Hong Kong’s coolest hidden alleyways
Hong Kong is blessed with amazing secret islands, gorgeous beaches and brilliant hiking trails that are the envy of Time Out cities worldwide. Oddly enough, Hong Kong’s many alleways aren’t held in quite such high esteem. But if you think all alleyways are dank, dark and dangerous, then think again. The intrepid staff of Time Out have jumped oily puddles, dodged noxious bin bags and sidestepped unknown drips to locate the best secret spots in alleyways actually worth lingering in. In fact, these streets are so secret they don’t even have names...
The best bars in Lan Kwai Fong
Love it or hate it, Lan Kwai Fong is increasingly home to a number of great bars as well as clubs. In recent years there’s been a concerted effort to raise standards in the neighbourhood – places like the departed Hong Kong Brewhouse, its floor littered with peanut shells and sticky with spilt beer, clearly represent the past. Ignore the mob out on the street or the teenagers hanging outside ‘Club 7-Eleven’, and find out for yourself by visiting one of these best bars in Lan Kwai Fong.RECOMMENDED: If you want more great drinks, check out our guide to Hong Kong’s 50 best bars. Or in case you need to sober up, try one of Central’s best coffeeshops.
The best late night Hong Kong bars
There’s no shortage of good places to get a drink in Hong Kong. The city is home to some of the best bars and bartenders in the world, after all. But what to do if it’s reaching midnight and you’re still going strong? Fear not. Hongkongers work hard and play hard, and many excellent establishments stay open for discerning customers seeking a quality drink in the wee hours before the sun comes up. Here are the best of them.RECOMMENDED: Prefer your drinks with a view, try one of Hong Kong’s best rooftop bars.
The best places to surf in Hong Kong
With more than one beach called Big Wave Bay, Hong Kong sounds like it was made for surfing. In truth, the waves here aren’t as colossal as at more exotic locations like Hawaii or Tahiti. Still, the origins of the sport date back at least 40 years to 1978, the year the Hong Kong Surf Club was established. Although it only lasted four years, members of the club were pioneers of a pastime that’s been gaining increasing popularity of late.If you’ve ever wanted to join the surfers you’ve seen at local beaches, or if you’re just the world’s biggest Point Break fan, now’s your chance to get involved. Winter is arguably the best time of year to surf in Hong Kong, and these are some of the best spots to ride the waves.And if surfing doesn’t strike your fancy, why not get active on one of Hong Kong’s best hikes or cycling routes?
The best shops in Hong Kong
With a complete lack of sales tax – except on alcohol and tobacco – Hong Kong has long been famous as a shopping destination. We’ve got both great malls and fantastic street markets that are well worth shoppers’ time. But that’s not all. There’s a fantastic range of small, independent shops that are perennially interesting to browse and which fly under the radar. They deserve not to be missed and that’s why we’re featuring them here. And if all this shopping makes you hungry, remember to check out our guide to Hong Kong’s best restaurants.
The best specialist bars in Hong Kong
There’s a bar in Hong Kong whatever your particular poison. Mad for mezcal? Start at Coa. Thirsty for tequila? There’s Agave for all your needs. Giddy for gin? Try John Anthony. The city’s fantastic bar scene has something for just about everyone. In years past, if you wanted a tipple, your options were limited. But as Hong Kong’s bar scene has grown and matured, so have the options available to curious drinkers. Nowadays, Hong Kong’s many fine bars cater to all sorts of different tastes, whether you prefer bourbon or saké – it’s not all just posh whisky bars and rumbunctious beer joints here. From gin palaces with hundreds of bottles of ‘blue ruin’ to the city’s only vermouth bar, whatever your drink of choice is, we’ve found a place for you.
Volunteering in Hong Kong: local charities to support
Hong Kong might well be one of the richest cities in the world but life here isn’t all about quirky cocktails and flashy dim sum. There are still many in need of assistance here. That’s not because Hongkongers are tight, in fact, we have an excellent record of philanthropy. Indeed, it’s not fundraising that’s difficult in our city but finding the time to help the individuals and charities that need it most. If you can spare time to volunteer, here are 20 small local charities that could dearly do with your assistance.
The best Hong Kong action movies
Some of Hong Kong’s most famous movies – at least abroad – belong to the action genre. Traditionally, local audiences, weaned on a diet of wuxia novels, preferred to see their heroes dispatch villains with their fists or swords. But for a decade between the mid-80s and mid-90s, guns were king. So iconic were Hong Kong’s action flicks that they became a subgenre unto themselves, sometimes called ‘heroic bloodshed’ or ‘bullet ballet’. In case you don’t know what all the fuss is about, here are 11 of the best Hong Kong action movies you need to see.RECOMMENDED: Looking for more great local movies? Try Hong Kong’s best wuxia films or romcoms.
