With the recent news of the formation of a bilateral leisure travel bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong, it’s likely that many Singapore residents have their sights set on a trip to the Fragrant Harbour in the near future – perhaps even before the year draws to a close.
While the worldwide F&B scene remains heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, 2020 has seen a handful of fresh and exciting openings in Hong Kong. If you’re planning a trip to the city and want to do some bar-hopping, here are three noteworthy new arrivals on the scene to imbibe at.
1. The Daily Tot
Lovers of all things rum should make a beeline for The Daily Tot, which pays homage to rum in all its rich, sweet and boozy iterations. Situated on the corner of Hollywood Road and Peel Street, the bar is helmed by long-time local bar maestro Gerry Olino, whose previous credits include Dr. Fern’s and Lobster Bar & Grill. Step into the warm-toned and colourful space – filled with rattan furniture, large plants and old-school travel memorabilia – and you’ll be immediately transported to a rum den in the Caribbean. The line-up here includes 11 signature rum cocktails: try the Caffeinated Buttered Rum (butter-washed Black Tears spiced rum, sous-vide roasted coffee beans, sherry, hazelnut oil and walnut bitters), or go for the Pine & Lime (Pineapple Plantation rum, Cappelletti, amaro, lime juice, orange blossom and bitters) if you’re in the mood for something citrusy.
2. Penicillin Bar
Long before it launched its current soft-opening phase, this highly anticipated concept by award-winning bartender Agung Prabowo (founder of The Old Man) was already the talk of the town. Billed as Hong Kong’s first sustainable bar, the Hollywood Road establishment adopts a closed-loop concept and strive to use all ingredients to their absolute fullest. This means that besides making use of local and seasonal ingredients wherever possible, the bar also minimises scraps, waste and unnecessary energy consumption. Fermentation, self-brewing and upcycling also feature prominently. On the menu are, as expected, innovative and boundary-pushing drinks made with Prabowo’s signature flair. Cocktails are divided into three sections: a range of different takes on the original Penicillin cocktail; a rotating selection based on seasonal ingredients sourced from local farms; and various non-alcoholic fermentations. Pair your tipples with bar grub such as koji-fermented fried chicken and fries with lemongrass mayo and a togarashi spice blend.
3. The Diplomat
Opened earlier this year, this speakeasy-style watering hole on Scavenging Lane in Central is headed up by acclaimed bartender John Nugent (formerly of Lily & Bloom). Fitted out with brown leather banquettes, moody lighting and plenty of eclectic artwork, the cosy and intimate space offers reimagined takes on classic cocktails. Sample the Blinker Highball (raspberry rye, bitters, unripe grapes, celery and grapefruit soda), the Tarling (pandan gin, white port, baking spices, clarified orange juice and coconut water) or the Agnes (blended scotch, Irish whiskey, sherry, aged aquavit, sour apple and spiced butter). If you’re feeling peckish, you can accompany your drinks with American-style bar grub such as the chicken sandwich – which comes with buttermilk chicken, red cabbage, sweet pickle and hot sauce – or the truffled mac and cheese.
Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.
The information is accurate as of press time. For updated information, please refer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website.
To learn more about Singapore Airlines flights, visit singaporeair.com.
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