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 Hong Kong. There’s a stunning view and the drinks are equally good. Try the 29 Barrels ($128) a twist on a whisky sour that uses Bulleit Bourbon for a spicy base, which is shaken together with chestnut, honey, lemon juice and egg white. It comes served straight up and torched for a crème brûlée-esque finish.
Sister to the renowned London bar of the same name, Artesian has a lot to live up to. While this Hong Kong outpost isn’t at quite the same ‘world’s best bar’ level, it nonetheless serves highly sophisticated cocktails that do an excellent job of bringing out the best flavours of the alcohol within.
Knutsford Terrace is TST’s most colourful strip of bars and eateries. 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 about the $90 mark – and while they’re not exactly Heston Blumenthal style scientific creations, they more than do the job.
The drinks don’t come cheap at 20-seat cocktail den Butler – which does at least help with meeting the $300 minimum charge – but they’re some of the finest around. Master mixologist Masayuki Uchida’s creations are universally superb. If you can’t decide what to order, simply let the staff guide you or have them create a custom drink that’s almost guaranteed to be exactly what you were after.
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. All you need do here is sit back on the comfortable terrace, take in the unobstructed views of Victoria Harbour and relax with a cold beer or one of the signature cocktails. Job done.
Okay, J’s Bar Bistro is more towards TST East, but for a spot this good we’re willing to stretch the geographical boundaries of TST proper. The exciting cocktail menu has been put together by resident mixologist Stanley Au. Try the likes of Cloaks and Daggers ($118), which features mescal, bacon fat washed bourbon, Angostura bitters, maple syrup and Himalayan pink salt for an intriguing variant of an old fashioned.
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 beer.
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 won’t appeal to quiet cocktail sophisticates but the fun and friendly atmosphere should be appealing to just about everyone else.
Room One is The Mira hotel’s signature cocktail lounge, blending in with the chic lobby surrounds of the boutique Tsim Sha Tsui hotel. An intimate escape for the hustle and bustle outside, the cocktail menu is filled with recipes that rely on Room One’s homemade infusions and syrups.
A breezy bar on Austin Avenue, Scarlett is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a casual drink in downtown 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.