28 HongKong Street
Buzz: It’s all very hush-hush really (no signage, just a nondescript door), but this neat cocktail bar is one of the city’s best-kept secrets.
Décor: The almost non-existent lighting from old-fashioned bulbs and cozy ambiance make for a great speakeasy vibe.
Food: Unlike most other cocktail bars, food at 28 HongKong Street is actually pretty damn good. Nibbles include a melt-in-your-mouth Reuben sandwich with pastrami and cheese ($16). Our hands down favorite: Truffle mac & cheese balls ($12).
Drinks: The very carefully curated menu of tipples is the handiwork of charming head barman and general manager Michael Callahan. But before you’re tempted to think Callahan’s just a pretty face, we’ll have you know that his drinks are mighty fine, with sassy names like Blow a Kiss Fire a Gun; the alcohol strength is indicated beside each entry, to better help you pace yourself. Our go-to is the Bird Machine, a wonderfully balanced concoction of Hum Botanical Spirit, Four Roses Yellow Label Bourbon, with fresh pressed lemon and pineapple. And we’re especially pleased to see barrel-aged oldies like the Negroni and Vieux Carre (both $22), served with a block of hand-chipped triple distilled ice, making an appearance in the local cocktail scene. Hello lover.
Music: A mix of loungey beats, really old school rock, classic dance tracks and some Adele.
Crowd: A steady stream of local and expats (think arty types, scenesters and chefs—including Michelin-starred Jason Atherton).
Why you’ll be back: Because this is where all the cool cats are at. Just don’t tell ‘em you heard about it from us.
28 HongKong Street is in I-S Best Bars Guide 2014. Download your copy to see where else you should be partying.