4/F Grand Progress Building
15-16 Lan Kwai Fong, Central
The vibe: its ample outdoor terrace is the obvious strong point of this otherwise typical Lan Kwai Fong lounge bar in a nondescript commercial building. We were the sole customers at 11.30pm despite it being ladies' night. But the bar soon started to fill up and, by 12.30am, the dance floor was packed and the terrace became a welcome respite from the expatriate crush. It's impossible to tell whether the crowds last Thursday were typical or boosted by the weekly Hong Kong pub crawl.
The drinks: it being ladies' night, women enjoyed free champagne until midnight. In a welcome twist on the classic formula, men are also invited to enjoy an open bar with a cover charge of HK$150. Otto prides itself on its shooters and champagne cocktails. The Japanese Gargler shooter (HK$60) - a mixture of Cointreau, Midori and lime - was somehow reminiscent of a grandmother's perfume. The mysteriously named French martini (HK$80) - a mix of fresh berries, Absolut vodka, Chambord and pineapple juice - was refreshing and strong but became too sweet halfway through. The best drink of the night was the Air Mail (HK$90), a mix of lime, clover honey and prosecco, although it might have been saved from over-sweetness by the fact that the bar had run out of honey.
The verdict: don't be afraid to show up after midnight. Steer clear of the sugary cocktails but expect a raucous good time if not a lot else. The fourth-floor verandah alone is a rare find.