Here’s one for the whisky lovers out there!
Malt Whisky Bar is a new sleek, whisky destination that’s just opened up in Sheung Wan. It’s slightly off the beaten track, tucked behind Corner Kitchen on New Street. With a cool, discreet black façade and the name of the bar simply embossed in gold on the door, Malt immediately sets the tone for a classy evening. This is a whisky bar you’ll have to search out, but it only adds to the speakeasy vibe of the bar. Plus, with most whisky venues located in Central, it’s perfect for the SYP and Sheung Wan crowd (of which I am a proud member!).
When you first walk in, you’re welcomed into a cosy yet sophisticated bar with a few comfortable looking seating areas at the back. Whisky bars can sometimes be intimidating, slightly pretentious perhaps, but not Malt. Its stylish décor invokes the Japanese idea of whisky bar, with dim lighting and a minimalistic but seductive feel. There are gorgeous, illuminated rare bottles of whisky lining the wall as you enter, and despited feeling so refined, Malt has a casual, fun atmosphere. Founded by five whisky loving friends, it’s meant as a place for you to gather with close mates and experiment with interesting drinks – you’re likely to bump into these whisky lovers on any given evening as we did!
Malt clearly has an extensive and impressive range of whisky, which you can be expertly talked through by the knowledgable bar staff. They’re more than willing to chat and discuss favourite new drams, offering up plenty of recommendations depending on your tastes. As a whisky lover myself I was in heaven; tasting aged, peated Islay’s and younger, more recent Japanese expressions. I also got the chance to talk to some of the founders who were in for a drink (if you owned a bar, you know you would!) and casually swapping opinions.
However, whisky is not all that’s on the menu. We started our evening with refreshing cocktails to warm up! Sassy Editor Lauren, who accompanied me, began with a ‘Highland Dress’; a smooth mix of whisky, crème de Peche, lemon and egg white. It was sweet, creamy and refreshing – perfect for those who aren’t as used to drinking whisky. I opted for more of a classic, a reliable ‘Old Fashioned’. This Old Fashioned had a surprise smoky twist though, which those that enjoy a bit of theatre with their drink will love! Hong Kong needs more bars that know how to make this classic correctly.
Although the cocktail menu is not massive, their creations were delicious. The mixologists behind the bar were also more than happy to whip up something to your liking based on flavour preference, so they encourage you to use your imagination! Malt is admittedly largely about the whisky, but they do have a small selection of quality wine, beer and spirits for those of you not totally sold on ‘the golden nectar’ just yet.
Malt is a must-visit for whisky lovers west of Central. That being said, the relaxed and friendly ambience makes it a suitable spot for anyone looking for an intimate drink (or two… or three!). The dim lighting and soothing music make it a great, slightly hidden place to unwind after work, with comfy chairs and skilled staff. The cocktails are good, the whisky selection is fantastic and the friendly owners and staff are wonderful, really adding to the atmosphere! I think I’ve just found myself a new local…
Malt Whisky Bar, G/F, 19 New Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, 2858 0058, www.malt.com.hk