Champagne Bar (Grand Hyatt Hong Kong)
Time Out says
Fresh off the back of a refurbishment, the Grand Hyatt’s Champagne Bar might not be new or hip but it does dole out classic charm in spades. The intimate lounge is a throwback to the decadent art deco period, studded with chevron and sunburst detailing, and it’s velvety dark in mood and lighting – a shadow away from an Edward Hopper painting. And as the waiter so proudly elucidates on our visit, this is the only champagne bar in Hong Kong where jazz musicians take to the stage nightly. Props to pianist Jezrael Lucero and saxophonist Oscar Azahar, as well as chanteuse Jessica Chanse, all seemingly transported straight out of New Orleans or a 1920s free swing jam, providing the night’s soul music.
This being a champagne bar, we trawl the list academically, noting at once the rare vintages and pricey bottles like the Krug 1989 ($18,000, now in its prime), Bruno Paillard 1996, Dom Perignon 1975 ($21,880) and Bollinger Special Cuvee NV ($1,370). The bottles are listed by ChampAgnestricts such as Sezanne and Bar, and then further divided into grape variety (blanc de blanc, blanc de noir, assemblage). Intrigued by the short set of six champagne cocktails on offer, though, we order a Rose Supreme ($195) and Central Park ($195), curious to see how the effervescent wine works as a reactant. Sadly, we’re sorry we try. The latter, made with Hennessy VSOP, Cointreau, orange juice and champAgnes poorly blended in proportion with its citrus notes and all too similar to a mimosa. The former is better but it does leave a taste bud-burning sensation on our tongue, an experience usually reserved for cheaper champagne. We assume that only the finest has been used here, so we put it down to poor mixology. Hoping our third choice isn’t a strikeout, though, we go for a straightforward Manhattan ($110) as a litmus test. It’s simple. And it’s practically flawless. As it should be. So, an encore, please. Ysabelle Cheung
Champagne Bar Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Rd, Wanchai, 2588 1234; hongkong.grand.hyatt.com.