Category Archives: Bar & Pub

The One With Happy Valley Bar & Grill – Amazing Pub Grub In The Neighbouhood

So I missed hanging out with a certain dear friend of mine. He has been traveling, and I have been, you know, in and out of hospital (it’s a long story), so when he texted to arrange for a long overdue catch-up session, I said yes. Happy Valley Bar & Grill was my choice.

The decision was two-fold. First of all, I have been to this pub twice before, both times with different people but for the same reason – to chill. And chill we did. Happy Valley Bar & Grill has one of the largest beer selection I have seen apart from The Globe. As Happy Valley isn’t connected to any train station and is only accessible by buses and trams, we do not suffer endless crowds and was able to enjoy relatively serene surroundings… coming from a someone who resides on HK Island, that’s a rarity.

Happy Valley Bar & Grill

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The One With The Globe – Pies, Pies & More Pies

You know how they say that within two hours after your workout, your body is at its most absorbent, so it is the prime time for you to take supplements such as protein shake.

It is also the worst time for you to consume fatty things and empty calories… which happened to me one fine Sunday.

Sunday Lunch at The Globe

I couldn’t help it. It was the weekend before my annual Europe holiday, I was tired out from some physical and mental exercise at the gym (it was one of those days), so when Chris and Liren said they’ll be happy to have a Sunday beer, I jumped at the chance.

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The One With Frites Belgium On Tap – Mussels Me Please

It was said that beer is to the Belgians as wine is to the French. If it was true, then Frites Belgium On Tap paid homage to that tradition as good as your favorite French winery. Minus the snobbery.

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I could do without the huge declaration of 10% service charge though.

It was weekday night when I visited the branch at Quarry Bay for some beer and good old mussels. Have you heard that I love shell fish of all kinds? No? Now you know.

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How dedicated were the Belgians to beer? At Frites, they have a beer bible, and prayers dedicated to beer. Heads were definitely bowing (probably due to pints consumed rather than subjugation) and incantations were shouted rather than murmured, it was a temple for beer worship, alright.

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The One With A Ginjinha – Syrupy Cherry Tipple In Lisbon

It was a chilly long ride back from Cabo da Roca, and my stomach was rumbling. Afterall, it was way past eight at night, and this hungry boy could have eaten a cow.

But no deal. My new friends, Komei and Charlotte insisted that we should have a go at the famous local cherry, syrupy drink called ginjinha. And there was no better place than to have it at the birth place of the tipple, a tiny postage-stamp-sized bar at Baixa called an unimaginative A Ginjinha.

A Ginjinha at Lisbon, Portugal

The owner smiled as we approached and was quick to point out that they were about to close shop, so whatever that we were about to have, we are to have it quick. So we dutifully doled up our Euros and, slightly unnerved by the ancient poster of the drink’s 19th-century inventor (a cleric named Espinheira), we toasted to each other’s good health and gulped in down.

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Pick Of The Week: The One With Angel’s Share

Ever wondered what angels have to do with whisky? Drop by to Angel’s Share, arguably the poshest whisky bar in town, and you just might find out.

Angel's Share

In the ancient times whisky masters were baffled for the annual two percent loss of whisky as the barrel matured. It was assumed that angels were responsible for it; hence the term angel’s share.

Angel's Share

While you may not find tipsy angels flying into each other at Angel’s Share, what you’ll take delight in would be the sleek and sultry interior of the bar, complete with authentic oak floors, velvety sofas and more than a touch of rockin’ vibe. Truly an altar dedicated to the enjoyment of the liquid gold.

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The One With Sake Bar GINN – Hong Kong Dedicated Sake Bar

Founder Ayuchi Momose was proud to inform us that Sake Bar GINN is the first genuine bar in Hong Kong dedicated only to the fermented rice wine.

Sake Bar GINN

The sake selection available, mind boggling to the novice and da God-sent for diehard fans, were imported directly from Japanese breweries and not available elsewhere in Hong Kong.

Sake Bar GINN

Sake Bar GINN is more like a bar than a restaurant, so be prepared to be overwhelmed by its selection of about 100 different kinds of sakes, rather than its tapa style menu to go with the sake.

