The pre-date jitters have set in and you’re having a venue-related breakdown. Don’t panic – cocktail connoisseur and girl about town, Abi Englefield, has a tried and tested list of date-worthy bars and restaurants to ensure your evening goes smoothly. Well, as far as the venue at least – you’re liable for your own escape plan.
Whether it’s a Tinder date, a Grinder meet up, or a milestone celebration, you want to impress that special someone. From candlelit dinners to quirky cocktails, my failsafe guide to Hong Kong’s hottest date spots has got all bases covered. Happy dating!
1. Any Ashley Sutton Bar
Aussie mastermind Ashley Sutton is known for creating fantastical settings which are ideal for enjoy a few cocktails with your date. Bar the creepy crawlies at J. Boroski, he has nailed romance at his selection of bars across town. Among my favourites for date night are Ophelia, The Iron Fairies, and newcomer Dragonfly in Tai Kwun centre for heritage and arts. But if you really want to push the (love) boat out, then Dear Lilly (pictured) has it all – floating love letters, fragrant blooms, and more vintage trinkets than a Disney princess can shake a magic wand at!
Ophelia, Shop 41A, 1/F The Avenue, Lee Tung Avenue, 200 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai
The Iron Fairies, LG, Chinachem Hollywood Centre, 1-13 Hollywood Road, Central
Dragonfly, Shop 10&13, G1, Tai Kwun, Hollywood Road, Central, (+852) 2777 2633
Dear Lilly, Shop 4010, Podium Level 4, IFC Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, (+852) 2771 6060
Kennedy Town is fast becoming Hong Kong’s hippest foodie hangout. What better way, then, to earn some brownie points than by heading to Chino – the creation of former Nobu chef, Erik Idos. This Mexican restaurant uses Japanese ingredients and cooking techniques, resulting in a unique blend of two incredible cuisines. The Marinated Pork Tacos ($40) are addictive and there’s an impressive selection of Tequila ($110 – $330) to sample – just don’t go too wild, or you may not remember your date the next time!
Chino, 1B – 1C, New Praya, Kennedy Town, (+852) 2606 0588
3. Ham & Sherry: Back Bar
Ham and Sherry’s Back Bar, tucked around the corner from the main entrance, is an intimate setting for you and your date to get up close and personal, while enjoying a post-dinner cocktail or two. Bar manager, Ryan Nightingale, shakes up a storm with his menu of movie-inspired cocktails – take my word for it and give Energy Potion ($120) or Dumpling Martini ($120) a try.
Ham & Sherry (Back Bar), 1 – 7 Ship Street, Wan Chai, (+852) 2555 0628
4. Scarlett Café & Wine Bar
Spread over two floors, this cosy and intimate Tsim Sha Tsui venue offers the perfect setting in which to enjoy some delicious wine, tasty tapas, and gorgeous fromage with that special someone. Open from 3pm on weekdays and 11am of weekends, there’s plenty of opportunity to enjoy the incredible menu of French delights and amazing happy hour deal. And if you swing by on a Wednesday night, you might even lap up some live acoustic tunes (keep an eye on the Facebook page). A perfect hidden gem for date night.
Scarlett Café & Wine Bar, 2 Austin Ave Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
5. Tipsy Restaurant & Bar
Located on the first floor of the Little Tai Hang Boutique Hotel, Tipsy is the ideal spot for dinner and drinks in a chilled Tai Hang precinct. The Oyster and Wine Combo is the perfect way to kick start your date night feast, serving up four freshly shucked Stella Maris oysters, paired with two glasses of house white wine. With must-order dishes like the Blistered Spanish Red Prawn in Sake and Sesame Oil ($188 each) and food-gasmic Truffle Toast with Parma Ham and Mozzarella ($88) on the menu, you know you’re in for a good time. The Tipsy Cooler ($118) and Black Devil ($108) are delicious and best served outdoors on the terrace.
