Bars

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 May, 2012, 12:00am

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LG/F, 97 Wellington Street, Central. Tel: 2810 6969. So exclusive it's almost secretive, this club's black wooden floors and secluded booths lend themselves to privacy. Recommended: its premium spirits.

Angel's Share

2/F Amber Lodge, 23 Hollywood Rd, Central. Tel: 2805 8388. Whisky is a drink that transcends all notions of class and the people behind this classy bar and restaurant have rightly put this lovely drop back in its rightful place, with more than 100 varieties on offer. Recommended: the 20-year-old Macallan.

Baby Buddha

18 Wo On Lane, Central. Tel: 2167 7244. Its tucked-away alley location and cool, minimalist decor make this the perfect spot for a quiet drink before hitting SoHo or Lan Kwai Fong. Recommended: the Around the World cocktail, a lethal combination of gin, Scotch, brandy, rum and vodka masked under the fresh fruity flavours of orange, lemon and pineapple.

Brecht's

G/F, 123 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay. Tel: 2576 4785. This comfortable throwback to the 1990s doesn't have much connection with the playwright but serves good value premium beers and aged whiskies. Head for the sometimes surprising HK$60 cocktails. Recommended: the Tagarimar (tequila, Cointreau, Galliano and fresh lemon juice).

California Vintage

77 Wyndham St, Central. Tel: 2525 0808. This wine bar has partnered with more than 20 Californian wineries, offering more than 80 tipples from around the Golden State. Each vintage is available by half glass, full glass and bottle. Recommended: the pinot noir 2007 Fritz Reserve from Russian River (HK$140).

Castro's

1/F, 16 Ashley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tel: 2957 8041. Don't dress up to visit this cigar smoke-laden Latin-vibe bar. Generous pours of powerful margaritas, daiquiris and mojitos, and one of the best pina coladas in town are the real draw. Recommended: the ginger mojito, packed with freshly crushed mint and ice (HK$65).

The Chapel

27 Yik Yam Street, Happy Valley. Tel: 2834 6565. Whether for a pre-race warm-up or post-win celebration, The Chapel's broad range of beers will satisfy anyone in Happy Valley. Recommended: its curries are well known in Hong Kong.

The China Bar

G/F Ho Lee Commercial Building, 44 D'Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong. Tel: 2526 5992. Formerly Bar George, the cavernous space is comfortable and has a swell dance area. From a wide range of drinks, the cocktails were most eye-catching, especially a Passionate Kiwi containing crunchy, zesty green bell pepper segments. Recommended: the Merry Berry cocktail of Bombay Sapphire gin, fresh mint, raspberry, strawberry, cranberry juice and lime (HK$89).

Club @28

28/F Crowne Plaza Hotel, 8 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay. Tel: 3980 3300. This rooftop bar is sleek, stylish and far from understated. Inside it's bright and glitzy, with a circular bar and glass windows on either side, one of which leads to the venue's real gem: its wood-decked terrace. Recommended: the J-Cube cocktail, made with vodka and crushed strawberries.

Fringe Club

2 Lower Albert Rd, Central. Tel: 2521 7251. The ground-floor bar is a hip hangout for the city's arty crowd, regularly offering great live music, while the roof bar is a bit rough around the edges but offers a casual alternative for those wanting to enjoy the night sky. Recommended: the evening tapas menu offering chorizo, Thai fish cakes and braised wings.

Hush

G/F, 2 Gleanealy, Central. Tel: 2537 2281. This chill-out bar away from the hubbub of nearby Lan Kwai Fong and Wyndham Street offers a casual place to unwind. Recommended: the impressive molecular cocktails such as Mr Grey (HK$110), a refreshing martini made of crushed cucumber, apple juice, Earl Grey tea, gin and elderflower syrup.

