OPEN BAR KOKO
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.