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Hong Kong bar reviews

Bar review: Studio Club in Central offers live jazz and bubbly

Jazz bar targets high-end clientele with elegance, cocktails and champagne

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 February, 2016, 5:02pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 26 April, 2016, 4:39pm

The vibe: open just a few weeks, Studio Club is the latest addition to the trend of live jazz bars in Hong Kong. Although it’s not members-only, it feels like a club and is clearly targeting a high end clientele – there are lots of red velvet ropes and champagne flutes are marshalled in readiness on the tables. That said, there’s no bling-bling – in warm shades of brown, the room is elegant and comfortable, deluxe yet discreet. Functioning as a relaxed lounge in the early evening, the live music starts at 9.30pm and DJs take over after midnight.

The drinks: as the waiting flutes suggest, there’s a big emphasis on champagne, including a range of magnums, jeroboams and methuselahs designed to tempt big spenders to splurge. Disappointingly, only the ubiquitous Moët et Chandon and Veuve Clicquot are on offer by the glass, both priced at an eyewatering HK$270 (HK$280 for rosé).

Bizarrely, several signature cocktails use Krug, a sacrilegious way to treat one of the world’s finest bubblies. The Krug Royal (HK$140, Ketel One Citroen vodka, crème de peche, mint, compressed citrus) proves the point, the delicate taste of the Krug was drowned out by the other ingredients. Hints of mint and peach were detectable but the citrus was too dominant, making for an overly acidic drink. The Oaxacan Old Fashioned (HK$150, jalapeno, agave syrup, reposado tequila, mole bitters) was better, its rich sweetness nicely balanced by the spicy chilli.

Service swung between extremes. I was bemused to be told off by the server for taking notes (“you’re not allowed to write down what’s on our menu” – a first in a city where patrons routinely photograph the menu and everything else). In contrast, when the manager learned I was without my phone and needed to make a call, he promptly offered me his own – customer service worthy of a high class venue.

The verdict: if you’re looking for a place to indulge in a methuselah of champagne while listening to live jazz, this is it. Whether and how well Studio Club will cater to lesser mortals as it develops remains to be seen.

1/F On Hing Building, 1 On Hing Terrace, Central. reservations@studioclub.asia

Open: 5pm-4am