J.Boroski, the secret bar without a menu
The buzz: There’s a new not-so-secret bar in town. It’s a repeat collaboration between two powerhouses of the Asian drinking world: interior designer Ashley Sutton and American mixologist Joseph Boroski, who designs the drinks concepts for all of Sutton’s bars in Bangkok. This is Sutton’s second bar in Hong Kong, after Ophelia earlier this year, and the second branch of J.Boroski after its wildly successful (and sorta hidden) first in Bangkok’s trendy Thonglor.
The décor: Tucked down Ezra’s Lane where gay club Propaganda used to be, J.Boroski takes heavy hints from its Bangkok interiors, with the same amber and dark wood color palette, skillfully translated into the elongated bunker-like space. Curved ceilings mean it’s exceptionally quiet once you step in, and opposite the bar is a long line of dark alcoved seats behind fringed curtains for more privacy. The top of the bar is tiled in leather decorated with painted beetles: Boroski’s childhood dream was to be an entomologist.
The drinks: There’s no menu at J.Boroski. Instead, the bar is more like a cocktail concierge, where bartenders will ask you your preferences and deliver something much more elaborate than you expected. Drinks are priced depending on the base liquor used, from $100-180, and you’ll find plenty of unusual and rare liquors to choose from. We asked for a twist on an old fashioned—strong, please—and we got a rum old fashioned with a hefty kick, sweetened lightly with raspberry and garnished with dehydrated orange. When my neighbor mentioned she liked the oily, moreish kick of a good dirty martini, we were surprised with the slightly savory flavor of a drink made with Lillet Blanc, kaffir lime leaf and Iron Balls gin— from Ashley Sutton’s own microdistillery.
All syrups, garnishes and juices are made at the back of house each day. J.Boroski’s take on a bloody mary was made with freshly juiced tomato, none of that concentrated crap. With smooth premium vodka and a hint of Sichuan pepper, topped with dehydrated tomato, it was a delicious, refreshing, and perhaps even healthy after-work pick-me-up. Perhaps.
Why you’ll be back: J.Boroski is invitation-only at the moment, and if we know anything about Hong Kong, it’s that Hongkongers want what they can’t have. You can request entry details from 2603-6020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact Joseph directly via facebook.com/josephboroski.