Hong Kong-Central

4.7 / 5 3 / 5

May 11, 2018

Finding this classy, late-night haunt is well worth hunting through Soho's after hours market streets.

Finding this classy, late-night haunt is well worth hunting through Soho’s after hours market streets. While centrally located in the city, a dimly lit doorway, featureless black door and brass bell are the only things to give away the entrance. Discreet yes, but it’s also easy to miss as it is often hidden behind a row of shuttered stalls and maybe the odd bin bag or two. But on discovery, ring the bell, wait for the door to creak open and after a short once-over from the door person you’ll be guided down a flight of steps into an understated basement bar that for all the world wants to channel a Prohibition-era speak-easy vibe and very nearly gets away with it. When full the atmosphere burbles along nicely but doesn’t veer into the rowdy as a no standing allowed policy limits the capacity and gives a touch of private members’ club feel to the place. The green leather armchairs and snug booths then are havens for some excellent cocktails; the Dark and Stormy particularly living up to its name. Measures are generous and the mixologists will happily go off piste if one of the 20 or so classics and contemporary cocktails that change with the seasons don’t suit your mood. A strong menu of superior snacks and shareable plates mean that not only liquid diets need to be observed. Occasional live music in the form of a jazz duo or chanteuse suit the place to a tee, but at other times the management doesn’t alway get it right with a playlist more suited to nearby LKF.