La Piola

G/F, 8 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central. Tel: 2851 2281. This Italian restaurant and bar brings the taste of the Piedmont region to Lyndhurst Terrace. There's an extensive wine list (mostly by the bottle, with select varietals by the glass starting at HK$65). Recommended: the Mint Breath (HK$82) is a refreshing mixture of kiwi, green apple schnapps, vodka, pineapple juice and apple juice with a mint garnish.

Le Boudoir

B/F, 65 Wyndham St, Central Tel: 2530 3870. This atmospheric basement bar modelled on 19th-century Parisian salons is dark and lovely, with one of the best cocktail menus in town. Recommended: the Unconventional martini (HK$95), blending gin, lemon juice, mint and kaffir lime syrup.

Lily

6/F LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham St, Central. Tel: 2810 6166. Modelled after the salons and supper clubs that flourished at the turn of the 20th century. Recommended: the Elderflower Paloma, combining tequila, lime, grapefruit and soda water infused with elderflower.

The Living Room

6/F W Hotel, Kowloon Station. Tel: 3717 2222. It's easy to kick back and feel at home in this sprawling, beautifully designed bar complete with board games and bookcases - just help yourself. Recommended: the awesome lychee martinis, and the HK$198 deal for all the New World wine that you can drink.

Medusa

Basement, 49 Staunton Street, Central. Tel: 2858 3129. Bring your own party to possibly Hong Kong's smallest bar with its decor theme of severed heads. Standard and signature cocktails are all well-made and the wine list is brief but interesting. Recommended: the soup bowl-sized lemon daiquiri (HK$78).

Ozone

118/F Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon. Tel: 2263 2263. The highest bar in the world doesn't disappoint with its bird's-eye view of the city. Prices here are as steep as the venue, but then you're paying for that view. Recommended: wines are the main attraction, with a choice of several by the glass (HK$90-HK$170) and scores of reds and whites by the bottle.

Ra Restaurant and Lounge

Shop 1, G/F Wing On Plaza, 62 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East. Tel: 2721 3600. The Egyptian theme includes the smell of shisha as much as the artefacts used for decor. The drinks may be underwhelming, bar some minty cocktails, but the place is unpretentious and friendly. Recommended: the pint-sized lychee mojito (HK$95).

Salon de Ning

B/F The Peninsula, Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tel: 2315 3355. Hidden away in the basement of the Peninsula is this glamorous slice of 1930s Shanghai, inspiring a feeling of intrigue and mystery. Recommended: the Manhattan (HK$115), using Jim Beam rather than rye whiskey.

Sky Lounge

18/F Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel & Towers, 20 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tel: 2369 1111. A welcome relief from the bustle below, the bar has a glamorous 1950s feel and is an elegant eyrie to recharge. Recommended: the kiwi martini (HK$95), a show-stopping blend of vodka, kiwi liqueur and kiwifruit syrup.

Sugar

32/F East Hotel, 29 Taikoo Shing Road. Tel: 3968 3968. One of the few bars in the area with an outdoor terrace, the chic Sugar at the boutique East Hotel makes for a sweet alternative to the Central-Causeway Bay hip zone. Recommended: the cool music.

Tott's and Roof Terrace

34/F The Excelsior hotel, 281 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay. Tel: 2837 6786. A glamorous hotel rooftop bar as suitable for business entertaining as for romantic soirees. An extensive list is heavy on the cocktails and wines but we were happiest with a 10-year-old port. The happy hour is good value. Recommended: Moonlight Lychee Blossom, a mix of vodka, elderflower, lemon and champagne (HK$98).

Vibes

5/F Mira Hotel, 118 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tel: 2368 1111. The secluded alfresco bar is relaxed. A few twists on classic cocktails enliven a list that is heavy on whisky but includes premium vodkas and rums. Recommended: the S&M (scotch and mint, HK$90).

Yumla

Lower Basement, 79 Wyndham Street, Central. Tel: 2147 2383. This popular bar attracts the music obsessives and is best known for its ear-bleeding sound system and top-quality DJs. Recommended: the mojito (HK$85) is one of the best in town, with freshly muddled mint served with Cuban rum in a classic highball glass.