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Zzura
Photograph: Courtesy Zzura

Have you discovered the hidden Sahara Desert-inspired bar in Central?

Here's a first look at this hidden oasis on Hollywood Road

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Written by
Tatum Ancheta
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Tucked away on the dark second floor of Amber Lodge – taking up the space of the former whisky joint ThirtySix Bar & Co. is a hidden oasis inspired by Zerzura, the lost ancient whitewashed city in the Sahara Desert. The bar positions itself as a speakeasy-themed bar but aside from it being hidden behind a dark wall, the polished interior showcasing soft white and muted neutral desert hues is a far cry from the intimate and dimly lit Prohibition era-style hidden bars in the city.  

“Zzura is trying to break the cliche of how a speakeasy-style bar should be,” shares Zzura co-founder David Sit, who is also one of the co-founders of The Daily Tot and Whisky and Words. “Unlike most of the intimate hidden bars in the city where it’s mostly dark, quiet, and whisky is often a highlight on the menu, here, when you discover the place, you will be entering a welcoming, brightly lit atmosphere where you can relax after a day’s work. The interior and the colours [contrasting pops of green and orange] of the sofas are very decompressing,” he shares.  

The bar’s interior, showcasing Middle-Eastern elements, is designed by NC Design & Architecture, the same firm that created the interiors of Foxglove. People can hang out by the bar, lounge in the plush seats overlooking Tai Kwun, or book any of the two VIP rooms for larger gatherings. 

Familiar faces behind the bar include Tell Camellia co-owner Gagan Gurung and Princebir Singh, former head bartender of Zuma. Expect spice-infused cocktails highlighting Middle-Eastern ingredients that include an easy-to-drink cocktail called Kafyar ($120) – made with Finnish low ABV spirit Kaska infused with Earl Grey Tea, blended with kaffir lime leaves syrup and lemon juice – Around The Globe ($120) cocktail made with cumin-infused Brazilian cachaça Abelha, yuzu juice, and cumin syrup served with eye-catching, citrus-smoke filled edible bubble, and a Saffron milk punch made with rum, saffron, pineapple, cardamom, cinnamon, masala tea, and clarified milk. Teetotalers can also enjoy three non-alcoholic offerings on the menu, which includes rose and citrus flavoured Prince of Zzura, a fizzy kaffir–mango-peach flavoured Once Upon a Time in Asia, and a masala tea punch.  

Saffron Milk Punch and Around the Globe

Behind the bar is a shisha lab with two staff dedicated to preparing flavours for the hookah. Those who like to smoke the sweet flavoured waterpipe can settle down with a shisha in the lounge.   

Zzura is located on the second floor of Amber Lodge, 23 Hollywood Rd, Central 

Need more inspiration to add to your bar-hopping itinerary? Visit this list of new bars in the city or check out the latest restaurants to open in Hong Kong now. Want to hear the latest city news and learn about what's happening in the city? Subscribe to our newsletter and be the first to get the news!

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