Calling all ye boozehounds, June is a month for drinking — in Hong Kong that is. With Negroni Week June 5th – 11th (yes, there is indeed a Negroni Week), World Gin Day June 10th (yes, there is indeed a World Gin Day), and a month long celebration of German Riesling for Riesling Weeks (you guessed it, there is indeed Riesling Weeks), these new-ish Hong Kong Bars are set to serve up some serious hangovers:
What: Recently bagging the award for Asia’s Best Female Chef, May Chow’s latest project is just around the corner from her other delicious (and packed) resto, Little Bao in SoHo. Taking diners (and drinkers) on a neon-filled trip to an 80’s diner, expect an exquisitely presented modern take on traditional Cantonese dishes (think tea smoked pigeon, pig ear terrine, Wagyu tongue skewers) and some truly ‘only in Hong Kong’ cocktails. The Soy Sauce Mezcal Martini? We strangely couldn’t stop at just one.
Where: UG/F, Ming House, 52-56 Staunton Street, SoHo
What: One of the most anticipated bars to open in Hong Kong as of late, Ophelia’s decor is everything (and more) you would expect from the man behind Bangkok’s Maggie Choo’s and Iron Fairies (which also recently opened an outpost in HK). Channeling an over-the-top opium den of yesteryear, you’re going to want to get spiffy for a cocktail in this peacock of a place. Weekends see a “sinful circus” complete with risqué burlesque performances, but it’s Tuesday’s gay “Queens & Queens” that is proving to be the wildest party in town.
Where: Shop 41A, 1/F The Avenue, Lee Tung Avenue, 200 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai
What: Gin is in, so it’s no surprise to see Hong Kong leading the pack in dedicating an entire bar to the botanical spirit. There’s a whole backstory to Dr. Fern and the various remedies he concocts, and like it’s relative Foxglove, the fantasy is expertly delivered. More akin to visiting The Three Broomsticks in Harry Potter than a ubiquitous “secret” speakeasy, when seeking “treatment” in the “Consulting Room” don’t miss trying an Earl Grey Negroni — a refreshing riff on the classic.
Where: Shop B31A, First Basement, The Landmark Atrium, Central
What: Do as the Spaniards do and make Cassio a late-night stop if you’re hungry, or skip dinner altogether and come here for a little boogie. From the same folks behind Dragon-i and the Tazmania Ballroom, Cassio serves up a Spanish-themed tapas menu brought over from London’s Barrafina. The resto-bar however, seems to be leaning more to the bar side with weekend nights open until 3 am. The refined European interior by Italian architect Fabrizio Casiraghi seems to attract a more mature crowd than the usual LKF punters, but that doesn’t mean the weekend dance floor isn’t packed and spilling out onto the tropical terrace.
Where: 2/F LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central
What: Forget grabbing some watery beers at the local 7-11, Kwoon by The Woods is canning designer cocktails for takeaway. Available online and now in-house at their tiny new outpost on Staunton Street, that Desert Rose (tequila, vermouth, aperol and salted plum) or Tom Yum Cooler (Vodka, Thai Bird’s Eye Chilli, Lemongrass, Lemon, Kaffir Lime Leaf) can now be enjoyed atop the Dragon’s Back or on board a Junk as you cruise out to Deep Water Bay.
Where: G/F, 64 Staunton Street, Central