Bar review: Zero in Mong Kok – eclectic drinks for a mixed crowd once you’re done with shopping or work
Zero in Langham Place is a cheerful, lively spot, serving up photogenic cocktails and mocktails, most of which are very sweet, and a few beers and wines
The vibe: Zero is Café Deco’s addition to the restaurants at the top of the Langham Place shopping centre. A suitably eclectic menu and drinks list aim to cover the needs of a mixed clientele – local office staff stopping in after work, young ladies who shop and a sprinkling of tourists. Packed in the early evening (if you want a quiet drink, come after 9.30pm), the place is noisy but cheerful, and the very young staff do their best to please (although if you want to ask for anything special, you’ll need to speak Cantonese).
The drinks: predictably, given the customer base, Zero’s own cocktails are on the sweet side. The misspelt (or just strangely named) Yuzi Guava Tequlia (HK$48, tequila, yuzu, guava, grapefruit juice) was pleasantly fruity and completely innocuous. Blu Blu Blu (HK$48, Malibu, pineapple, coconut, blue Curaçao), while stronger, was sweet, sweet, sweet and for coconut fanatics only – even my Pina Colada-loving companion couldn’t quite finish it. There are some classics listed, too, and a Margarita (HK$55) was well made, although served with ice despite a request for it to be straight up (this is where the need for Chinese language skills comes in – mine clearly weren’t good enough!).
Coronarita and Somerita (both HK$98) are novelty items designed to have patrons reaching for their Instagram accounts – a bottle of Corona beer or Somers cider, respectively, is suspended upside down in a contraption attached to a huge round glass, where it glugs gently into a bed of crushed ice and fruit juice. The trick is to keep drinking to stop it brimming over. The Corona version tasted a bit strange but the Somerita was surprisingly nice, dry and refreshing, as well as photogenic.
There’s a choice of house (HK$48) or premium (HK$65 up) spirits (although you’d need to ask what the latter are), a basic selection of wines (three whites and three reds each from Chile, the US and Australia, plus a Prosecco) and a couple of draft beers. Non-imbibers have plenty to choose from in terms of mocktails, shakes and smoothies.
The verdict: good value basic drinks, with or without food – always welcome in an area where any alcohol other than beer is traditionally hard to find.
Shop 5-9, Level 12, Langham Place, 8 Argyle Street, Mong Kok, tel: 2918 1234
Open: 11.30am-midnight (Saturday, Sunday and public holidays from 11am)
While you’re in the area ...