Hong Kong bar reviews

Bar review: Club Primo, Central – good value and good fun

The range of drinks is rather small but the happy hours are rather generous – and the high-spirited atmosphere makes this an excellent place to start a night out or to play drinking games until closing time

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 April, 2016, 5:00pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 April, 2016, 2:31pm

The vibe: offering an extended daily happy hour (good for drinking before a night on the town), Club Primo is aimed squarely at a hip, young clientele looking to chill out after work or before going clubbing – or to those who just want to play drinking games till the wee small hours. It’s a single big room with leather booth seating down one side, and the colour scheme is basic black, with dull gold chandeliers and blue lighting in the glass-topped game tables giving a touch of style.

Bar review: On Dining Lounge, Central, serves great cocktails

The drinks: the happy hour deal is buy one get one free. Beer (HK$88) and wine (HK$90) choices are basic – just three commercial brand beers, and one red and one white Australian wine. Cocktails offer better options, with six signature drinks at HK$108 and classics at HK$88.

Out of the signature list, the best we tried was Lychee & Bloom (tequila, elderflower liqueur, lime juice, grapefruit, lychee purée) – well balanced and refreshing, with the elderflower adding an original note.

Nutty Man (vodka, pear brandy, amaretto, lemon juice, pear purée) was pleasant and not too sweet although the amaretto tended to overwhelm any pear flavour, and putting chopped peanuts around the rim was a mistake (the point of salt or sugar rims is to enhance the taste, but the nuts just got in the way). On Fire (bourbon, apricot liqueur, ginger, lemon juice, cinnamon syrup, egg white) didn’t set us on fire at all – the cinnamon drowned out the other flavours and left an odd aftertaste.

The biggest problem with all the cocktails was that the glasses were so full of large ice cubes you couldn’t stir the drinks, which didn’t help with balance or blending.

A full bar with premium liquor and champagne is also available although not included in happy hour. The waiter didn’t know what Negroni was, but a Belvedere martini (HK$120) was smooth and decently made.

The verdict: Primo has clearly struck a chord with its target customers, judging by the high-spirited crowd of locals and expats who’d packed the place by 9pm. If pre-gaming is your thing, this is a good place to go and while the cocktails could do with more work, you can’t knock the value of the happy hour deal.

Club Primo , 7/F, 18 On Lan Street, Central. Tel: 6288 2830

Open: Monday to Thursday 6pm-2am, Friday and Saturday 6pm-4am. Happy Hour: Monday to Friday 6pm-10.30pm, Saturday 8pm-10.30pm