J.Boroski, the se­cret bar with­out a menu

HK Magazine - - PAGE 3 - Eve­lyn Lok Ezra’s Lane, Cen­tral, 2603-6020.

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 hk@jboroski.com, or con­tact Joseph di­rectly via face­book.com/joseph­boroski.

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