May is off to a fiery start with Cinco de Mayo blasting off the first weekend with booze-fueled festivities, but there’s always a new place to grab a glass of wine or a tipple, whether it be 12,000 Francs’ revamped (and extensive) by the glass wine menu, Ocean Park’s free-admission evenings, or even a new Goan tapas joint over in Taipa, for when you’re visiting the sister SAR. Check out below for the full list of all the buzziest places to drink in Hong Kong this month.
Cinco de Mayo
When: 5 May
We don’t really need an excuse to sip margaritas and tequila and feast on tacos, but it looks like this weekend is gearing up to be the best occasion for it all year. Head to Central’s newly opened Agave for 11 delicious types of tacos and “the damn best margaritas in town”. Over at Lily & Bloom’s annual Cinco de Mayo fiesta, sample Chef Chris Grare’s mouthwatering braised beef tacos (HK$125) and other house specialties, as well as a passionfruit margarita (HK$90) straight from a slushie machine made with oak-barrel-aged Jose Cuervo Tradicional tequila.
For a wallet-friendlier medley to sate your appetite, Commissary’s tacos go for just HK$50 each, with better value the more you order. Wash it all down with Micheladas (HK$55), tequila shots (HK$30) as well as Mezcal Mules (HK$65), and of course, Tommy’s Margaritas (HK$60).
For the party animals out there, you’ll want in on secret basement bar Los Sotano’s “Bad Hombre” party, which starts from 10pm ‘til late: complete with free flow drinks, unlimited street tacos and quesadillas (tickets from HK$450 here). If you’re feeling extra wieldy, Wan Chai stalwart Coyote Bar & Grill will fuel a wild night of piñata-smashing and flaming Jägerbombs from 8pm until late, with a free Patròn shot upon arrival.
Agave Central, G/F, 26 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2523 1988
Lily & Bloom, 5-6/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2810 6166
Commissary, Shop 405, 4/F, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong, +852 2602 0707
Los Sotano, B/F, 21 D’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong, +852 2970 3887
Coyote Bar & Grill, 114-120, Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2861 2221
When: 16 May, 7–11pm
Billed as Hong Kong’s most sustainable Happy Hour, brothers Sam Egerton of seasonally-focused Sydney bar Charlie Parker’s and Tom Egerton of Potato Head Hong Kong are hosting an evening of ‘conscious cocktails’ at the Sai Ying Pun bar. Reusing and repurposing ingredients to eliminate waste, four kinds of cocktails will be offered on the evening, priced at HK$80 each. Tom Egerton, a longtime champion of sustainable bar practices and a founding member of The EnvironMentalists, is set to speak at a Hong Kong TedX event next month.
Potato Head Hong Kong, 100 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, +852 2858 6066
Sevva x Bulgari Aperitivo Italiano
When: Through 31 May, Mon-Sat 3:30–6pm, except public holidays
For the occasion of Sevva’s 10th anniversary, they’ve collaborated with Italian jewellery house Bulgari to present a lavish Italian affair for the birthday celebrations, lasting through to the end of May. A gorgeous spread of savoury and sweet treats features the likes of pear bites with gorgonzola and arugula, parmesan chips with risotto al basilico, prosciutto with persimmon and fresh figs, as well as cannoli, chocolate chip crema and tiramisu. The set is priced at HK$820 and comes with two coffees or teas — but of course, you’re going to want a real drink, and you can tack on HK$180 for two glasses of your choice of tipple, including prosecco, pinot grigio, bellini or negroni.
Sevva, 25/F, LANDMARK Prince’s, 10 Chater Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2537 1388
There’s a hip new watering hole waiting for you to visit next time you hop on a ferry to our sister SAR. Boasting itself as an Indian tapas-style restaurant and cocktail bar, Goa Nights puts a modern twist on Indian cuisine while also offering a spotlight on traditionally Goan flavours. Located in a Portuguese-style building in the heart of the recently revitalised quarter of old Taipa Village, Goa Nights also pays homage to this eclectic third culture setting in Macau, where Goa also shares the similarity of having spent centuries under Portuguese rule. Its cocktail menu also references the spirit of discovery — harking back to when voyager Vasco da Gama first set foot on the coast — with appropriately named cocktails such as the “Lisbon,” “Calicut,” “Mozambique,” and “Mombasa,” all packed with exotic fruits and spices.
Goa Nights, 118 Rua Correia Da Silva, Taipa Village, Macau, +853 2856 7819
The Bar Awards Opening Party at Lily
When: 17 May, 6pm–2am
As Asia’s 50 Best Bars rolls out its list of 2018 victors this month, so does The Bar Awards, which accolades the best bar industry luminaries in the region each year. And if you’re a staunch lover of cocktails, you’ll want to make yourself free on the 17th of May. As one of Hong Kong’s most popular watering holes, Lily & Bloom is hosting the 2018 Opening Party this year, gathering eight industry giants from Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Manila for a chance for Hongkongers to sample some of their best-loved libations at just HK$90 each.
