G/F, Ho Lee Commercial Building, 44 D'Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong.
Tel: 2526 5992
The vibe: recently opened in the heart of Lan Kwai Fong across from Al's Diner, The China Bar was suitably jammed with patriotic revellers celebrating National Day last Saturday. Taking over the large space formerly occupied by Bar George, the cavernous establishment is lined with plush crimson wallpaper featuring golden Chinese dragons, and brass ornaments on the wall. Near the entrance there's a long bar surrounded by several comfortable, green Chesterfield-style couches and bar stools and tables. There's also a smaller bar adjacent to the dance floor towards the other side. This is a good spot to boogie and a giant LED screen near the DJ booth helps light up the action later in the night.
The drinks: cocktails dominate the menu with a choice of more than 40 created in house. My companion was most impressed with her well-muddled Merry Berry (HK$89) - a mix of Bombay Sapphire gin, fresh mint, fresh raspberry, fresh strawberry, cranberry juice and fresh lime - and said she could taste each ingredient. The Passionate Kiwi (HK$72) caught our eye as it contains green bell peppers that were crunchy and made for a zesty, savoury concoction. Later in the evening, the smooth, oaky Lagavulin 16-year-old single malt whisky (HK$99 per glass; HK$1,510 per bottle) went down a treat. Those thirsting for beer, wine and other spirits are adequately catered for.
The verdict: its can't-go-wrong location will help The China Bar attract plenty of revellers. And the fact it can accommodate many different kinds of customers, from sports fans to those who like to shake their tail feathers late at night, will keep them coming back.