10 things every Hongkonger has Googled at least once
Hongkongers pride themselves on their local knowledge, especially anything that involves getting the best value out of a situation. But our multifarious city still presents plenty of riddles. Fortunately, Google is now a thing (what impoverished lives our 20th century descendents must have lived), so whether you’re looking into real estate or figuring out a new commute, you’re not the only one taping into your smartphone to solve your problems. Here are some things we’ve all searched for at least once. And in case you need more Hong Kong life hacks, check our guide to all the free things to do in town here.
The best mocktails in Hong Kong
It may not seem it in Lan Kwai Fong or Knutsford Terrace come Saturday night but low- or no-alcohol drinking is a trend gaining traction. Dry January is officially a thing and last year Heineken became the latest brewer, after the likes of Budweiser, to unveil an alcohol-free version of its beer. Even Diageo, home to Smirnoff, Guinness and Johnnie Walker, is investing in the sector, having bought a stake in Seedlip, a start-up producing a non-alcoholic spirit designed to replace gin in cocktails. Some Hong Kong bars are way ahead of the trend with excellent mocktails every bit as creative as their alcoholic offerings. Here’s where to head if you’re getting on the wagon. RECOMMENDED: Changed your mind and fancy some alcohol instead? Why not check out the best whisky, best beer bars and best gin bars in Hong Kong.
If Game of Thrones was set in Hong Kong
The eighth and final season of Game of Thrones finally lands on screens on Monday, April 15 (well, technically Sunday night, if you’re counting the US) and team Time Out is desperately hoping to avoid all sorts of spoilers. To that end, we’ve focused instead on imagining what locations in Hong Kong match those featured in A Song of Ice and Fire. From Sheung Shui being reimagined as Winterfell or comparing Meereen to Causeway Bay on Sunday, here’s what we came up with. Graphics by Jessica Li (We also created a map of it as well, made by our wonderful house elves here click here for a hi-res version of it.) RECOMMENDED: Inspired by these comparisons? You can check out the best things to do and eat in Causeway Bay, Central and Happy Valley while you’re here.
Meet the queens behind Broad Cast and Hong Kong drag brunches
Drag is on a definite rise here in Hong Kong. Earlier in March, Bianca Del Rio brought her It’s Jester Joke tour to the Academy for Performing Arts. Before that, in February, RuPaul’s Drag Race: Werq The World Tour sold out the same venue and just before last Christmas, another RuPaul star, Shangela, put on a show at Kitec. So yes, drag is clearly riding a wave at the moment. Yet any scene – be it drag, music or art – can only thrive in a city if there’s a strong local element. Arguably no group has done more to popularise drag on the ground here than the team behind Broad Cast. Headed by drag queens XXXotica and Madame Mincemeat, and organiser Daddy, Broad Cast is the rebranded successor to the hugely popular Biiitch Brunch, which started in 2017. The group recently held its tenth brunch, for 120 people, at swank sky-high destination Ozone. It’s a big jump from its original meals for 40 to 50 people in Lan Kwai Fong. “It’s encouraging to see,” says Daddy. “The community in Hong Kong has been very welcoming. The city has an amazing restaurant scene but I didn’t see a brunch that was an experience the way we’ve created something special.” Daddy started organising the meals since he missed the kind of drag brunches he attended back home in the States. Perhaps more importantly, he also realised the talent existed here to make it a success. “Most [LGBTI] events take place in the safety of a dark bar at night,” Daddy tells us. “I think there’s something special about doing a d
Listings and reviews (20)
The ThirtySix Bar & Co