Guests will also get a chance to rub shoulders with some of the biggest bartenders in Asia. Attendees include Singapore’s storied Manhattan — topping last year’s Asia’s 50 Best Bars list; as well as 28 Hong Kong Street, now a cornerstone of the Lion City’s bar scene. Singapore’s Nutmeg & Clove, The Bamboo Bar from Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, Bangkok speakeasy #FindTheLockerRoom, KL’s Omakase + Appreciate and 61 Monarchy, and The Curator Coffee & Cocktails from Manila will also make their highly anticipated appearances.
Lily & Bloom, 5-6/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2810-6166
12,000 Francs New Menu and Happy Hour
When: 3-7pm, every day
Championing seasonality of ingredients in its cooking with a modern European bent, 12,000 Francs’ has recently refreshed its menu to two simple categories: Simply French and Mostly Italian. Its wine menu also reflects the same, splitting its 60-label-strong wine collection into French, Italian, as well as New World wines. More importantly, it offers them all by the glass, so you can sample glasses of more uncommon wines like Riesling Freak No. 4 or Murdoch Hill’s The Surrey, all in one sitting.
Now while we’d be happily sated with the above at these cosy Soho digs, for those unfussed with wine varietals, the new happy hour menu (3-7pm every day) is also a tempting offer with a great selection of sparkling wine, rose, red and white, not to mention craft beer and cider all at HK$50 each. You’ll want to mop that up with small bites such as broad bean hummus and spiced taro chips; 63-degree egg with their phenomenal sourdough toast and smoked almond aioli, and more, also all at HK$50 each.
12,000 Francs, G/F, Elgin Building, 43A Elgin Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2529 3100
World Cocktail Day
When: 13 May
On the 13th of May, it’s as good an excuse as any other to toast to World Cocktail Day with your favourite mixed drink. For fun and refreshing cocktails as opposed to classic stiff drinks, you’ll want to dive into the world of tiki: and Honi Honi offers the largest collection of tropical drinks in Hong Kong — not to mention the largest rum library, with over 250 different labels. Tip your hat to Don the Beachcomber, the founder of the original tiki cocktail, the Zombie, back in 1934, by ordering Honi Honi’s rendition of it — based as closely as possible to the original recipe.
Honi Honi Tiki Cocktail Lounge, 3/F, Somptueux Central, 52 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2353 0885
World Whisky Day Masterclass
When: 19 May, 7–8:30pm
Price: HK$550 from Ticketflap
Speaking of World Cocktail Day, those who are more a fan of a good sultry dram will instead want to sit tight for World Whisky Day just a weekend away. Whisky connoisseurs will want to take part in a Scotch whisky masterclass at Foxglove, tasting the Caol Ila 15 Years (Unpeated), Dalwhinnie 15 Years, and The Talisker 18 Years — a renowned expression named the ‘Best Single Malt Whisky in the World in 2007 at the World Whiskies Awards. Guests will also get to taste the exclusive Ardbeg Corryvreckan, named after a dangerous whirlpool near Islay, which is made of batches of spirit matured in first-fill French oak casks, creating a deep, rich, peaty and peppery flavour profile.
Foxglove, 18 Ice House Street / 6 Duddell Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2116 8949
When it comes to discovering unlikely spots for an after-work tipple, there aren’t many quite as unexpected as Ocean Park — but yes, the long-established amusement park is rendering itself as a new hotspot for night owls, with free admission to its Lakeside Chill area after 6:30pm on Friday and Saturday nights through to 29 June. Just a quick zip away on the MTR, you’ll arrive at Ocean Park where you can enjoy a live band and DJ tunes in the Aqua City Lagoon, and take your pick from five eateries to feast on yakitori platters and seafood bar bites. Wash it all down with HK$20 draft beer or choose from a range of sake-based cocktails created by Jay Khan. Try the Strawberry Shrub Highball, or the shochu-based Blackberry & Sage Mojito, both fantastic for balmy Hong Kong evenings.
Ocean Park, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong, +852 3923 2323
While you’re waiting for Shake Shack’s unrelenting queues to ease up, perhaps a smart choice will be to grab a beer and a game of pong at newly opened bar Pong IFC, a sister establishment to Pong Zing! at Causeway Bay. Self-proclaimed as cognac-themed bar, Pong offers an extensive brandy programme, as well as concoctions crafted by Bar Manager Jody Ho, who cut his teeth under award-winning mixologist and bar owner Antonio Lai.
Signature creations include the WOW, a vodka-based drink combining yoghurt and cheese, topped with jasmine-scented xiang piacha tea. The Modern Sidecar also utilises cheese, on top of the hard-to-source ingredient of orange salt, combined with other secret ingredients. As for a more genial crowd-pleasing drink, you’ll want to try the best-selling Secret Garden, a gin-based concoction made with Jody’s secret flower syrup. While you’re drinking in the view along with your cocktails, PongConnect beer pong tables are also available for those with greased up elbows looking to throw some balls.
Pong IFC, Shop 4011, 4/F, ifc mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2983 9083