A drink with a view — and a breath of fresh air.
Other than pleasant company and, perhaps, a scrummy side of snacks — we’re partial to a saucer’s worth of green olives ourselves — what complements a beautifully-shaken cocktail more than a treat for the eyes? Hong Kong’s stunning views — of the Victoria Harbour skyline; of the cityscape skyscrapers; of lives being lived — are best seen with a tipple in hand, alfresco style.
Hong Kong’s 6pm dining-out curfew has put a damper on our happy-hour routine, to say the least. In true ‘it’s-5pm-somewhere’-style, here’s a handy little list of our favourite outdoor bars — just in case you wanted that sundowner with a sunset.
How can you not want to patronise a bar named ‘Terrible Baby’? Impossible. This tongue-in-cheek name is a direct translation from the French term l’enfant terrible, which can either stand literally — at the behest of overwhelmed babysitters — or figuratively, most commonly used in the creative industries to describe a bold, striking personality. A trend-setter, of the avant-garde kind. This connection to art is held sacred, especially considering the bar’s location in the Eaton Hotel, as well as the live music room immediately adjacent.
Stop by if you’re a fan of creative cocktails; their Double Truffle Fries (HK$95) are pretty phenomenal, too. Should you partake in shisha, the outdoor terrace garden offers a lush session.
What we’d order: Let’s Go For One Bruh (HK$90)
Terrible Baby, 4/F, Eaton HK, 380 Nathan Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2710 1866
When you hear ‘picnics’, your mind might wander off to straw rattan baskets — filled to the brim with little finger sandwiches and mini-sized Prosecco bottles. Or, a massive gingham-checked blanket, basking under sunshine. What you’re probably not thinking of, is a stunning vista of Hong Kong — a view that stretches from Victoria Harbour to the Peak. But this is precisely what you get at Le Comptoir’s PIQNIQ, an alfresco guinguette perched atop H Queen’s in Central.
What we’d order: Gin Gin Mule (HK$120)
PIQNIQ, Rooftop, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 5200 1683
La Rambla by Catalunya
There is a reason we all falter towards the ifc rooftop; the view — an unadulterated study of the Victoria Harbour skyline — is just so good. Occupying the space Isola previously held, La Rambla by Catalunya is a homage to the dynamic tree-lined boulevard in Barcelona; a street once described by Spanish poet Federico García Lorca as ‘the only street in the world which [he wishes] would never end.’
Wash down scrumptious Spanish tapas with a pitcher of sangria. Salud!
What we’d order: Sangria de Vina (HK$110)
La Rambla by Catalunya, 3071 – 73 Level 3, ifc mall, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2661 1161
You’d most likely come to Wooloomooloo for their Australian grass-fed filet mignons, with a side of a stunning 270-degree city view stretching across Wanchai, Happy Valley and the fringes of the Victoria Harbour. Or, the creamy spinach. Yum. Whether you’d prefer a glass of red with a Parma-ham wrapped Beef Wellington or a sundowner — an Aperol Spritz, perhaps? — with sunset, Wooloomooloo raises the stakes (or, the steaks) in more ways than one.
What we’d order: Perfect Ten (HK$150)
Wooloomooloo Steakhouse, 31/F & Rooftop, The Hennessy, 256 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2893 6960
A Peruvian escape? Yes, please. ICHU Terraza — the outdoors terrace extending from the main dining room — is said to be inspired by the mountainous terrain of the South American country. It’s a lush space, surrounded by foliage and verdant and greenery; a true Amazonian hideaway in the heart of Central.
What we’d order: ICHU Pisco Sour (HK$130)
ICHU Terraza, 3/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2477 7717
Nestled under the shadows of the iconic HSBC building on one side and the equally-iconic Victoria Harbour skyline on the other, SEVVA is perfectly placed to impress; in fact, we’d bet a dime you have taken out-of-towners here — when travel was an activity allowed to happen — for a quintessential postcard-style Hong Kong night out. A stone’s throw away from Lan Kwai Fong; practically catnip for Instagram.
What we’d order: Tall, Dark & Handsome (HK$185)
SEVVA, 25/F, Landmark Prince’s Building, 10 Chater Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2537 1388
It’s always a good time at Duddell’s. Perched on the third and fourth floors of the Shanghai Tang Mansion just off Queen’s Road Central, the Michelin-starred restaurant is not just so; it also acts as a private-members club, a lounge and an art gallery — currently on exhibit is the ‘Curve of Buoyancy‘ group show. The timber-decked garden terrace juts out from the level-four Salon; a quiet respite smack-dab in the heart of the action.
What we’d order: Clover Club (HK$140)
Duddell’s, 3/F, Shanghai Tang Mansion, 1 Duddell Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2525 9191
A city retreat offering both cosy, tufted nooks and a breezy outdoor space, The Envoy — nestled on the third-floor of The Pottinger Hong Kong — features a drinks list inspired heavily by teas and spices; a fitting motif considering the institution’s British colonial connection. Come prepped with a sense of humour; the bird-shaped glasses and animal portraiture set up amusing conversation starters.
What we’d order: Early Bird (HK$140)
The Envoy, 3/F, The Pottinger Hong Kong, 74 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2169 3311
You’d undoubtedly have noticed; so many outdoor bars and terraces on the list are positioned alongside the chaos of Central. ALTO, however, traverses a few stations past Central to Causeway Bay, sitting pretty on the top floors of the V Point Tower in interiors, brass-fitted and marble-cast, designed by Tom Dixon. Here, the Victoria Harbour is, again, cast in a starring role; an unbeatable, unlimited vantage point, especially stunning at golden hour.
What we’d order: Ginger Buzz (HK$108)
ALTO, 31/F, V Point, 18 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2603 7181
Stepping off of Chef Enrico Bartolini’s first Hong Kong outpost Spiga, Portico is a beautiful spot in the centre of town; a garden-like oasis perfectly situated for pre- and post-dinner apéritifs. Expansive patio sun loungers — cushioned and cosy — decorate the terrace in stark contrast to the sleek, cinematic ambience of Spiga; here, it’s warmth, relaxation and really good tipples.
What we’d order: Paloma Oaxaca (HK$128)
Portico, 3/F, LHT Tower, 31 Queens Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2871 0055