G & T Cocktail Bar
UG/F Shama Place, 30 Hollywood Road, Central
Tel: 2481 3588
The vibe: this small cocktail bar, hidden up the stairs from the French American Bistro under the Shelley Street escalator, has an identity problem. British design elements - think Union Jacks and "Keep Calm and Carry On" signs - stand out against mismatched and modern decor that seem better suited to a hotel lobby bar. It was quiet on the Tuesday evening we visited but the people watching along Hollywood Road was excellent. It's in a great spot.
The drinks: the bar is proud of its gin and tonics so I decided to try a few of them, while my friend explored the cocktail selection. My first gin and tonic (HK$108), made with Sipsmith gin and Fever Tree Tonic, was powerfully herbaceous and served with a rosemary sprig as a garnish. It was a refreshing, sophisticated and delicious tipple. My second, made with Blackwood's gin (HK$130) was even better. Crisp, sleek and clean, it has our vote for the best gin and tonic in Hong Kong. My friend's cocktails started poorly with the Ginox (HK$88), which tasted overpoweringly of coriander and was off-puttingly savoury. Her second choice, the Aviation (HK$108) was a greater success: a clean and competent take on the classic cocktail.
The verdict: with more than 80 different kinds from around the world, this is the place for gin lovers. But the weekday atmosphere was lacking. Maybe it's worth a visit on a weekend.
Where gin is king: there are 80 different kinds.