5 original bars for an unforgettable date night in Hong Kong
In this city known for its vibrant nightlife, the options are endless. But you’re looking for more than just a regular cocktail bar, right? What you want is a concept, an experience, a bar with that extra “je ne sais quoi”. In a word, beyond a good cocktail, you’re looking to impress your date – by showing them a place that’s really out of the ordinary.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
We’ve selected some of the city’s most original cocktail bars, each with its own unique universe providing an immersive experience. Manned by the best Hong Kong bartenders, they all offer expertly-made, innovative cocktails with an avant-garde approach to mixology.
Without further ado, here are our 5 top Hong Kong bar picks for a date night you’ll never forget.
Tell Camellia is a contemporary bar with a Japanese touch hidden inside Central’s H Code. Here, star bartender Gagan Gurung uses modern techniques and cutting-edge equipment to create unique drinks highlighting the flavors of the world’s finest teas. Try one of their Teatails, like house signature Kenya, made with Kenyan Marinyn Tea and homemade banana wine combined with sweet potato, cornflakes, aged rum and a touch of honey. For the tea lover who loves a gin and tonic, the T&Tonic section of the menu offers surprising tea-infused renditions. Our favorite has to be the Lillet-based and utterly refreshing T-Tonic, with Lillet blanc, rosemary and green tea cordial, and tonic water. Decor-wise, we love the deep green walls, light wooden beams and subdued lighting. Warm and relaxing, this intimate bar sets the perfect mood for your evening one to one.
This Sheung Wan hideout has all the characteristics of a whisky bar with a speakeasy vibe, with its big wooden door, intimate and dimly lit interior, and vintage travel books lining the walls. But the resemblance stops here. Whisky & Words wants to create a cool, laid-back atmosphere where the whisky curious feel as welcome as the whisky lovers. The bar blasts rap, R&B and hip hop music, and the expert and friendly bartenders love to share their passion.
The menu features whisky cocktails with a twist such as the Auspicious, with 12 year-old Aberlour, egg white, fresh ginger, cinnamon syrup, orgeat and lemon juice, and other original house creations. But the 300 ultra-sharp references from around the world are where it’s at. Try them out around a skillfully paired whisky flight tray – that’s where you’ll really get the chance to impress your date with all your knowledge (or all your notes from your first recon visit 😉 we won’t tell).
Designed by Ashley Sutton, Dragonfly is a bohemian-style boutique cocktail lounge bringing a breath of mystery to Tai Kwun’s historical complex. Inspired by the Art Nouveau and the beauty of nature, the decoration at this unique bar is a performance in opulence.
120 turquoise glass lamps lit by yellow Edison bulbs hang upside down from the ceiling, bathing the space in an underwater glow. Towering over the bar, a monumental bronze rendition of René Lalique’s iconic ‘Dragonfly-woman’ corsage ornament watches on.
With a drinks menu as captivating as its design, this singular place offers original creations like Mystic Omen, made with 12 year-old Aberlour, Lillet blanc, pandan, amaro, chocolate bitters and absinthe, and skillfully reinvented classic cocktails. It also offers fancy bar bites that are perfect for sharing, and a range of entertainment options, from live music to tastings and the occasional masterclass.
Come here for an unforgettable – and highly Instagrammable – experience.
COA has the largest selection of agave spirits in the city, handpicked in Mexico by award-winning bartender Jay Khan himself. Named after the tool used to harvest the agave plant, this minimal and rustic mezcal and tequila bar embodies its owner’s passion for Mexico’s artisanal agave spirits and unique drinking culture. In 2019, it became one of the World’s 50 Best Bars, and entered Asia’s 50 Best Bars straight at No.12.
While the bar offers beautifully curated craft cocktails (the Paloma de Oaxaca is a must-try, but the highlight from the list has to be the Ponche de Masa, with Avion plata, darjeeling tea, watermelon, melon, cucumber and green bell pepper syrup, Ancho Reyes verde, apple vinegar, lime juice, and coconut milk wash), the main attraction are the directly sourced, small batch spirits – of which some bottles were never before seen in Hong Kong. Let yourself be guided by Jay and his knowledgeable staff for a journey across the rich and complex agave spirit world.
Room 309 is an exclusive speakeasy located inside Hong Kong’s The Pottinger hotel. To gain access, one must first obtain a key card from “The Reception” at the Envoy restaurant, on the hotel’s third floor. The windowless, small sitting interior is dimly lit and richly decorated, featuring antique wooden pillars carved with lions, an art deco-inspired marquetry bar counter, a wall adorned with intricate engravings and protruding locks and keys, and opulent dark green curtains.
Known for his “Multisensory Mixology” concept, which he first introduced at Quinary, superstar mixologist Antonio Lai has done it again, presenting a creative cocktail menu that plays with our perceptions. Aptly named “Invisible Cocktails”, the premise is the following: what would a drink taste like if we freed it from any preconceived notions associated with its color? Using cutting-edge culinary techniques, the spirits and ingredients are redistilled and centrifuged to remove their tint while preserving all of the aromas, resulting in crystal clear libations with surprisingly complex flavors. Try house signature Forests and Fields, made with 12 year-old Redbreast, homemade figs and hibiscus puree, orgeat, lemon juice and black walnut bitters, and garnished with hibiscus icing sugar, to get a sense of the approach.