Hong Kong bar reviews

Bar review: Runway in Central – a fun concept that could take off

Decked out like a 1950s aeroplane, this bar has a good concept, great location and a happy hour to put a smile on the faces of economy class flyers

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 July, 2017, 7:00pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 July, 2017, 7:00pm

The vibe: occupying a small space in a prime location on Wyndham Street, Runway is a concept bar designed to evoke the golden age of flying in the 1950s. The idea is well executed – staff wear pilot’s uniforms, walls are covered in riveted metal plates like the outside of an old plane, and an illuminated route map on the wall shows the limited number of routes available back then. Stylishly designed barstools add a nice touch, service is friendly and you get a bowl of nibbles with your drinks, a welcome touch that’s all too rare in these cost-cutting days.

The drinks: cocktails are divided into sections with names like “Sky’s The Limit” and “Priority Landing G&Ts” and are designed to reflect different destinations around the world. Sets of shooters come under the heading “Turbulence”.

The best drink of the night was Flying Dutch Boy (HK$98, orange peel-infused Stolichnaya, orange bitters, lime, La Quintinye dry vermouth), a well-made dry martini with a delicate tang of orange. Sidecarriage (HK$98, brandy, Cointreau, lemon, sour plum chutney) offered an intriguing sweet-and-sour take on the classic Sidecar – if you like those traditional local sour plums, this one’s for you.

Some of the drinks look more weird than wonderful (ingredients for the Korean one included chicken stock, which didn’t tempt us). The Pearl Harbour (HK$95, Nusa Cana island rum, mango, lemon juice, pomelo, tiramisu syrup, sago, cocoa rim), is intended as a take on a favourite Cantonese dessert. The idea is fine, but they might have done better to take the dessert itself and add rum to it – this version came over as a mildly alcoholic frozen fruit salad, the coconut milk was missing and the chocolate elements added nothing.

The verdict: while more work is needed to reach business class level, Runway’s prime location, fun concept and great happy hour deal (standard drinks are HK$48) give it a good chance of remaining airborne.

75-77 Wyndham Street, Central

Tel: 2827 9022

Open: 3pm-2am (Wednesday to Saturday until 4am). Happy hour: Monday to Saturday 3pm-8pm, all day on Sunday

While you’re in the area:

Bar review: Tsuru in Central – artisanal cocktails and great service in a laid-back atmosphere

Bar review: 99 bottles in Central – drinks cheaper than most happy hours in an unpretentious setting

Bar review: Halcyon in Central – cute sounding sweet cocktails in a huge space that’s good for a party