高球雞尾酒（Highball）以烈酒為基底，混合梳打水或其他非酒精飲料，通常是 gin & tonic 又或者 Jack and coke。 兩年前﹐紐約潮人區 Williamsburg 的 Kinfolk 90 為第一家引入高球製造機（由威士忌蒸餾酒 Suntory 提供）的酒吧，短短一年，這款雞尾酒在美國竄紅，連《紐約時報》也大肆報導高球熱潮。 近年，高球雞尾酒也漸漸在香港冒起。繼去年 Black Sheep 飲食集團旗下 Fukuro 居酒屋之後，位於荷李活道的 The ThirtySix Bar 是近期城中備受注目的高球雞尾酒餐廳酒吧。儘管這裏的裝潢已改頭換面，但實際佈局幾乎跟前身的威士忌雞尾酒吧 Angel's Share 分別不大，整體配搭有點雜亂無章，如矮枱矮櫈襯深色皮梳化（疑是上手遺留）；還有，當一杯製作認真的雞尾酒，放在一個會發光的杯墊上，感覺實在跟這裏優雅的氛圍格格不入。酒單簡單，主打九款的高球雞尾酒、啤酒和葡萄酒。我們先點了一款經典口味 Hojicha Mizuwari（$140）。 基底用 Nikka from the Barrel，加入梳打水，黑檸檬苦精和焙茶，入口非常順滑，帶極微的氣泡，尾段滲出淡淡焙茶香，整體味道不俗，但以這個價錢來說，沒太大驚喜。The 21st Century California （$140）── 混合了Alipús San Baltazar 梅斯卡爾酒 、白可可甜酒、Rinomato Bianco、檸檬梳打水和青檸濃縮果汁，味道複雜有層次，有別於一般高球雞尾酒，以梅斯卡爾酒代替傳統龍舌蘭，更添怡人的煙燻味， 同時保留了這經典雞尾酒特色。我們最後點了一杯清爽的高球雞尾酒 Terrior（$140），採用來自加州的 St George Terroir 氈酒，混入西瓜汁和梳打水，略帶草本氣息，令人一試難忘。 總括這裏的雞尾酒水準尚可，但新意欠奉，價格略嫌偏高。不過值得欣賞 The ThirtySix 以經典高球雞尾酒為主題概念，期待他們會有更多創意驚喜。
The ThirtySix Bar & Co
One of the most popular cocktail breeds in Japan, the highball is a mix of a spirit and a larger portion of a nonalcoholic mixer. While plenty of drinks fit this classification – a G&T and yes, even a Jack and coke, technically belong to this family – the highball is enjoying a new spot in the limelight, fuelled in part by the new-found popularity of the whisky highball in the United States. It started in 2017 when Williamsburg hipster hotspot Kinfolk 90 became the first bar in New York to have a highball-making machine (supplied by whisky distiller Suntory, no less). That kick-started a surge of interest in the cocktail in America and within a year, the New York Times was declaring the summer ‘highball season’. The highball trend is slowing picking up here in Hong Kong too and The ThirtySix is the newest space to jump on train, after Black Sheep’s take on an izakaya, Fukuro, beat it to the punch last year. Sitting above Hollywood Road, this new concept occupies the spot formerly belonging to whisky and cocktail bar Angel’s Share. The physical layout is nearly identical, though the décor has changed substantially. Where Angel’s Share had a uniform gentlemen’s-club vibe, The ThirtySix is a somewhat incoherent mishmash of styles. The place takes its drinks seriously but serves them on light-up coasters that look like they belong at Levels or Drop. The furniture, also, is a mix of clubby tables and stools and deep leather chairs that look like they were left behind by the previo
Contrasting details are a deliberate feature of Tai Kwun. It’s why the Victorian era Barrack Block sits a stone’s throw from the 21st-century JC Contemporary building and stark colour schemes are employed to help guests navigate the different sections of the site. It’s a theme that extends to the various bars and restaurants operating there, too. Nowhere is this more apparent than at The Dispensary. Not only is it resolutely traditional in comparison to Behind Bars and Dragonfly, but it sits in-between Aqua Group’s Sino-centric concept The Chinese Library and Statement, its western-focused restaurant.Thankfully, unlike Hugger Mugger, The Dispensary feels like its own space rather than a holding pen for either restaurant. The design is gorgeous. Occupying a spot that was formerly part of the police officers’ mess, the black and white flooring is similar to the mess’s original, and the rich blue colouring the walls is apparently inspired by old police uniforms. These are just some of the thoughtful touches that have gone into the design.Fittingly for a bar bridging an eastern and a western restaurant, the cocktail menu here is separated into a Chinese and a British collection. Flavours like mango and egg tart are present in the former while rhubarb and chestnuts feature in the latter. Starting close to home, we order a Dan Tat ($98), which takes pineapple rum and shakes it with the aforementioned egg tart, cream soda cordial and elements of lemon and nutmeg. Probably best serve
位於中環前中區警署古蹟活化項目 ── 大館內最華麗的酒吧。時尚酒吧 The Dispensary 設計融入摩登與復古韻味，酒單分為英式和中式主題，體現了大館糅合中西文化與歷史故事。雖然雞尾酒的款式不算很多，但款款都別具魅力。
If there’s one thing that the Hong Kong drinks scene suffers from, it’s pretention. It takes many forms: the establishment that masquerades as a dive bar but which charges top shelf prices, the place that claims to be a whisky bar while stocking little more than what you can buy at Wellcome, or the molecular mixology bar that’s about as inventive as washing your hands with soap.The Chase – which together with Hunter, its sister establishment upstairs, occupies the space formerly belonging to steakhouse The Shore – is a mercifully honest venue. The PR prattle may describe it as a ‘multi-faceted dining and mixology destination’ but there are no gimmicks here and the drinks menu is a straightforward