Honi Honi Tiki Cocktail Lounge
3/F Somptueux Central, 52 Wellington Street, Central
Tel: 2353 0885
The vibe: Central's new tiki bar is making quite a splash and, I'm happy to report, lives up to all the hype. It boasts a modern, more toned-down take on the 1930s version of Polynesian culture - with tiki torches and thatch roofs giving way to vintage posters from the islands. Don Ho and his ukulele have been mercifully silenced in favour of an eclectic mix of tiki lounge sounds. There is also a nice outdoor space, so enjoy it while the weather allows.
The drinks: this is where Honi Honi really shines. Every drink we tried was tasty and some were superb. I'm happy that the noble tradition of the scorpion bowl - a big porcelain bowl of booze filled with long straws and shared by four or more people - is now in Hong Kong. But that night we stuck to the more traditionally sized cocktails. The Maori Spring Punch (HK$110) was excellent and ample. The mix of fresh lime and watermelon juice with vodka, lemon grass, honey, and Thai red chilli was spicy and bracing. The Meihana Twist (HK$120) was our least favourite, although still very good - the rum, Grand Marnier, mango, pineapple and passion fruit started off a bit too strong but mellowed nicely. The undisputed high point of the night was the classic Pina Colada (HK$180). We went for a two-person version served in a fresh pineapple. To be honest it was too good to share: rich, sweet, smooth and sensational, the best around.
The verdict: a welcome addition to Central's bar scene and a great place to get started for a night out. A slice of permanent summer just in time for the colder weather.