Bar review: Deligator, Wan Chai – a slice of Havana in Hong Kong
This imaginative and well executed Cuban concept makes for a welcome change in a market saturated with Asian-themed bars
The vibe: the bar’s slogan is “Cuban deli by day, good vibes by night” and a lot of thought has gone into giving the place (a former noodle shop) the authentic feel of a shabby dive in the back streets of Havana. Walls are concrete with paint artfully peeling off and there’s a fun range of memorabilia on display, much of it themed to match the bar’s logo of an alligator smoking a cigar. An antique mirror hanging above a faux fireplace recalls the faded grandeur of Cuba’s colonial era, then swings open to reveal a DJ booth hidden behind it.
The drinks: in Cuba, rum rules and Deligator has a good selection, plus a short list of rum-based cocktails. The daiquiri (HK$95, Havana rum, fresh lime, sugar syrup) was a good, if not outstanding, example of the Cuban classic. Striking a more unusual note, El President (HK$115, Havana Club three-year-old rum, Vermouth Royal Blanc, triple sec, grenadine) sounded daunting but the flavours worked surprisingly well together. We were less impressed by the Dark & Stormy (HK$110, Gosling Black Seal rum, lime, ginger beer), which was more like Dark & Sweet.
Those who prefer other spirits, notably whisky drinkers, are also catered for and the ever-elegant Laphroaig Select Cask (HK$108) made a nice contrast with the rum concoctions.
The verdict: Deligator’s Cuban concept is imaginative, well executed and makes a welcome change in a market inundated with Asian-themed bars. Find out more about rum and let your hair down with the live Cuban band every Saturday from 7pm-10pm.
Deligator, 2 Johnston Road, Wan Chai, tel: 3708 8508. Open: noon-2am