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The One With Indian Food At The Chapel – Surprising Find In The Valley

Hello there! Did you miss me, and my blog? I missed you. My apologies for the lack of updates in recent weeks. What with me moving from my old haunt to Happy Valley, and the avalanche at work, I find myself hard pressed to find time to blog.

But that does not mean I lack of material to blog. Oh no. If my expanding waistline is of any indication, I had too much material to blog about.

Well, I gotta start somewhere. So let me introduce you to a gem of a find I was introduced to right here in Happy Valley, called The Chapel.

The Chapel is rightfully a bar, but a large sign right outside claim it serves some of the best Indian food in town. On any other occasion, I would have hesitated (great food in a neighbourhood bar, really?) but this was recommended to me by a foodie who knows her stuff.

So in I went one fine weekday night, and I was not disappointed!

Roasted Popadam (HKD6)

Dinner at The Chapel

I was overjoyed when I found this place serves real popadam. For the uninitiated, that crispy lentil flour wafer with more than just a tad of spice in it. Served with a side of mint sauce, I was transported right back to the time in Malaysia when I can devour a tin of popadam all by myself.

I was that much of a glutton.

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The One With Trafalgar – British Pub & Beer Garden Balcony

Since I moved to Hong Kong, I always look out for spacious dining establishments. Be it a bar, a cafe or a restaurant, a spacious one is a precious commodity in Hong Kong. Those well-versed with the local property market will know what I mean; else, allow yourself to laugh and cry at the same time at this satire on the crazy real estate that is Hong Kong.

In my quest, I have encountered a number of bars/restaurants with open space here, but you could count them with one hand. The patio at SML, the bankers’ hive at SEVVA, the media’s hangout at Sugar, the rooftop bar at Crowne Plaza… see, one hand.

Therefore excuse my enthusiasm when I discoveredthe British pub Trafalgar located at the infamous Lockhart Road at Wanchai.

Trafalgar Wan Chai

As you make your way to the building (Trafalgar was located at a respectable 5th floor), allow yourself to be jostled, appraised, hustled at (if you look rich) or frowned upon (if you don’t). Lockhart Road is lined up almost entirely by bars and pubs of the girlie variety… if you get what I mean. But of course you do. I was there on a Sunday afternoon and already the various bars were doing brisk business.

To say I was delighted to have this oasis of calm in the midst bustling Wan Chai would be an understatement. Trafalgar was complete with a beer garden balcony, decked out in all its wooden glory with rickety chairs and wobbling tables. You would think I am being sarcastic, but I am not. I was charmed.

If I could just ignore the endless babbling of the drunk woman at the next table (slow down on the white wine, honey), I could just close my eyes and imagine myself in London.

And so, on to the delight that was Trafalgar. I was there for a Groupon deal, which was an all-day brunch with three hour of (hic!) unlimited champagne, wine, and soft drinks. You might thought the food would be ordinary, since this was a Groupon deal – I won’t blame you, I went completely without expectation – but boy were my better half and I in for a pleasant surprise!

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The One With Pavilion At Crowne Plaza Hotel – Best View Of Causeway Bay

In a packed city like Hong Kong, to find a high-rise bar with relatively unobstructed view is like finding needle in haystack. Especially in crowded place like Causeway Bay. The closest I ever come across was the patio at SML Restaurant at Times Square.

Recommended by my colleagues, I ventured to the Pavilion, located at the 25th floor of Crowne Plaza Hotel at Leighton Road. I was in for a pleasant, pleasant surprise.

Pavilion @ Crowne Plaza Hong Kong

An unobstructed view, as far as the eye can see… well, at least across that body of water. Even at the peak of summer, there was a light breeze blowing around the entire place, thanks to its open concept design maximising on natural sunlight and wind.

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The One With Eric’s Kitchen – Grubs For The Surfer Dudes

What’s a beach without a great pub? There is just something about the air by the seaside which makes even the most disciplined person threw his diet to the wind (literally) and indulge in some pub grubs. When I went to Big Wave Bay recently for a birthday get together, I was determined to find some good western food by the sea. A search on Open Rice was not promising, so we went ahead to try our luck.

And lucky we were.

Eric’s Kitchen is the new reincarnation of the previous Blue Room (or something like that) occupying the same space, facing the entire beachfront. Terrifying waves, exhilarating wind… everything a surfer dude would love.

Eric's Kitchen

With a view like this, what is there not to like?

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