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Top 10 Hong Kong cigar bars

The Hong Kong climate lends itself for much of the year to balmy evenings sitting out on one of the city’s many rooftop terraces. Since the indoor smoking ban was introduced in 2009, these venues have come into their own as a haven for cigar lovers to enjoy their hobby in a comfortable, relaxed environment, often rounded off by a glass of something special. After all, from a bar or restaurant’s point of view – and even as an increasing number of drinks brands are quickly realising – cigars and high end drinks not only complement each other nicely, but generate a useful additional revenue stream.

The popular image of the cigar smoker may be with a glass of whisky or Cognac, but as with so many other aspects of the drinks industry, the younger generation is creating its own traditions. With the spectrum of cigar flavours and styles, from region to age and strength, the one size fits all approach is unnecessarily restrictive. Why not try a fuller style of Champagne, such as Krug, or even look for a cocktail whose ingredients pick up on the spice or floral notes of your cigar choice. With so many variations to discover, it’s time to tear up the rule book.

1. Bo Innovation

Bo innovationShop 13, 2/F,
J Residence, 60 Johnston Road, Wan Chai

Tel: +852 2850 8371

Welcome to the home of “X-treme Chinese cuisine”, where the self-styled “Demon Chef” Alvin Leung gives a molecular, rock ‘n’ roll twist to his dishes. Try his take on traditional xiao long bao, or try a fresh take on simple ingredients such as beetroot or scallops. There’s a serious drinks list to match the ambitious food and, with seating for 22 outside, guests are encouraged to round off their meal with a cigar from the in-house list of Cohiba and Montecristo selections.

2. Chin Chin Bar

Chin Chin Bar TerraceLevel 3, Hyatt Regency Hong Kong,18 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon

Tel: +852 3721 7722

Comfort is the theme here, from the casual atmosphere to the musical trio playing every evening and the deep red arm chairs, which complement the Chinese-style décor. A spacious outdoor terrace seats a further 40 guests, who can relax with a cigar from the broad selection offered on Chin Chin’s menu. While the wine and cocktail list has plenty to choose from, it’s the whisky range which stands out here, particularly the collection of more than 80 single malts available by the glass. Among the extensive Speyside selection, Glenfarclas is well represented, from the 10 year old right through to its 1968 expression, but for those in search of something more peaty, there’s the Lagavulin 25 Year Old Cask Strength. While the big name Cognacs are on parade too, don’t overlook treats from Armagnac, such as the Comte de Lafitte 1962.

3. Dragon-I

Dragon i Hong KongUG/F The Centrium, 
60 Wyndham St, 
Central


Tel: +852 3110 1222

Nestled between the Armand de Brignac Champagne and Methuselah of Belvedere vodka on Dragon-i’s drinks list you’ll find a collection of cigars to round off your experience at the venue which claims to sell more Champagne than any other club in South East Asia. Whether you’re settled in one of the plush sofas in the bar and dining area or celebrity spotting out on the terrace, this is the place to see and be seen.

4. Shore Restaurant & Bar

Shore3/F-4/F, The L Place, 139 Queen’s Road, Central

Tel: +852 2915 1638

No longer the poor relative of Central, the Sheung Wan neighbourhood of Western District has attracted waves of high-end boutiques, bars and restaurants in recent years. Among these is Shore, a reference to its “on-shore” and “off-shore” surf ‘n’ turf menu, which offers a stylish and ambitious but deliberately unfussy, unstuffy approach to dining. The spacious 10,000 square foot venue includes a large outdoor terrace, complete with sofas, kaleidoscopic night time light display and regular DJ sets. There’s not shortage of attractive options on the drinks list, but the Champagne selection is particularly note-worthy, stocked as it is with special occasion treats such as Billecart Salmon Brut Rosé Cuvee Elizabeth 2000 and the Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé 2002.

