One of Hong Kong’s coolest cocktail bars is tucked away behind an unmarked, closed door in the basement of the Peninsula hotel (it’s easy to miss if you’re not in the know, so ask at the lobby if you get lost). Once you’ve found your way, ring the bell and you’ll be greeted by Madame Ning — or more precisely her (digital) eyes peeking though the mail dropbox. “Madame Ning” is the fictional 1930s Shanghai socialite and avid traveler to whom Salon de Ning is dedicated
Surrounding the bar’s main lounge area are four themed rooms modeled on the home of Madame Ning (if you stand at a distance you’ll notice that each one is actually framed so as to create an ever-changing living painting). Travel back in time as you explore Madam Ning’s dressing room, complete with vintage dresses, hats, and jewelry, or the dance room where you can watch Madame Ning twirl the night away with numerous young men on the TV screens. Ready for an adventure? With a mounted lion head and an African-style tent, the Africa room will have you longing for a safari, while the cozy Swiss chalet room will transport you straight into the world of Nordic snow-capped peaks.
Once you’re done exploring the surroundings, settle down with Salon de Ning’s signature concoction, the Ning Sling, a refreshing combo of Absolut Mandrin, lychee liquor, and passion fruit purée, garnished with mint leaves and a lychee. Or try the Mint Explosion from the bar’s molecular multisensory cocktail range, with gin, honey, fresh lime juice, fresh cucumber, and mint caviar (or more precisely mint liquor-filled pearls) made right in front of your eyes.
You can find other Salon de Nings at the Peninsula hotels in New York, Shanghai, and Manila.
19-21 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui; 852/2315-3355.
Read our review of the Peninsula Hong Kong here.