Best bars in Tsim Sha Tsui
When it comes to selecting a location to wow a date or visiting friends or family, Aqua Spirit is one of the best spots in all of Hong Kong. There’s a stunning view and the drinks are equally good. Try the 29 Barrels ($138), a twist on a whisky sour that uses Bulleit bourbon for a spicy base, and is shaken together with chestnut, honey, lemon juice and egg white. It comes served straight up and torched for a crème brûlée-esque finish.
A fixture at Tsim Sha Tsui’s luxury hotel The Langham, Artesian is the Hong Kong outpost of the renowned London bar often considered among the very best in the world. The version here doesn’t boast as high a profile as the original but it’s still a wondrous location for a drink, serving highly sophisticated cocktails. There are many traditional British-style libations on offer, each of which pulls out the best flavours of the ingredients within.
Knutsford Terrace is TST’s most colourful strip of bars and eateries. And Assembly is one of the best options for a drink in the ’hood. A relaxed spot touting itself as a gastropub serving molecular mixology, the drinks here are a tad cheaper than many places these days – mostly around the $90 mark – and while they’re not exactly Heston Blumenthal-style scientific creations, they more than do the job.
Established by master mixologist Masayuki Uchida, Butler has long been considered the best place to go for a quality cocktail in Kowloon. Uchida has the techniques down perfectly and the spot-lit bar is filled with more than 200 different spirits for all manner of concoctions. The fruit cocktails, in particular, are exceptional, made from fresh produce that’s sliced and juiced on the spot.
Sitting pretty atop iSquare above the hustle and bustle of Nathan Road, Eyebar is a contender for one of the best vantage points in the city. Sit back on the comfortable terrace and take in unobstructed views of Victoria Harbour with a cold beer or signature specialty cocktail.
Formerly a banquet hall, this space at the Royal Garden hotel in East Tsim Sha Tsui is now unrecognisable as the trés chic J’s Bar Bistro. No run-of-the-mill hotel bar populated with jet-lagged guests, this spot is bright and well-decorated, with a well-stocked bar, cellar and even a cheese room. The cocktail menu isn’t neglected either. A mix of bacon fat-washed bourbon, mezcal reposado, maple syrup, Angostura bitters and Himalayan pink salt, the Cloaks And Daggers is a winner.
This neat little space has been flying the flag for Hong Kong’s own craft beer since 2015. The relaxed atmosphere enables the knowledgeable staff to freely converse about anything beer related. Super unpretentious, Kowloon Taproom is a great starting point for anyone wanting to get started with Hong Kong’s growing selection of craft beers.
A Japanese chain, i Darts’ TST outpost is actually its first outside of its home country. Found inside Tsim Sha Tsui’s vertical drinking centre, Katherine House, this place might not be for quiet cocktail sophisticates but the fun and friendly atmosphere should be appealing to just about everyone else.
A narrow black leathered elevator (which vaguely hints at a padded cell) shoots you up to the 118th floor of the ICC and to the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong where you’ll find one of the highest bars in the world. You’re immediately greeted by low-lit moody green neon, avante-garde seating and walls of refracted swirling glass, but what seals the deal is the completely unobstructed view of western Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. And, with one of the best wine lists in town and a great cocktail programme, the menu is almost as impressive as the view.
A breezy bar on Austin Avenue, Scarlett is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a casual drink in Kowloon. The drinks menu encompasses standard cocktails, spirits and a good selection of French wines by the bottle, including certain affordable options. The cocktails aren’t innovative, but they’re well-made, good value and served with a smile. Three ticks for us.
One of the most swish whisky bars in town, this 1920s-style hotel bar, which calls the InterContinental Grand Stanford home, houses more than 300 whiskies. As well as Scotch, Japanese whiskey and bourbon, there are self-blended cask selections that ought not to be missed. There are even artisanal whisky ice creams to try, if that’s your jam. Complimenting all this is a great range of bar snacks and regular live music by quality bands and musicians.
Despite its bizarre double-theme inspired by the London underground and a mystical forest, Time Park is a great spot to sit back and relax with a couple of drinks. Aside from a decent list of reds, whites and whiskies, the bar also shakes up creative cocktails, such as the signature Gold Smoke made with Bacardi Oro, apple juice and orange bitters.
An open-air lounge in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui, Vibes is one of the most relaxing locales to pick up a cocktail in Kowloon. The drinks are top notch, albeit on the light and fruity side. The standout is one of its tiki creations, the Aumakua, a mix of Bacardi dark rum, Malibu, orgeat syrup, a special colada mix, and mango and passionfruit purée served in a fresh pineapple.
Opened by Taiwanese craft brewery, Zhang Men, this casual taproom is a great place for grabbing a few pints after work. Aside from offering an impressive selection of brews on tap, this venue also serves beer-friendly dishes, including Taiwanese sausages and popcorn chicken.