5. Top Deck

Top Floor, Jumbo Kingdom,
 Shum Wan Pier Drive,
 Wong Chuk Hang, 
Aberdeen

Tel: +852 2552 3331

This sprawling al fresco restaurant is all about Asian-inspired, healthy seafood dishes, with a relaxed international feel. The menu invites guests to ask for the in-house cigar selection as a complement to the dedicated “cigar corner” on its drinks list. In keeping with the modern feel to the restaurant as a whole, this shows off the open-minded attitude of contemporary cigar aficionados. Sure, you can stay classic with a Cognac or Scotch whisky, but why not experiment with a dark rum – or even consider starting the evening with a cigar and Martini.

6. Cépage

Cepage23 Wing Fung Street, Wan Chai,

Tel: +852 2861 3130

It may have fallen out of the San Pellegrino 100 World’s Best Restaurants, but with its French-Mediterranean cuisine and top wine list, Cépage is still one of Hong Kong’s most elegant fine dining destinations. Even better, the venue features a rooftop terrace, Barcépage, allowing guests to round off a special meal out with a cigar. It’s also possible to snack on delicacies from the bar menu here, from foie gras terrine to oriental style confit pork belly or a plate of mature comté cheese with air-dried beef.

Whatever your views on their flavour compatibility, cigars and fine wine certainly partner well in creating a luxurious experience and the list here will not disappoint in that respect. There are no fewer than 23 pages dedicated to Bordeaux – not counting the half bottle collection – two pages occupied by Domaine de la Romanée Conti and a five page Champagne selection featuring a special focus on Bruno Paillard. For cigar lovers, the extensive Port list could well provide the perfect pairing to round off a decadent evening.

7. The Lawn

The LawnThe Upper House Hotel, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway

Tel: +852 2918 1838

In a city where space is at a premium, the proliferation of rooftop bars in Hong Kong is an understandable phenomenon. But how many in this urban jungle can offer a grassy lawn to lie back on? That’s the draw at boutique hotel The Upper House, which hides a sixth floor secret garden complete with bean bags, Chinese-style parasols and, of course, a cocktail bar. Order a Pimms, light a cigar, lie back and relax for Hong Kong’s stylish take on the English picnic.

8. Hooray Bar & Restaurant

HoorayP502, World Trade Centre, 
280 Gloucester Road, 
Causeway Bay, HK



Tel: +852 2895 0885

Of all the great outdoor terraces in Hong Kong, Hooray’s site, which also offers a spectacular view over Victoria Harbour, claims to be the biggest. Stick to the classic whisky or Cognac cigar pairings if you prefer, but it would be a shame not to try one of the inventive sake cocktails on this list at some stage in the evening.

9. Café Deco Bar & Grill

Cafe DecoThe Peak Galleria,
118 Peak Road,
The Peak

Tel: +852 2849 5111

Head up to The Peak for some stunning views across the Hong Kong skyline from this Art Deco-inspired hang out. The sweeping spiral staircase links two large dining areas, serving an international mix of Asian and western cuisines from the same group behind Top Deck. Head up another level to the rooftop terrace, which has space for a further 350 people to party the night away. There’s no shortage of cocktail, wine and spirit options on the drinks list, including a wide range of XO Cognac. Or why not see how well the Mount Gay Gold rum works with a cigar.

10. Duetto

2/F, Sun Hung Kai Centre, 30 Harbour Road, Wan Chai

Tel: +852 2598 1222

Hong Kong may have a reputation as a cultural melting pot, but combining Italian and Indian cuisine appears to push this image to an extreme. That’s exactly the fusion experience on offer here at Duetto. When you’ve seen how they make it work in the open kitchen, head out onto the roomy Tuscan Terrace and enjoy a cigar while soaking up the view over Victoria Harbour. The culture clash continues outside, with the terrace’s sleek, Italian decor and name juxtaposed with oriental statues. East meets west doesn’t get much more stylish than this.

 

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