Top 5 Prohibition-style Sips in Hong Kong
One of the most happening cities in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong welcomes all with an iconic skyline, colorful traditions, and legendary kitchens. That said, there is one distinctive, yet bizarre aspect of the city, which often goes unnoticed beneath the myriad spiraling skyscrapers, labyrinthine streets, and alleyways. Yes, Hong Kong also boasts of a number of secret drinking dens spaced around the city! These illicit liquor-serving havens are not only chic and sexy but also really difficult to find. Here are top five most hip speakeasies you can explore in Hong Kong. Take a look.
1. The Butler
Located right in the middle of Hong Kong’s busiest entertainment and shopping district of Tsim Sha Tsui, the Butler is a really inconspicuous bar. The Butler is essentially Japanese; therefore, it is no surprise that every guest is greeted with irasshaimase (a casual Japanese welcome), while suave lashings of dark wood depict all around the establishment. You will definitely be reminded of those unobtrusive whiskey bars in the Shibuya district of Tokyo. Before paying a visit to this fifth-floor establishment; however, remember to prior reservations.
The Stockton bar, located in the bustling Central Hong Kong Junction area, takes inspiration from a Hunter S. Thompson-designed hideaway; hence, the large grey steel door at the front. However, the unassuming exteriors don’t do justice to the lush interiors complete with a neatly tucked-away cigar room ( the cigar room also has a worn-out leather chair from the World War era) chic leather sofas, glass cabinets filled with ornate glassware. The highlight of this secret Victorian-style hideaway is its cocktails, which take after the favorite tipples of famous maverick authors such as the Forty Four (personal favorite drink of Raymond Chandler). This exquisite drink is a unique mix of marshmallow, sherry, and rum, and is served in a beautiful glass fish-shaped vessel.
Every prominent speakeasy, here in Hong Kong, uses a facade to hide its true identity. For Foxglove, it is a quaint umbrella shop that serves as a mask to hide the entrance( during rainy days, should you forget your umbrella, this shop will actually let you buy one). If you too seek the elusive bar entrance, you’re in for a surprise: the boxy bar, covered in shiny white and dark navy undertones, is neatly decked behind one of the fancy glass cases. Likewise, even the cocktails are inspired by the adventure stories of Frank Minza, a fictional British explorer, to add to the charm. Be sure to ask for drinks stirred with Ocho Blanco and Japanese whiskey!
4. Ping Pong Gintoneria
A prime example of the fact that secret drinking dens and bars don’t have to be small, dingy, elusive places, the Ping Pong Gintoneria is no less than a regular gastro-pub. This generously spaced-out bar (formerly, a ping pong gaming parlor) is neatly located between an art gallery and a local restaurant in the Sai Ying Pun neighborhood. To gain access, you need to push a red-colored door and descend into a neon-soaked basement. You will surely be daunted by the sheer size of this speakeasy and the attendance of Hong Kong’s prominent casualistas and hipsters inside.
5. Mrs. Pound
The exclusive Mrs. Pound bar is an interesting addition to this list, because of its really peculiar facade. On the outside, this quaint speakeasy in Sheung Wan resembles a stamp shop, probably designed by the talented Damien Hirst (we don’t really know). However, the insides boast of a secretive liquor bar buzzing with activity, and drenched in green and loud pink undertones, serving brightly-colored cocktails in Instagrammable tea-cups made of chinoiserie. Sitting across a glaring neon installation, sipping a cup of M. Ming’s Negroni, is an unforgettable experience.