Finally, a comfortable Western restaurant on Johnston Road to feed the many hungry Wan Chai residents. Only that it fails completely. Upon entering, the decor did give us an initial glimmer of hope, with the chandeliers and dark, pleather tablecloth setting a modern vibe. What with the chef hailing from the FCC kitchen, we came with promises of hearty comfort food, only to be utterly disappointed at their "special" menu.
The buzz: Remember when Hardy’s went? Now Swindler’s is rising to the challenge of providing a karaoke lounge service to the drunk of Wan Chai. Every Mon-Sat, from 9:30pm on, the live band will be playing karaoke-ready song so you’ll be able to get up on the mic and warble your little heart out.
The décor: Still the same film noir-inspired slick, black look with shiny brass fixtures and comfy velvet sofas along one mirrored wall.
Remember when Hardy’s went? Now Swindler’s is rising to the challenge of providing a karaoke lounge service to the drunk of Wan Chai.
It’s ordinary food in extraordinary portions. But at such reasonable prices, it’s hard to complain. The menu features standard Italian fare from pasta to pizza and many of the traditional grilled favorites including a mixed seafood platter complete with king prawn, salmon, cod, mussels and tiny baby octopuses that are almost too cute to eat. The restaurant is the brainchild of Chef Hassan (formerly of Al Dente) and the exceptional quality of the ingredients is just what one would expect. But while the décor is charming, it does little to make up for the crappy location.
Its sangria, mojito topped with seasonal fruits and sophisticated decor make 1/5 Nuevo the perfect place to chill out after a stressful day. And did we mention half-price drinks during happy hour? The Spanish-infused cuisine, however, is the hidden gem of the cozy bar—they have some of the best mussels in town.
We decided it was time to revisit this decade-old Japanese restaurant tucked into an alley near Star Street. It’s so inconspicuous, in fact, that it’s all too easy to miss, plus it only seats about 15 folks—mostly neighborhood residents on the night we went.The atmosphere here is the main draw. Despite its proximity to Pacific Place Three and bigger restaurants, behind a dark curtain lies this intimate, simple eatery with a bamboo-slatted ceiling. To take full advantage, head here on a date or with a few close friends.
The atmosphere here is the main draw. Despite its proximity to Pacific Place Three and bigger restaurants, behind a dark curtain lies this intimate, simple eatery with a bamboo-slatted ceiling. To take full advantage, head here on a date or with a few close friends.
The forbiddingly dark, shiny exterior doesn’t match the low-key casual vibe inside, where you’ll find a small bar, spacious lounge area with booth seating and a big airy kitchen behind the window. This place is all about the tapas: you check your selections off a sheet while you munch on oven-warmed bread and house aioli. Start with the classics – the prawns and mushrooms sautéed with garlic and olive oil were our favorites, just behind the sea whelks drenched in garlic salsa.
The buzz: The minimalist club on Star Street has been revamped into a cocktail lounge serving up tapas, modern Spanish-inspired cocktails and some fine Cuban cigars.
The décor: Warm but elegant. The original seating has been ripped up and replaced with lush leather and comfortable suede couches, while the lights are now redone in orange and red.
If you’re looking to chill, head to this cool cocktail bar, bag one of the plush suede sofas, order a few tapas and let the DJ’s smooth beats do their thing.
So it’s the weekend and you need to chill. Head to this cool cocktail bar, bag one of the plush suede sofas, order a few plates of tapas and let the DJ’s smooth, down-tempo beats do their thing. Great for happy hour.
The buzz: A new hangout spot for rugby lovers who also have a thing for rock’n’roll. Rugby games are shown on several wall-mounted plasmas every night while the live band stirs up the heat from 10pm onwards.
The buzz: The “hottest bar in Wan Chai,” HEAT, is the latest addition to a resurgence in the once-degraded district.
The décor: Award-winning interior designer John Law has fashioned a red-and-black netherworld, complete with hellfire colors dotting everything from the sleek granite bar counter through to the mirrored walls and low-slung seats. Resident DJ CJ spins every night on the laser-lit dance floor, recalling those mind-altering rave nights of the 90s, while guests show off their spinning skills on Tue, Fri and Sat.
An impressive alfresco area complete with Thai temple