I Know John
Time Out says
Quality ‘speakeasy’ hidden on the ninth floor of The Loop building
Tucked away on the ninth floor of The Loop building on Wellington, I Know John is a hidden gem, being a safe distance away from the throngs of Lan Kwai Fong. Privé Group’s newest bar also sports an unusual name, which is a nod to the era of speakeasies that required passwords such as ‘I know John’ to gain access. This place offers a modern twist on the speakeasy, serving up craft cocktails, gourmet hotdogs and niche wines and whiskies.
Upon entering, we’re greeted by stripped-back sophistication with an industrial edge. Floor to ceiling windows look down on to Wellington, opposite a long, dark timber wood bar. Leather seats and sofas complete the speakeasy vibe and there’s even a tiny little balcony at the back. And we’re pleasantly surprised at the reasonable prices of the cocktails, so we start with the Caña Sarapan ($80), a marmalade vodka and white rum-based tipple with horseradish, citrus juice and egg whites. Sarapan means breakfast in Malay and this concoction goes down far too easily. We concur. This would start your day perfectly. There are tangy hints of citrus, the egg whites are smooth and there’s an almost buttery aftertaste from the horseradish. Pleased, we then move on to a harder tipple. The Old and Fashioned ($95) uses a three-month barrel-aged straight rye mixed with orange dry vermouth, grapefruit and homemade muscovado spice sugar. It’s an old fashioned of flair and perfection, strong and bitter yet rounded out by the sweetness from the muscovado spice sugar. Then we’re feeling peckish, so we order the Italian Dog ($88).
The meaty veal sausage pairs perfectly with the fragrant pesto and fresh tomato basil salsa, making for a great drinking snack. We love the atmosphere and the surrounds in I Know John and we also enjoy its tucked-away location. The reasonable prices are a rarity in Hong Kong, especially given the high quality of the drinks. In fact, we’re wary of disclosing the address of this gem because we want it to stay hidden. But, alas, speakeasies gain popularity by word of mouth, so, with this review, we’re joining the growing club shouting about how this bar is awesome. Make sure you get to know John soon.