OPEN BAR KOKO

HK Magazine - - NIGHTLIFE - Eve­lyn Lok

The buzz: The folks at Kee Club have teamed up with ex-pro­fes­sional soccer player and sake lover Hidetoshi Nakata to bring us Koko, an izakaya-style resto­bar on the rein­vig­o­rated cor­ner of Wyn­d­ham Street at the top of Pot­tinger. No, you won’t need a mem­ber­ship just to get in—but it is no-reser­va­tions, which means you’ll prob­a­bly be hang­ing out at the spa­cious rooftop ter­race bar for a while any­way. Just as well it has awe­some views over­look­ing the Cen­tral Po­lice Sta­tion. When is that place done, any­way?

The dé­cor: A half-open din­ing room with bar and booth seat­ing spreads out onto the leafy green ter­race. Koko means “here” in Ja­panese and they cer­tainly like to put the em­pha­sis on the here and now: There’s sub­tle de­tail­ing in ev­ery­thing from the cozy pri­vacy of­fered by the booths in­side to the twin­kling tea lights and comfy sofa seat­ing out­doors, to the del­i­cate chrome and glass table­ware which dif­fers by drink.

The drinks: Hidetoshi Nakata (aka hottest Ja­panese foot­baller ever) has cu­rated the bar’s sake list—an ever-chang­ing se­lec­tion of bou­tique sakes—to go with your bar bites or a full fledged meal. (Rich) sake and Nakata fans alike will want to give the spe­cial “N” sake ($10,000/bot­tle) a try—it’s made from the high­est grade Ya­madan­ishiki rice har­vested in Kobe. Ja­panese whisky and sake cock­tails are also big here, and a good one to start off on is the re­fresh­ing Ringo Spritzer ($118), which pairs sweet ap­ple sake with Nikka Black whisky, lime juice, cin­na­mon syrup and gin­ger ale. Aside from a long list of sakes and shochus, Ja­panese whiskies also reign supreme, and you can have your fill with a range from Nikka Black ($90) to Yoichi 10 Years ($180) and more.

Why you’ll be back: Hongkongers love their rooftop bars, and the chilled out vibes on the ter­race are pretty un­de­ni­able. Hop to the af­ter-work drinks deal ($60 drinks and spe­cial prices on bar bites from 5-8pm) and stay for din­ner: the Chu-toro tuna tartare ($168), the king crab and uni rice hot­pot ($268) and the dark choco­late green tea fon­dant cake ($98) are worth sev­eral vis­its alone.

5/F, 77 Wyn­d­ham St., Cen­tral, 2109-1777, kokohk.com.

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