list of wines, cocktails and some half-a-dozen beers. There’s plenty of room, making it ideal for groups, and The Shore’s excellent outdoor terrace remains and it’s still a great space for alfresco drinks come the cooler months in Hong Kong.There are eight cocktails on the menu – the common theme being old classics given a new spin – and we begin with a Deliciousourus ($118), a twist on the sidecar which sees applejack, crème de pêche, lemon and orange juice combined. While the original cocktail may be better, the citrus fruits play nicely together and, light and refreshing, it’s a very comfortable drink. Another Chase original, La Dolce Vita ($98) is served looking like a cross between a negroni and a cosmopolitan. Made up of gin, Aprerol, root syrup, watermelon juice and yellow cha
In the entire history of the Hong Kong Film Awards only one individual has directed back-to-back Best Film winners. And it’s not Wong Kar-wai, Tsui Hark, Ann Hui, Johnnie To or any other of the local industry heavyweights. Rather, it’s Jevons Au, whose previous works – local dystopia Ten Years and triad throwback flick Trivisa– were king in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Of course, and here’s the catch, both films were collaborative efforts made with other co-directors, and Trivisa had none other than Johnnie To guiding it as producer. Still, Au was the one constant between those two films and his newest film has been eagerly anticipated since its announcement.For his solo debut, Au has penned Distinction. The film centres on a musical being organised at a special needs school. Around this event orbit a host of characters each with their own cross to bear – the truculent student from a poor background wearied by living with his intellectually disabled brother; the teacher whose father has Alzheimer’s and who needs to move to a smaller flat to help pay for his care; the young girl studying for her DSE exams buckling under the twin pressures of her parents’ expectations and keeping up appearances alongside her rich classmates; the sunny and genuinely caring Xiao Li, a pupil shunned for her Mainland origins. The list goes on.Mercifully, Distinction never descends into misery porn the way it easily could. Although it feels contrived that no-one has it easy, each character’s burden i
Hong Kong cinema used to be famous for its originality. Nowhere made a comedy like one of Stephen Chow’s mo lei tau movies or produced films with the distinct visual style of Wong Kar-wai. Even those local elements that didn’t find favour with international critics, such as the jarring genre hopping or the rapid-fire editing, were nonetheless hallmarks of a particular Hong Kong cinematic style. What makes Project Gutenberg so disappointing is how much it borrows from Hollywood. The film’s big twist, and even its initial setup is borrowed from a certain movie that shall remain nameless, in order to avoid spoilers. That lack of originality is sad for a Hong Kong film that boasts the talents of Chow Yun-fat, Aaron Kwok and director Felix Chong, the writer of Infernal Affairs.The action begins with Lee Man (Kwok), a counterfeit artist, incarcerated in a Thai jail. He’s soon hauled out and bundled on a plane to Hong Kong to assist with an investigation looking to nail Painter (Chow), the mysterious head of a counterfeit banknote organisation of which Lee was formerly a member. With no leads and little information on Painter, the police interrogate Lee, who recounts how he met Painter and the illegal activities that followed.All the way through, there’s a nagging suspicion that this is the kind of movie that Hollywood would do better. The intricacies of crime are never explained as smoothly as, say, American Gangster; the globetrotting is never as lavish as in the Mission Impossibl
