Bar review: Townhouse in Central mixes exotic cocktails with a fine view
The vibe: this recent addition to the Gaia Group of restaurants makes the most of its spectacular views of Central, with huge windows on three sides and soft lighting to make the surrounding neonscape stand out. The bar area has a small outdoor terrace and there are additional seats by the lifts where you can look at the ICC and the harbour.
The drinks: fusion is the name of the game and the signature cocktails incorporate exotic ingredients in an intelligent way.
Mr Charming (vodka, triple sec, fresh pear, calamansi and sugar cane juice, HK$98) was well-named – nicely-balanced, fresh and not too strong. The Golden Triangle (curry leaves infused rum, peach liqueur, apricot brandy and molecular ginger foam, HK$98) was more potent and the rum and apricot were a delicious combination, although the curry leaves didn’t stand out. The ginger stayed strictly in the impressive alpine peak of foam on top – the drink is worth ordering just to watch the waiter balancing it as he carries it to your table.
If you don’t want to go crazy with the signature offerings, there’s a solid choice of wines, classic cocktails and classics with an Asian twist. The list also includes a range of exotic iced teas and zero-alcohol frozen fruit concoctions.
A minor irritation was that drinks didn’t arrive at the same time – my companions who opted for prosecco (HK$78) got theirs at once, Mr Charming arrived several minutes later and the Golden Triangle later still.
The verdict: the views are glitzy but the atmosphere is casual and prices reasonable for the location. A good place for visitors to Hong Kong, couples on a date or a relaxed drink after work.
23/F California Tower, 32 D’Aguilar Street, Central, tel: 2344 2366
Open: noon-midnight (Friday and Saturday until 2am)