Tipsy Restaurant & Bar, 1/F, Little Tai Hang Boutique Hotel, 98 Tun Lo Wan Road, Tai Hang, (+852) 2818 8807
6. Honi Honi Tiki Cocktail Lounge
Nestled in the heart of Central, Hong Kong’s first tiki bar is a cheeky, laid-back venue with a selection of flamboyant cocktails (fire included!) which are bound to impress. I definitely recommend Bikini Girl ($120) – and if that doesn’t get your blood pumping, a shot of rum from their 200 strong selection ought to do the trick! Make the most of Sunset Hour, between 4pm and 7pm daily, to enjoy discounts on rum cocktails, Prosecco, beer, wine, and spirits.
Honi Honi Tiki Cocktail Lounge, 3/F Somptueux Central, 52 Wellington Street, Central, (+852) 2353 0885
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A popular choice with Hong Kong’s gin enthusiasts, this dimly lit bar on Wyndham Street has a unique cocktail menu as well as a tasty selection of light bites. I recommend the Buttermilk Popcorn Chicken ($108) and Deep Friday Mushroom Bites with Truffle Tartar ($68). When it comes to cocktails, you have to try the KGB ($128). A mountain of flavoured foam, served in a miniature bath tub, complete with a mini rubber duck – if that doesn’t win over your date, what will?
Origin, 48 Wyndham Street, Central, (+852) 2668 5583
With regular Mermaid Nights, a stylish ambience, and some of the best seafood I’ve tasted in Hong Kong, Fishsteria is a winner for fans of ocean fodder. You can enjoy casual dining and drinks on the ground floor oyster bar or indulge in a full-on feast on the first floor seafood restaurant. I recommend sharing the Grilled Seafood Platter ($588) which gets you an assortment of scampi, calamari, scallops, and prawns. Delish!
Fishsteria, 111 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, (+852) 2343 8111
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Who doesn’t love a good pizza?! Motorino, one of Hong Kong’s best-loved pizza restaurants, never fails to impress with its consistently strong quality and wide variety of flavours and toppings to suit all taste buds. I recommend the Soppressata Piccante Pizza ($178) for spice-lovers. For the more cautious diner, the Meatball Pizza ($178), with Mozzarella and basil, is always a crowd-pleaser.
10. Netflix and Chill
Looking for a slightly more intimate evening? No problem, wow your date with one of these great takeaway options as you cosy up on the sofa!
The fabulous Netflix & Chill Wine Box from WINE MOMENTS online store includes five bottles for a very reasonable $540 (original price $600). Alternatively, you can opt for their romantic Dinner for Two wine box ($435) which includes a bottle of sparkling white, red, and sparkling wine to pair with dessert.
WINE MOMENTS, (+852) 2111 9291
Orders over $500 are not charged with delivery across all of Hong Kong
If you fancy something a little more premium, then sift through the huge collection of wine at premier wine retail and auction website Bidvino. You can order a bottle online from around $40 to the $3k mark, and if you’re looking for more rare, vintage wines then you’ll no doubt enjoy bidding for their bottles in the weekly auction and enjoying free delivery on all orders above $1,000 too. Cheers to that!
Bidvino, (+852) 5803 3054
Motorino pizza is so good it definitely deserves a second mention – plus, the delivery team has totally got your back on this one, helping you to impress that special someone with zero effort. Simply order through the Black Sheep GO website or delivery app and wait for the driver to arrive! The Date Night Special ($418) gives you the choice of any two antipasti, or any two pizzas, a bottle of Gragnano, and a portion of tiramisu. Bellissimo!
This Colombian bar on Elgin Street creates food that is made for sharing. The Picada for 2 Combo ($600) is the perfect Latin feast for you and your lover, with Colombian empanadas or Peruvian Ceviche, or Organic Quinoa Salad, as well as Arroz con Mariscos, or Chicken a la Brasa, or Duck Rice, along with chocolate mousse. Grab a bottle of red, dim the lights, and let the Latin flavours do the rest!