Arguably the most notable local F&B trend of the last 12 months has been bars and restaurants doubling down on the drinks side of their operations. Got yourself a popular bar? Well, why not stick another bar in there like The Lodge within The Woods, Frank’s Library within Foxglove or PDT within MO Bar. Restaurants are getting in on the act too – witness The Wilshire within Mexican eatery 11 Westside, and now Hugger Mugger, a vestibule that feeds into Pirata Group’s new Indian bistro Chaiwala.Fittingly, given a name implying secrecy, Hugger Mugger sits underground, behind an inconspicuous door on Wyndham Street, opposite the likes of Bungalow and Dragon-i. The ornate wooden doors at the far end of the room that lead into Chaiwala are the most interesting design aspect. If we hadn’t received a press release detailing the British theme we’d be hard-pressed to describe what kind of concept the bland, if pleasant, décor was in aid of.The drinks menu is more explicit, however, with its range of house specialities dedicated to famous Brits like Shakespeare, privateer Francis Drake and naturalist David Attenborough. Desiring to feel like royalty, we plump for the Buckingham Aroma ($120), dedicated to Queen Elizabeth II. A combination of Tanqueray gin, chrysanthemum wine, jasmine cordial and violette [sic] oil, it comes attractively served in a perfume bottle. A pleasant hint of perfume does indeed linger around the glass, though, thankfully, it doesn’t impact the flavour which is dom
英式酒吧 Hugger Mugger 和新派印度菜餐廳 Chaiwala 聯手合作，於每日歡樂時光5pm-7pm 特別挑選了幾款招牌小吃加入 bites 菜單內，以配合各款創新雞尾酒及葡萄酒。菜式包括佐以醃番茄蛋黃醬的 Bombay Fried Chicken、送酒一流的香口炸芝士波 Cheese Chaska 等，一律$50。
Should prison be fun? It’s a question worth considering given how successfully Behind Bars banishes memories of what is, no doubt, painful incarceration. The amusingly named cocktail bar is Tai Kwun’s first such establishment, and the only one until Ashley Sutton’s art nouveau concept, Dragonfly, opens later this summer. With its playful neon lighting and toe-tapping soundtrack – the work of Angus Wong, the man responsible for monthly LGBT party Behind – the venue is a stylish, if somewhat tactless, repurposing of the former Central Police Station compound’s prison cells.The space itself is relatively narrow. On the right-hand side is the bar with one cubbyhole for placing your order and another for picking up your drinks. Opposite are former cells transformed into a series of cosy alcoves with tables and seating.The cocktails have been put together under the tutelage of JIA Group’s group bar manager, James Barker, who most recently did sterling work helping to revamp the drinks menu over at Duddell’s. There are six to choose from, as well as a handful of wines and beers, and all cocktails are premade. This is immediately apparent when we order an All Day and a Night ($90), a mix of Absolut vodka, Kahlua, cacao and cold brew coffee. An espresso martini in all but name, the flavours are properly present and correct but, having been prepared earlier, there’s no creamy foam, resulting in a disappointing texture. The Clock With No Hands ($120) – Chivas Regal 12 Year whisky, Ancho
提起監倉，只想起《監獄風雲》嗎？這間位於大館，以昔日囚室為主題的酒吧 Behind Bars，成功將監倉這個陰森恐怖的地方，變成城中最潮酒吧。Behind Bars 是大館首間雞尾酒吧，跟最近才開幕的另一間酒吧、由著名室內設計師 Ashley Sutton 親自操刀的 Dragonfly，風格大相逕庭；前者主打監倉氣氛，後者主打歐洲新藝術（Art Nouveau）時代風格，各有各賣點。說回 Behind Bars，整個概念由娛樂鬼才Angus Wong 設計，他正正是每月 LGBT 派對 Behind 的幕後搞手，他留下舊日中區警署囚室的舊鐵窗、黑色鐵門、鐵樓梯等舊元素，配上特色的霓虹燈，hip 得有型，再播放流行音樂，瞬即成潮人蒲點。 酒吧位於監獄操場旁的 E 倉，空間不大，想落 order，要先到酒吧右手邊的一個囚室落單，然後再到另一個囚室自取。對面就是打通了的囚室，並設有一排排舒適的桌椅，一部分的桌椅還特意選用透明的顏色，增添了一種現代感。 酒吧飲品由佳民集團酒吧經理 James Barker 監督，最近他也忙於翻新都爹利會館的酒單。除了一些葡萄酒跟啤酒外，這裏共有六款雞尾酒供選擇，但全部也是預先調配。先試 All Day and a Night ($90)， 混合 Absolut Vodka、Kahlua、可可豆及冷泡咖啡調成，喝起來其實就是 espresso martini，只是舊曲新詞而已，就算是 espresso martini 也算了，但一見雞尾酒上的泡沫未喝已溶掉，便知道這杯酒是預先調配的。接下來再試 The Clock With No Hands ($120)，這杯以芝華士12年威士忌為基調，加上 Ancho Reyes，楓糖漿，黑茶和朱古力酒的雞尾酒才告完成， 經典辣椒汁 Ancho Reyes 帶辣勁，楓糖漿又恰恰中和了當中的辣味，味道還不錯。 我們最後點的那杯 Ghetto Penthouse ($90)實在教人失望，酒底用上 Beefeater gin 酒，加入橙汁、忌廉味汽水和大黃調製，酒味不濃，味道偏酸，跟忌廉味汽水完全格格不入。 Behind Bars 無疑極具噱頭，充滿玩味。置身於新舊交融的監獄，聽着音樂，品嚐各式各樣的主打Cocktail，氣氛一流，定必成為拍拖最潮勝地。最可惜的是，這裏的雞尾酒全是預先調教好，價錢又不便宜；喝雞尾酒，還是要即點即調的好。
