001: Speakeasy Bar, Graham Street Hong Kong
We can’t give the a more accurate address for this place other than: Graham Street, near Queen Street, between a stall selling live squid and a store selling paper lanterns, you will find a black door, knock on it and with any luck it will be 001. It’s a speakeasy, so half the fun is finding the place.
A couple had arrived just before us and were trying to convince the lady on the door to let them in. She flatly refused, indicating the place was packed and that they should try again in two hours. Mr. Murphy and I, fortunately had a reservation and after being warned “No Pictures!” we wafted down the stairs into an atmospheric space which, as it turned out was almost completely devoid of customers. Clearly there was plenty of room for that unfortunate couple. It appears face control is alive and well in Hong Kong…Not a bad thing in our book.
We were seated straight away and sat to peruse the cocktail menu, this place is renowned for its libations. Top shelf spirits, excellent technique, beautiful glassware, and a well thought out cocktail list make this place a must visit for those who appreciate a good drink. He had a lychee martini, made with fresh lychee juice and Ketel One, I had an Old Cuban with Ron Zacapa and prosecco, both excellent, perfectly balanced. We had some nibbles, devilled eggs and asparagus in lemon juice, brilliant ideas for bar food, quick, easy and served super fast. The decor is brooding and dark, with private booths to hide away in. Mr. Murphy said it looked like a hotel bar, I disagreed, the textures, the lighting, the mood all made me feel as if we were totally transported. That, coupled with the fact that its location is so unexpected, makes 001 an all round great experience. As the night wore on, the place filled up, I wonder if that couple ever made it in?
Verdict: A Must Do. Call +852 2810 6969 to make a reservation.
For Who: Those who appreciate fine drinking and don’t mind working for it
The Damage: $451HK for 2 cocktails and some nibbles. Average cocktail $100HK