The New Classic: Opened back in 2012, cocktail bar Quinary was arguably one of the first places in the city to kick start the mixology trend. It being a trendsetter is no coincidence: the bar is opened by Tastings Group’s Charlene Dawes alongside mixologist extraordinaire Antonio Lai.
Look & Feel: Dark, sleek and sexy, Quinary’s interiors have remain more or less unchanged over the last few years. Order yourself a cocktail at the long bar and sip it while people-watching. Pay attention to the in-house rotary evaporator, which isn’t some kind of show put on for drinkers — Lai and his team use this to experiment and work on their booze.
Meet the Bartender: Award-winning mixologist Antonio Lai is one of the biggest names in the local bar scene. One of the first people to bring the “multisensory mixology” concept to Hong Kong, Lai is inspired by a food-science approach that aims to touch the five senses. His cocktails are nothing short of works of art: there are unique flavours crafted in-house (think wasabi-redistilled vodka) using pioneering techniques.
On the Menu: Quinary has become a favorite of Hong Kong’s cocktail connoisseurs, who flock to the Hollywood Road staple to sample its creative creations — like the signature the Earl Grey Caviar Martini. Made with Absolut vodka, Cointreau, elderflower syrup, apple juice plus lemon and lime, the cocktail’s topped with tiny Earl Grey-infused “caviar” sitting in a bed of foam.
Service: As you’d expect in most SoHo bars on the posh side. Efficient and friendly.
Jeng: Despite intense competition, Quinary remains one of the best places in the city for carefully crafted cocktails. Also, it’s nice to have a spot where you know you’d get exactly what you came here looking for. We love bars that serve light bites: Quinary’s truffle fries are incredibly moreish. We won’t judge if you order a second bowl.
Not So Jeng: Cheap drinks they ain’t! The Earl Grey Caviar Martini will set you back HK$130, while A Touch of Rose (Absolut Kurant, Monin rose and violet reduction, champagne) is a whopping HK$160. Remember when HK$80 cocktails were the norm? Yea, us neither.
Great For: Blind dates, girly catch-ups, entertaining visitors.
FYI: After Quinary, Dawes and Lai continued to bring us some of the most well-regarded watering holes in Hong Kong, like gin-focused Origin and colonial-chic-inspired hotel bar, The Envoy. Lai is also responsible for the curated menu at recently opened VEA Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge.
This writeup was based on an independent tasting. The Loop doesn’t guarantee/sell restaurant review coverage. See our editorial policy here.