Hotel bars don’t have a great reputation. In popular imagination they’re dim watering holes existing only to serve expensive drinks to lonely business travellers. There are exceptions, of course. In our city, the Shangri-La’s Lobster Bar and Blue Bar at The Four Seasons spring immediately to mind.Looking to join this clutch of worthwhile hotel establishments is The Murray hotel’s Murray Lane. Situated halfway up Cotton Tree Drive, the hotel is conveniently located for visiting businessmen and bankers working nearby but it’s an awkward spot for anyone else.The bar itself is located just around the corner from reception at The Murray. This too is an awkward location, the bar feeling neither its own separate entity nor an integrated part of the lobby. The décor is slick, all muted tones and soft lighting that gives off a luxurious vibe without being ostentatious. A thick carpet beneath our feet is just waiting for spilled drinks.The menu is relatively straightforward with a range of bar snacks, beers, wines and a dozen or so signature cocktails. Our Gentlemen Prefer Bonds ($130) – Murray Lane clearly looking to appeal to neighbouring businesses with that name – a mix of Johnnie Walker Black, honey, lemon, ginger and Laphroaig Quarter Cask arrives first. The drink is an appealing golden colour, chilled by a single sizeable ice cube. Much like a hot toddy, the drink is initially sweet with a sharp finish. The smokiness of the Laphroaig is pleasant on the nose but sadly absent on t
New cocktail bar The Wise King to open in Central this July
Following the tremendous success of 2017 newcomer The Old Man – which was named the fourth best bar in the continent by Asia’s 50 Best Bars – comes The Wise King.The concepts, despite vague similarities in name, are unrelated except for the fact that both are being headed by top local talent. Where Agung Prabowo, James Tamang and Roman Ghale made The Old Man such a success, this new cocktail bar is being headed by head mixologists and co-owners Joe Villanueva and Sandeep Kumar. Villanueva won renown as part of the team at Lobster Bar – a fixture on the World’s 50 Best Bars list – and as the first Chivas Master Competition Champion to represent Hong Kong at the global finals. For his part, Kumar is a two-time India Bacardi Grand Prix National Champion and has directed the beverage programmes at establishments like China Tang and Howard’s Gourmet.The name The Wise King comes from Alfonso X, a 13th-century king of Castile, who decreed that alcohol should not be served with food. Hence why, as well as inventive cocktails, the Staunton Street bar is serving tapas – the likes of patatas bravas, pollo kebeb and scarpetta. Speaking of cocktails, the cosy lounge environs of The Wise King will be home to concoctions like The Monti-Tipple ($108) featuring a mix of Xeco Amontillado sherry, Gin Mare, Café Vermouth and aromatic choco bitters. For something stronger, barrel-aged tipples like the Pacharán Manhattan ($98) with Woodford Rye whiskey, Blackthorn liqueur and Abott’s bitters are a
Sing your heart out at a Grease sing-along screening
These summer nights deserve some summer lovin’ and if regular karaoke isn’t cutting it for you anymore, why not try belting out the hits to Grease at two special sing-a-long screenings? The highest-grossing musical of all time, Grease is returning to the big screen in celebration of the film’s 40th anniversary as part of August and September’s Life is Art film festival. There are set to be two screenings – one in August in Central at the Palace IFC and another in September over in Tai Koo. Gather your friends, dress up as a T-Bird or a Pink Lady, and belt out hits like You’re the One That I Want and Hopelessly Devoted. Tickets usually go quickly for these sorts of special screenings, so we recommend booking now. But if you want to stick to karaoke booths, remember to check out our guide to Hong Kong’s best places for karaoke.
Mong Kok’s ‘magic-themed’ Harry Potter café is being sued by Warner Bros
Hold on to your wands, it seems Warner Bros has finally caught word of 9¾ Café. The restaurant opened in 2017, clearly taking inspiration from Harry Potter – if the name doesn’t give the game away there’s also the luggage trolley half-submerged in a wall, music from the HP movies playing over the speakers and Butterbeer on the menu.The venue claimed to be generally ‘magic-themed’, though its legality was suspect from the start, what with issues of copyright infringement. Now it seems Warner Bros is finally saying ‘expelliarmus’ to the Mong Kok venue. According to Inside Retail, the movie studio is seeking the removal of offending infringements and multiple injunctions as well as ‘an unspecified sum of damages’. Hong Kong has a number of themed eateries, but none has attracted controversy like 9¾ Café. The venue remains open for business for now but if you still haven’t checked it out and want to, you’d better head over soon.
