)

2. PDT (Please Don’t Tell)

If you’ve stepped inside the secret phone booth entrance to New York’s acclaimed PDT and sipped cocktails by its star mixologist Jim Meehan, take heart that it has now branched out to Asia with
its first international outpost. Located on the mezzanine above Mandarin Oriental Landmark’s MO Bar, PDT Hong Kong maintains key design elements of PDT NYC such as its copper bar top, herringbone patterned wood ceiling, and taxidermy, with each asset given a playful spin. Go for the well-made Benton’s Old Fashioned, which features smoky bacon. As for bar chow, hotel chef Richard Ekkebus has created a menu based on American comfort food. Order the Hong Kong-inspired Honkie Dog fried pork dog with sakura shrimp and XO mayo–a reminder that PDT NYC’s telephone booth is hidden at the back of a hot dog eatery. This intimate gem of a bar is a nice little secret we wished we could keep all to ourselves. Shh… please don’t tell!

More information here.

Photo: Murray Lane

3. Murray Lane

Situated at the spacious and dramatic lobby of The Murray, which was converted from a 1969 government office block by Foster + Partners, Murray Lane is an upscale oasis of calm in frantic Central. The dark and sexy den,  punctuated only by dashes of mustard yellow and gold, is characterized by a combination of bar and banquette seating. Murray Lane’s collection of signature cocktails is divided into two lists, The Tape and The Cassia. While the former draws inspiration from inspired by The Murray’s position on the doorstep of the financial district, the latter is named after the hotel’s majestic Cassia Javanica, a protected tree that has stood on the site for decades. The Cassia List’s Amalfi Spritz adds Sicilian lemonade to the familiar Aperol Spritz to yield a refreshing cocktail that’s perfect on a hot summer’s day.

More information here.

Photo: Draft Land

4. Draft Land

Billed as Hong Kong’s first cocktail on tap concept, this Wyndham Street venue comes hot on the heels
of Draft Land’s opening in Taipei. The consistency-driven concept with a focus on science is the brainchild of Taiwanese drink maestro Angus Zou, who has partnered with entrepreneur Antonio Lai to serve only pre-batch and garnish-free cocktails. The duo have created more than 40 different cocktail flavors available on a rotational basis on 24 tapsthe Oolong Tea Collins and Guk Bo (which draws on chrysanthemum and bo-lay tea) are available only in Hong Kong. Pair one with Hong Kong-style street food bar bites such as the char siu pork neck tossed with garlic, chili, and pea shoots – the usual toppings for typhoon shelter crab.

More information here.

Photo: ROOM 309

5. ROOM 309

A visit to cocktail bar ROOM 309 gives new meaning to the term “room for imagination”. Located within chic boutique hotel The Pottinger Hong Kong, the bar expects patrons to “check in” at the reception inside The Envoy and draw a keycard before heading for a tipplethat is, if they find the venue. When you do, the eyes are treated to a feast of design detail: antique wood pillars adorned with lion heads, a stately writing desk, and stationary pieces. Helmed by one of Hong Kong’s leading mixologists, Antonio Lai, the bar offers two drinks menus named 309 Classic and Invisible. The latter features colorless cocktails which allow you to appreciate the cocktails simply based on taste, removing the ‘noise’ that comes with color. Have a go at the Crystal Old Fashioned, which uses re-distilled peanut butter bourbon, homemade wooden chips bitters, and banana concentrate. Oaky, character-driven, and full-bodied, the cocktail is much more than meets the eye.

More information here.

Photo: The Sea by The Old Man 

6. The Sea by The Old Man 

The Sea comes as a close “sequel” to the success of The Old Manwhich now boasts an outpost in Singaporebuilding on the story of Ernest Hemingway’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Old Man and the Sea. The Sea’s ten signature cocktails focus on simple, mineral flavors derived from natural elements such as rock, sea, peat, and soil. You won’t find cocktail names, here, however. Each beverage is identified by a number, so if you are in the mood for a drink that captures the soul of The Sea, they have a Cocktail #1 which consists of seaweed gin and lacto-fermented pineapple rind soda. Bar owners Agung Prabowo, James Tamang, and Roman Ghale took the theme further by molding the decor of the bar after Pilar, Hemingway’s beloved 11.5-meter boat, which he rode through three marriages, a Nobel Prize win, and his ultimate ruin.

More information here.

Photo: The Dispensary 

7. The Dispensary 

With the completion of Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron last May, the revamped historic compound (once forbidden to the public) has become a popular draw for locals and visitors alike. Cue The Dispensary, an opulent and eclectic lounge bar that connects British restaurant Statement and fine-dining venue The Chinese Library; together, they occupy the top floor of the former Central Police Headquarters. The original wooden floors, pitched roof, window frames, and shutters of The Dispensary have changed little since the colonial days when the police force was rumored to have enjoyed many drinks here in what was then an officers’ mess. Cocktails here fall under two categories, British and Chinese. The Chinese Collection features The Mango Tree, which celebrates the tall, 60-year-old behemoth outside the bar. Done in the style of a Bellini, it is made of mango puree with Kamm & Sons, almond syrup, and prosecco. As you sip on it, think how some of the good fortune the tree brought to The Hong Kong Police could potentially rub off on you, too. Many officers believed that if the tree bore plenty of fruit, it would be a good year for promotion. Others thought that abundant fruit was a bad omen.

More information here.

Photo: DarkSide Bar

8. DarkSide Bar

Tucked inside the newly opened Rosewood Hong Kong, which towers over the Kowloon waterfront, DarkSide’s name is derived from the moniker given by Hong Kong Islanders to the Kowloon Peninsula and beyond. There is plenty here to elicit envy from the islanders. From specialty cocktails to coveted cigars, and a good selection of wines and spirits, the team of area wine director Nicolas Deneux and mixology masters Arkadiusz Rybak and Simone Rossi ensure the bar delivers on esteemed taste, refinement, and quality. Design veteran Tony Chi was enlisted to create the spacenot only is it thoughtful and meticulously-crafted, but the bar also features a number of details such as the rotating hourglass ceiling installation handcrafted in Murano glass. The decor and beverage program, together with the unmatched views of Victoria Harbour, set the stage for an evening of insouciant enjoyment as night falls and live jazz takes center stage.

More information here.

 

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