The Old Man #1 #asias50bestbars #hongkong

You have to know what you are looking for to find the entrance to The Old Man cocktail bar in Aberdeen St, Central, Hong Kong. The door is down some steep steps in a grungy looking alleyway and barely has a door handle…! Your perseverance will be repaid in spades though when you step inside this warm and inviting “den” inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s passion for booze!

The decore is hip with fabulous lighting a giant tiled mural portrait of Ernest himself, flanked by pained walls depicting a tropical jungle setting. The bar is the focus of attention and action, with talented bartenders shaking, stirring, slicing and juicing away to create fabulous and innovative concoctions that will play to all your senses of taste, sight and smell. The cool vibes of the music and the chatter of happy guests ensure the sounds play along to create a super cool atmosphere.

There’s even a refrigerated stainless steel strip the length of the table that keeps your drinks cool, ensuring the ice doesn’t melt and water down your cocktails! Ingenious!

We tried four of the Best of The Old Man during our visit (between 2 of us!)and each cocktail delivered unique flavours and tastes heightened by intriguing ingredients and techniques such oyster leaf (tastes just like oysters) and burning rice paper to create the smoky taste from its ashes.

Weird but wonderful, The Old Man definitely delivers on its promise and is a great experience …not to be missed if you are in Hong Kong. Get there early to grab a spot at the bar and watch all the action up close.

Night Rooster Cocktails rule the roost!

Stopped by Night Rooster by Locavore in Ubud for spectacular and very creative cocktails featuring a mixture of top shelf and homemade liquors. The delicious concoctions showcase unique Indonesian/Balinese spices and display a level of innovation in cocktail recipes that I have not come across before.

Adrian had the Ashes cocktail which is almost a live performance rather than just a drink. My Née-Groni was very nice too, not involving any fire, but made with Tanqueray gin and a homemade vermouth.

If you are lucky enough to get a seat on the balcony, you can sip your drinks with a bird eye view of Jalan Dewisita. Night Rooster is upstairs from Golden Monkey on the corner of Jalan Gootama and Jalan Dewisita.

Great looking bar and small dishes menu as well but we didn’t try on this occasion as we were on our way to dinner. Great value for money at IR130,000 (AU$13) each!

Definitely a must visit bar on your next trip to Ubud!

Quirky and cool cocktails at Opium, London

Found this little gem on my recent trip to London when I was searching for a bar to meet up with a work colleague near the West End.

Don’t be put off by the rather dingy entrance (look for the Jade Door says their website) and creaky wooden stairs to Opium..it’s all part of the atmosphere of making you feel like you are in some back room opium den in old time Shanghai. After climbing up a few flights of stairs, you enter an atmospherically lit bar decorated with Asian flair.

Situated in the middle of London’s Chinatown and a hop from West End theatres, Opium is a great Pre or post -theatre drinks venue but also an excellent experience in it’s own right.

The Dim Sum menu features sharing platters as well as individual dumpling plates and the dumplings were freshly made and delicious.

The cocktail list is very inventive and includes a beautifully illustrated menu of cocktails themed around the Chinese animal zodiac and cocktails from this list are served in corresponding animal shaped jars!

Munching on dim sum as you enjoy the drinks is a great idea and the whole experiences is quirky and fun.

Make a booking online at http://www.opiumchinatown.com as it fills up fast and there are queues to get in.