Where to Drink
A new addition to the Prive group, I Know John is the mid-way from Soho and LKF bar/lounge you’ve been looking for. With surprisingly dizzy heights for a 9th-floor bar it takes ‘drinks with a view’ to a new level with the expertise of one of my all time favourite mixologists in HK; Max Gurung. This time last year he presented me with one of the best negronis known to man at Amazake and I have been an avid follower of his since. Offering niche whiskies and wines this speakeasy lounge is a welcome change to some of the more people-pleaser bars downstairs. The name “I Know John” is inspired by the tradition of using passwords to gain entry during the Prohibition Era. Today, the best of Hong Kong’s hidden juice joints are known through word of mouth, and “I Know John” carries on the legacy.
9/F The Loop, 33 Wellington Street, Central
The uber-trendy Potato Head Beach club in Bali is a regular haunt for many a Hong Kong expat, so when word went around they were bringing the concept to the 852, tongues were well and truly wagging. Setting up home in Sai Ying Pun, with not a pool bar in sight, early rumours of sunset sessions were quickly drowned. But what was confirmed was a coffee shop and retail space, an all-day dining space and bar, a discreet audiophile listening space and the first outpost of Kaum — a restaurant that serves dishes from across the Indonesian archipelago. I went along on the opening weekend for a meal and a fair few drinks, and while I don’t tend to judge a restaurant or bar during its soft-opening stage, I think the bar and cocktails are worth a mention already. Try the Potato Head Mojito, which mixes light and dark Caribbean rums with mint, bar-made spiced syrup, citrus and cane juices – topped with mojito foam and a chewy cane stick. While I expect the restaurant will be fairly packed for the next few months definitely head over and check out the space and drinks, however, there’s no denying it’s not quite as good as watching the sunset over Seminyak in their pool bar in Bali.
G/F, 100 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun
Summer is HERE and nothing screams summer like a cocktail on the beach! How lucky are we that Repulse Bay is only 20 mins away from the city, and our favourite people behind Rummin’ Tings and The Pontiac have opened their latest restaurant overlooking the white sand! Predominantly a pizza restaurant, and another still in its soft opening stage, I went just to try out the cocktails on a lazy Sunday afternoon. To be frank, there can’t be anything bad about alcohol and the beach, but the bar at Amalfitana makes things even better by serving up delicious refreshing classic cocktails and sneaky shots of limoncello at incredibly reasonable prices. While we are long-time lovers of Limewood, it’s usually hard to get a seat and their prices are a tad too high – but now Amalfitana has come to the rescue with more seats and cheaper cocktails. I think I may just become a regular!
The Pulse, G/F, Shop 105, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay
Phew, now all those new openings are out of the way I headed back to one of my go-to coffee shops hidden away from all the madness. This laid-back plant-based cafe in the hipster-friendly and charming Poho neighbourhood is every vegetarian’s dream. However, I go there for the good stuff – the coffee. ‘The Monkey’ is hands down the best thing you could drink on a HK hot and humid day. Made with ice, coffee, banana and raw cacao this dream in a cup is worth every dollar of the 55. Warning though, it’s pretty addictive!
8 Tai On Terrace, Poho, Sheung Wan
Editor’s note: Sometimes we pay for our own food and drinks and sometimes we are invited to media tastings, but we always aim to give you our honest opinion.
Sarah is a 27 year old professional world wanderer. Four years ago, she left the UK and everything that offered security and routine in exchange for a life of constant excitement and adventure. Through working as a Scuba Dive Instructor, freelance writer and running her blog www.coffeewithasliceoflife.com she now leads a life as a full time digital nomad. Based in Hong Kong you will most likely bump into her typing away on her laptop in one of the city’s latest coffee shops.