Taipei’s Room by Le Kief is popping up in Tsim Sha Tsui for one night only this week
In what could well prove to be one of the most exciting guest shifts all year, Seven Yi of Taipei’s Room by Le Kief is coming to the InterContinental Grand Stanford. Popping-up at the hotel’s popular whisky bar, Tiffany’s, for just one night, on Friday January 25, Yi has won plaudits in Taiwan for his ‘drinking kitchen’ which sees him distil liquids from foodstuffs like toast or grass to use in his concoctions. If that sounds a little suspect or novel for novelty’s sake, know that Yi worked at the Michelin-starred L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon Taipei for a number of years, so he’s earned his chops.Here in Hong Kong, Yi will be serving three of his signatures: Cat (pictured, featuring liquids distilled from bread and yoghurt), Makao (which contains an aboriginal spice grown only in Taiwan), Cocoa (a cocktail topped with an orange sugar flake), plus a limited edition creation made just for Hong Kong. Each cocktail will cost $118 (plus 10 percent).
Win tickets to a preview of Mary Poppins Returns
Nominated for a clutch of Golden Globes and Bafta awards, Mary Poppins Returns is a triumphant, if belated, sequel to the 1964 original. Starring Emily Blunt as the titular British nanny, the film takes place in 1930s London, 25 years after the original film, and sees Mary Poppins returning to her former charges after tragedy strikes the family. The film has received rave reviews and Time Out called it ‘a big-hearted cinematic high’.If you’ve been dying to see it ever since it was released in the US last November, finally, now’s your chance. We’ve got 15 pairs of tickets to give away to a special advanced screening on Saturday January 19 – nearly two weeks ahead of the film’s official Hong Kong release. The screening will take place at 3pm at Movie Movie Cityplaza in Tai Koo, and to grab yourself a pair of tickets, all you need to do is answer this simple question below. The competition will close on Wednesday 16. Loading...
Sequel to The Old Man, The Sea is scheduled to open next month
Here’s an early Christmas present for all you cocktail connoisseurs – The Sea, the follow-up to award-winning bar The Old Man (clearly maintaining that Hemingway theme, in name at least) is finally set to open. Promising yet more quality cocktails, rumours about The Sea have existed since the opening of The Old Man back in 2017, with early whispers saying it was to be a restaurant component to sit alongside the bar. Although that never transpired, rumours about The Sea refused to die down, especially given the success of Agung Prabowo, James Tamang and Roman Ghale’s original concept on Aberdeen Street.The finishing touches are being put to the venue on Po Yan Street, which sits almost across the road from Hollywood Road Park. We’ve been told Monday January 7 is the intended opening date, so mark that in your calendars and look forward to more details nearer the time.
There’s a Korean pop-up dining experience coming to Sake Central
Following its tremendously popular Nhau Nhau pop-up last month, Sake Central has organised another tempting gastronomic crossover. This time, on Sunday December 16, coming to the kitchen in the PMQ venue is Jason Oh, a member of the ‘Kimchi Boyz’ group of Korean chefs in Hong Kong. Oh will be crafting a particularly unusual selection of pickles using Korean cooking techniques applied to Japanese ingredients that will be able from 3pm, with Sake Central opening early for the occasion.Then, from 6pm, there will be a special food menu available to order à la carte or as a set. The following dishes are included:Beef pyeon-yuk: braising beef brisket (simmered for 24 hours), beef tongue with Korean mustard sauce saladPork belly bossam: steamed pork belly, kimchi salad, and veg ssamBulgogi: stir-fry beef with soy sauce, pea leaves jangajji, and veg ssamSeafood pancake: sea food, dry scallop, and leek pancakeSeaweed chicken soup and rice: seaweed, chicken meatball soup, and multi-grain ricePrices per plate start at $120; the pickle tasting platter will also be available in the evening for $68. If the pop-up is anywhere near as popular as the Nhau Nhau one, reservations are definitely recommended to avoid disappointment.Emailreservations@sake-central.com or call 2656 6552 to save your spot.
