There’s no thrill quite like that of a first date — when you’re not entirely sure what the future might hold, but excited to find out. And then you do find out. Before you know it, you’re happily shacked up and the first date is but a distant memory. That first spark isn’t going to recreate itself! Relive the memories through one of these seriously sexy date nights in Hong Kong.
8 1/2 Otto E Mezzo Bombana
Pull out the big guns at the only three-Michelin-starred Italian restaurant outside Italy. The plush, dramatic entrance foyer at 8 1/2 Otto E Mezzo Bombana welcomes diners to this stunning restaurant. It is a destination in its own right, with first-rate service and some of the finest cocktails in town. Yes, you could order from the menu here, but there is excitement in the unexpected — award-winning mixologist Devender Kumar Sehgal is more than happy to take you on an off-menu journey.
2/F, Landmark Alexandra, 18 Chater Road, Central, 2537-8859.
Because what’s not sexy about a low-lit underground bar with cushy seating and high-caliber service? Subterranean cocktail den The Woods is one of the most impressive bars in town, all about excellent molecular-inspired cocktails and creative bar bites to match. You certainly won’t be short on conversation here, either, with intriguing art work adorning the walls a natural talking point or board game night on Monday, if that’s more your speed.
17 Hollywood Road, Central, 2522-0281.
Opening to much fanfare at the end of last year, VEA is a collaborative effort by some of the most progressive food and drink minds in the biz. Master barman Antonio Lai (Quinary, The Envoy, Ori-gin) has teamed up with young chef gun Vicky Cheng (Liberty Private Works) to bring well-heeled diners an ‘integrated’ dining affair, where the cocktails are just as important as the food. While the stunning open kitchen on the 30th floor is a winner, we love the more casual but still seductive vibes of the swanky bar below, with marble tabletops and sultry dark brass accents.
29/F, The Wellington, 198 Wellington Street, Central, 2711-0063.
There’s no drinking like day drinking, and there’s no better place to do it than The Continental. The restaurant’s expansive deck offers your own little slice of tree-lined heaven right in the thick of town. Get refreshed (before getting fresh) with your love with a supremely drinkable classic absinthe cocktail, made the old fashioned way with slow-drip iced water melting brown sugar into the spirit to bring out the best the spirit has to offer.
One Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, 2704-5211.
Serge et Le Phoque
Sure, you could do a stuffy French brasserie with tuxedoed waiters for date night, but that’s a little cliché, n’est-ce pas? Wan Chai bistro Serge et Le Phoque is our pick for a different type of haute Gallic gastronomy — the plates have the finesse of a fine dining restaurant, but the space itself is deliberately pared back to let the dishes do the talking. The seasonally rotating à la carte menu includes dishes like seared pigeon with confit vegetables and pigeon liver reduction, an impressively multi-dimensional frozen coconut ceviche, and a perfect dacquoise, one of the few desserts in town with its own cult following.
3 Wan Chai Road, Wan Chai, 5465-2000.
There’s just so much to love about The Ocean: from the plush furnishings in breezy, calming azure shades, to the elegant Hermès tableware, this cavernous Southside dining room offers old-school romance with a decidedly new-school twist. The menu is where things start to get really interesting, with a seasonally rotating selection of progressive plates that, as the name suggests, are inspired by the deep blue. The Ocean is also home to UMI Bar, an omakase experience showcasing the best of Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji fish market, helmed by sixth-generation master sushi chef Yukio Kimijima.
3/F, The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay, 2889-5939.
This Central fine dine has long felt like one of the best-kept secrets in town. Private, intimate and secluded, romance is most definitely on the cards here — finer touches include crisp white linen tablecloths, Bernardaud chinawear, Zalto stemwear and David Mellor silverware. Chef Shane Osborn dishes up contemporary European plates from his seasonally-driven à la carte menu. The dreamy dishes promise to spice up your night, but there’s also a stunningly executed dedicated vegetarian menu if you’re wanting to keep things light.
3/F, 18 On Lan Street, Central, 2728-0178.
Yin Yang Coastal
Fine dining on secluded, private beach in Hong Kong? You bet. Yin Yang Coastal might not make much noise, but it’s the under-the-radar nature of the place that makes it that much more special. The private kitchen, located in Ting Kau (that’s near Tsuen Wan, in case you were wondering) plates up stylish, contemporary fare with a focus on seafood. The best part? You can focus on the romance and leave the menu to chef Margaret Xu Yuan — all you need to do is choose the number of courses (7-8 courses for $1080; 10 for $1,500-2,000), and chef will choose the day’s freshest ingredients to plate up her masterpieces.
House 117, Ting Kau Village, Ting Kau Beach, Tseun Wan, 2866-0868.