Zuma Lounge & Bar
6/F Landmark, 15 Queen's Road Central
Tel: 3657 6388
The vibe: Central institution Zuma has reopened its top floor bar after a redesign and change in concept. The bar is now positioned as both a chill spot for after work drinks and a watering hole for late night party people looking to cut loose. The decor is still typical Zuma - ultra-modern and high-end, and the vibe is maintained by an in-house DJ. As we drank the mood changed perceptively but subtly from ambient chill out to something a bit more energised.
The drinks: as part of its new identity, Zuma has rolled out a new cocktail menu with a focus on mixology and an ear towards the hot bar trends of the moment (barrel- and bottle-aged cocktails for example). Like the food menu, the cocktails are modern with Asian twists - lots of sake and ingredients from the region. Our Yuzu Sparkler (HK$149), a light effervescent mix of yuzu, elderflower cordial, gin and prosecco, was a wake-up call - flavourful, potent and refreshing. While the bottle-aged fig Rob Roy (HK$140) was an entirely different kind of drink - dark, nuanced and sophisticated - it was also excellent with the harsher edges of the scotch smoothed by the bottle ageing. For our final two drinks we chose something on the lighter, more tropical side: a Rubabu (right; HK$118), rhubarb infused sake with Ketel One vodka and fresh passion fruit pulp, and a South East Asian Cooler (top right; HK$118) - bison grass vodka with mint, cinnamon, passion fruit and apple juice. Both were fruity and fresh though the latter clearly owed more to Poland than Thailand.
The verdict: though not cheap by any means, Zuma has undoubtedly done something right here with decor, cocktail menu and ambience that perfectly complement each other: a great place for after work drinks or a celebratory night out. The staff are friendly but still learning their way around the menu. We didn't try any of the bar snacks on this visit but those ordered by the people drinking nearby looked intriguing.