A Johnnie Walker pop-up is coming in the New Year
’tis the season for merriment, and anyone who thinks they’re unlikely to get their fill throughout the holiday period can look forward to a special New Year’s present come January. An exclusive Johnnie Walker pop-up is coming to the Ritz-Carlton’s bar, Ozone. The pop-up is coming to town to celebrate the release of the whisky giant’s intriguing new release – Blue Label Ghost And Rare Port Ellen. This is a blend of (the rather expensive) Johnnie Walker Blue and Islay ‘ghost distillery’ Port Ellen, which closed in 1983. Expect ‘rolling waves of waxy citrus, rich malt and tropical fruit flavours... perfectly balanced by the distinctive maritime smokiness of Port Ellen’. As well as trying this new product, whisky fans can also try a wide range of JW’s luxury tipples.When Blue Label Ghost And Rare Port Ellen goes on sale here it is expected to cost $2,980 per bottle, so this is a good chance to get a wee dram for a lot less. No exact start date has been announced besides ‘January’ but we’ll let you know when we get confirmed details.
Time Out Hong Kong Bar Awards – Readers’ Choice winner
A big thank you to everyone who turned up for our Bar Awards party at The Pawn last night. It was a huge success as Time Out Hong Kong readers got to savour the best and brightest of our city’s bar scene – with drinks made by established names like Antonio Lai and Agung Prabowo as well as rising stars like Amir Javaid – for our first-ever Bar Awards. Magnus Ribbing of The Flying Elk. Photo: Calvin Sit There was also a special announcement on the night – the reveal of who won our Readers’ Choice award. It was a close affair but Stockton was the ultimate winner. Maximal mixologists Suraj Gurung, of Stockton, Amir Javaid from John Anthony and Magnus Ribbing from The Flying Elk celebrated by closing the event with the final guest shift of the evening. Popular newcomer Whisky & Words polling a strong second. Award winners Antonio Lai and Agung Prabowo. Photo: Calvin Sit Congratulations to all our winners and runners-up. You can read the full list here, and we’ll see you again at our Bar Awards next year by which time we hope to have recovered.
Get a free Christmas coffee at Pacific Coffee the rest of this week
Christmas is coming and Pacific Coffee clearly got the memo. Thoroughly in the spirit of giving, the local coffeeshop chain is offering guests the chance to get any of its three festive specials for absolutely no charge in a special buy-one-get-one-free deal. Lasting from now until Sunday, to participate all you need to do is show you’re following the company’s Instagram account (no judging if you unfollow once you’ve got your java). The three flavours you can pick from are nougat ruby mocha, ruby matcha latte and nougat ruby latte, so we hope you’ve got a sweet tooth. Best of all, if you can’t convince anyone to go to Pacific Coffee with you, staff will happily combine two medium Christmas specials into one giant alto cup. Merry Christmas!
Antonio Lai to open Bar 309 this July
Hong Kong’s local mixology hero Antonio Lai – the man behind the highly regarded Quinary and Origin, among others – is set to open his first new bar in almost three years. Located within boutique hotel The Pottinger, Bar 309 is likely the biggest new local bar opening of the year and is Lai’s first venture since partnering with Vicky Cheng on VEA Lounge back in 2015. The establishment will sit on the third floor of The Pottinger hotel and while not a speakeasy, is said to be accessible ‘by invitation only’. Patrons must check-in at ‘The Reception’ in order to get a key card that will allow them access to the intimate space which will seat no more than 20. Once nestled inside, visitors can look forward to personalised cocktails courtesy of Lai (as executive mixologist) and bar manager Hungie Fong of The Envoy, Lai’s other establishment in the hotel.Scheduled to open in late July, we’ll be first in with a reservation and review when Bar 309 opens. Here’s hoping it lives up to Lai’s typically high standards.
Our new issue is out tomorrow!
Holidays are coming, and that means a new issue of Time Out Hong Kong is on its way too. In our winter issue, we reveal the winners of our Bar Awards 2018, from the number one bar in town to our favourite eco-conscious spot. Get your tickets now to our celebratory party on December 5 where we’ll be toasting the winners and sampling custom cocktails courtesy of special guest shifts.Elsewhere in the issue we’ll be providing you some Christmas inspiration with a special gift guide for foodies and a look at Hong Kong’s best furniture stores. There’s a look at the history of Shaw Brothers, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary, and we get a professional’s guide to simple exercises that you can do at home to burn off any excess Chrimbo calories. There’s that, plus a look at Hong Kong’s newest music venues, what’s going on in Macau and the unusual venues doubling up as art spaces.Distribution is being staggered throughout the coming two weeks, so don’t fret if you’re out of town this week. Our free magazine will be available throughout Hong Kong at MTR stations, cafés and restaurants, hotels, residential clubs and airport lounges. Click here for a detailed list of locations so you don’t miss out.