The Old Man vs. The Sea [Hong Kong’s best speakeasies]

The Sea by The Old Man is located in the Sheung Wan residential neighbourhood of Hong Kong. Push its discreet door and discover a little gem. This is the perfect place to chill out after a day at work or exploring the city. With a smart atmosphere, dark woods and a boating theme, it is a locals’ favourite.

Opening as early as 5pm, lots of regulars meet up here to savour excellent cocktails. Unlike many of the posh Hong Kong speakeasies, The Sea by The Old Man is rather low-key and there is no need to dress up. But don’t be fooled by the apparent simplicity: the team in charge is the one behind The Old Man, voted best bar in Asia!

The relaxed atmosphere does not mean that the crew doesn’t take its task seriously. Attention to details is everywhere. From the specific glasses each cocktail is served in to the carefully crafted drink list and the revolutionary cold strip running along the bar for your cocktail to always be at the perfect temperature without being watered down by ice cubes! A dozen sugar-free cocktails are proposed with few ingredients and simple yet original flavour combinations for a high minerality tone. Names are kept simple to focus on the essentials and to make sure the bartender is always sharp and knows these elixirs without any hesitation. Cocktail #6 is a martini style, very refreshing cocktail made of blended cucumber cognac- dill rum and sherry acid. The blend is just perfection, the balance the ultimate treat for the taste buds. The richer pink Cocktail #3 is the peanut-butter bourbon, sour green banana and purple yam. A treat to the eye and palate.

If you are in for a more sophisticated experience, the best bar in Asia and 9th best bar in the world (in less than three years of existence!) is only a 7-minute walk away in the heart of SoHo! The old man is where magician Angung experiments. In the elegant decor, a distillation column, a rotary evaporator and a few more apparatus usually found in chemistry labs rather than in posh speakeasies are laid out in the background behind the bar. The old man bottles on the shelves contain concocted potions found nowhere else. Overlooking it all, at the end of the H-shape bar, with the mosaic-marble portrait of Hemingway behind, Nataly mixes the drinks. In the fengshui venue, whether seated comfortably at small tables or on rotating bar stools around the bar, patrons mingle and enjoy.

The menu is sophisticated and original. Don’t look here for a Bloody Mary. Instead order a moveable feast #1964. The essence of clams, seaweed, salts and seawater are extracted thanks to a rotovap and re-distilled with vodka before being infused with spiced cherry tomatoes, coconut, and basil-tomato seeds. The transparent drink, as the cherry tomato pulp is separated from its flavours and colours, is toped off by an oyster leaf infused in cheese wax. Different. Surprising. Out of this world!

The sun also rises #1929 is another amazing treat with tropical notes. The drink is concoction of copra fat-washed applejack, curry leaf-infused gin, sweet vermouth sous-vide pandan leaves and lime kaffir.

Fuelled by passion, entrepreneurship and creativity, co-owners Angung, Roman and James have created a fantastic speakeasy where one goes to taste some amazing drinks and will come back with new friends. After spending years working for some of the best hotels in Asia, these three Hong Kong residents are redefining hospitality and mixology for our greatest pleasure.

Marcella & Claire

Travel tips:

  • We strongly recommend to try both bars, and to definitely not miss out on The Old Man!
  • We recommend you to stay at The Murray on Hong Kong Island, a landmark turned into a luxurious 5-star hotel. Multiple award winner from the Condé Nast Traveler to Time Magazine, The Murray, member of the Leading Hotels of the World is the perfect base to explore HK providing tranquillity by the Hong Kong Park, convenience, top service, comfort and amenities in an elegant contemporary decor.
  • Check out this interactive map for the specific details to help you plan your trip and more articles and photos (zoom out) about the area! Here is a short tutorial to download it.

Like it? Pin It!

The Old Man - Pinterest - PIN - Hong Kong

For more in Hong Kong:

Hong Kong explained - Pinterest - PIN - Hong Kong 5 days in Hong Kong - Pinterest - PIN - Hong Kong Big Buddha - Pinterest - PIN Hong Kong Victoria Peak - Pinterest - PIN - Hong Kong The Murray - Pinterest - PIN - Hong Kong


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