Doesn’t it seem like shisha bars are popping up everywhere in Hong Kong these days? For those who haven’t tried it before, shisha is a type of water pipe used to smoke flavoured tobacco, with the smoke passed through the water basin before inhalation. One of the reasons I love shisha is because you don’t taste the harshness of tobacco, but still get the same “high” feeling of light headed-ness, making it a great way to unwind from hectic HK! There’s also a variety of tobacco flavours to choose from, the most popular being fruit and rose; for enthusiasts, try adding milk to the water basin to make the smoke last longer and extra thick!
The days of sketchy shisha bars that feel more like some guy’s backroom are long gone and there are now plenty of classier and more glam alternatives – so here’s our round-up of the top five shisha bars in Hong Kong.
Bloop Shisha Lounge
Enjoy quality shisha with a panoramic view of Hong Kong and an 8-metre long baby shark aquarium. Get ready to experiment with a variety of flavours to choose from – including classics like Apple and the wildly popular Blue Mist to adventurous concoctions like Pink and UFO! With lounge music playing in the background, this is the coolest place to sit back and have a puff of shisha with friends.
Bloop Shisha Lounge 21/F, Ho Lee Commercial Bldg, 38-44 D’Aguilar St, Central
2686 1234 www.bloop.com.hk/
One of our fave bars in HK full stop, regardless of the cool shisha selection. Tucked away on the fifth-floor of The Mira hotel in a “secret garden” of an open-air courtyard (they bring out heaters for the winter months too), it’s the perfect place for lounging around on the comfy sofas accompanied with one of their signature cocktails. For a hotel bar, it’s pretty reasonably priced, whilst your hookah pipe will be prepared and attended to by Vibes’ very own shisha sheikh… yes you heard us right, a sheikh! The classy vibe, laid-back atmosphere and funky music make this the ideal joint to sit back, relax and chill out – just remember that because of hotel guests trying to get some kip up above, last orders are at a somewhat early midnight on weekdays and 1am on weekends.
Vibes Vibes, 5/F, The Mira, 118 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Get ready to bounce to some contagious rhythmic Middle-Eastern beats! Located at the centre of Hong Kong nightlife, this is just the joint to get your night started with some great shisha and great music to match. While the atmosphere is warm and cosy, Sahara’s boss will get you laughing, joining in the fun and bouncing in your seat with his passionate clapping! With excellent and entertaining service by the staff, a night at Sahara makes for a surefire happy shisha experience.
Sahara 11 Elgin Street, Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong
2291 6060 sahara-hk.com/
Al Pasha is a shisha restaurant that allures you with beauty and mystery of the Middle East. As you step out of the elevator, you are greeted by a dimly-lit lobby with traditional Middle Eastern music playing in the background. There is a large outdoors area decorated with charming Turkish lanterns, cosy couches and silk cushions for you to sit back, have a drink and share a shisha pipe with friends. If you’re feeling a little peckish, Al Pasha also offers Silk Road specialty dishes that cover dishes from both the Middle East and central China.
Al Pasha Shop 401, K11, 18 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
RA Restaurant & Lounge
Located on the bustling East Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront, RA will transport you to the wonders of Egypt and the Middle East, with surrounding statues of Ancient Egyptian deities (including the eponymous Ra!) and traditional Middle Eastern music playing in the background. The restaurant consists of an indoors area, a VIP room (known as the Moroccan den) and an outdoors alfresco area that offers a great view of the skyline from ‘the Dark Side’. To top it all off, some fabulous belly dancers perform every Friday and Saturday night, which together with the great shisha, creates a truly entertaining and memorable experience.
RA Restaurant & Lounge Shop 1, G/F, Wing On Plaza, 62 Mody Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui
2721 3600 www.facebook.com/pages/RA-Restaurant-Lounge/253721348000494
Aurora is a local born and bred Eurasian – geek by day, party animal by night! Check out her blog at www.hongkongnightlife.hk.