Shooting for the 5 hidden bars
When it comes to editorial, it’s less freedom to shoot what I like to shoot. For this round, I was thinking if I was a tourist to Hong Kong, what I would like to go and why tourists want to visit Hong Kong.
I think Hong Kong’s late night life is interesting. So, when I was brainstorming what kind of late night activity is also interesting to locals is drinking with friends. In recent years, hidden bars are quite popular and Hong Kong have quite a bunch of interesting ones. Instead of covering all of them, I pick the top 5 that I like the most myself in terms of drinks and atmosphere. Each of the bars have their own character.
First, I thought shooting at bars would be difficult especially I wanted to use flash. However, I was surprised that all bar managers welcomed me and even make special drinks for me to take pictures. We even exchanged business cards as they wanted me to send my pictures back to them.
The first one I went is Dr. Ferns. It's a bar hidden next to the stairs opposite to the Louis Vuitton shop in Landmark. Their doors are the traditional doctor's office's doors - one normal one and a small one. If you go there, which door will you open? I won't tell you which door is the right one. Leave a comment below to tell me which one you have opened, did you get tricked? After opening the door, I see a botanical-themed gin parlor. The staffs and bartenders are in lab coats serving cocktails using locally sourced herbs and botanicals with premium gins. Since Art Basel is coming end of March, they made me the drink call Bloom that they will feature for Art Basel. Every year they will create drinks specially for Art Basel. I had also met the Dr. Fern's team. They are fun to hang out and friendly.
The second bar I went is called Le Boudoir. Before going into the stairs, you can't even spot the sign of the bar. After two flight of stairs, then you finally see their sign. It's a speakeasy bar. This Central lounge aims to be sexy with that whole boudoir things. Just by looking at its interior, you can already spend an hour looking at every piece of decoration they have. Also, they have my favourite neon paint on their wall that I think it makes their decoration pop. My favourite drink there is Spicy Dizzy.
The Third one we went is Iron Fairies. When I went into Iron Fairies, I heard great live music. The ceiling is hanging cut-outs butterflies and the centrepiece of the table is full of iron fairies that can be bought or buying fairy dust to sparkle on them. They serve yummy comfort food as well.
The next one I went to is Ping Pong. Before I talked more about this bar, I have to recommend the restaurant next to it. It's called "Wah Sok Seafood Restaurant", unfortunately they don't have an English name. Their food is surprisingly good. I ordered their chicken pot with wine and grilled eel. I can't wait to go back again.
After dinner, I went to Ping Pong next door. You can't tell it's a bar until you go down to their basement. I have met the bar tender manager and he told me that Ping Pong is opened by an interior designer and he knows a lot of gallery owners. So, in the bar, you can see a lot of art pieces around. Their famous neon sign is behind their bar that said "workout" in Chinese. They carry an impressive collection of internationally made gins mostly from Spain.
Last but now least, the last one I went is called Tapa Room. I refer to hidden for this one is because it's not around most bar area. It's on Gloucester Road but you will see it for sure as their neon exterior decoration will definitely catch your attention.
I ordered a Sangria and Shisha there. Their Shisha has varieties of flavours. I always love Haribo dummies, so I ordered their white gummy bear flavours. It smells very sweet. Other then their exterior neon decoration, their interior has very nice neon decoration as well. The outdoor area made our night fun and playful.
Overall, I am very happy to do this editorial piece and enjoyed the drinks, music and atmosphere at these bars. The best part is knowing some new friends during the process.