32/F, East Hotel, 29 Tai Koo Shing Road, Taikoo Shing.
Tel: 3968 3738
The vibe: perched atop Swire's latest property, East Hotel, Sugar is probably the swankiest bar and lounge to ever grace the Tai Koo Shing area. A slick design, moody purple and pink lighting, and awesome tunes by resident DJs Eric Byron and P. Grant make Sugar as hip as any of Central's bars and clubs.
Sugar's main weapon is, of course, its stunning alfresco space. The outdoor deck is an invitation to lounge, furnished with large, cosy couches and daybeds facing the harbour. Sure, the view might not be as enthralling as that from Central, but we've all seen the city's skyline a million times already, right?
The drinks: more than 20 reds, whites and bubblies are available by the glass. But it's the creative cocktails that really stand out at Sugar. One of the signatures - the No 1 Martini (HK$90) - uses orange, strawberry, lemon, cucumber and mint to lift Pimm's and Tanqueray gin. The Sliver-Rose Crush (HK$85) is a mix of pineapple, lemon and tequila with a dash of bitters, topped with a sprig of rosemary. The Bourbon Butternut (HK$85) is comfort drinking, with smooth bourbon, maple syrup and a squeeze of lemon and orange.
There's also a menu of fine nibbles. Choices range from Middle Eastern mezze platters to antipasti plates of cured meats and cheese; from grilled satay to burgers, hotdogs and fries.
The verdict: Sugar is a welcome addition to this club-scene-starved neighbourhood. The sleek and sexy design is a definite draw, but the biggest selling point is the chilled-out vibe. Sugar is decked out like one of the hottest clubs in town but, thankfully, it hasn't taken on that pretentious, snooty air so common to many other Hong Kong hot spots.