Hong Kong gets a new livehouse
The buzz: We’ve long been whining about our city’s drooping live music scene, and someone’s heard our prayers. Enter 1563, the city’s latest live house.
The name derives from a go-to Cantopop chord progression, and the emphasis here is on Cantopop and Canto-indie, with live music every Tuesday-Sunday from 7pm. Music themes change every day of the week, from “Wild Wild West” on Wednesdays—dedicated to English songs—to “Who Don’t Sing” on Thursdays and Fridays, when the audience is invited on stage to sing along.
The decór: The place is huge—it has a spacious dining area, a full stage, a handful of VIP rooms and an outdoor sitting area. Inside, the restaurant part oozes an old-school Hong Kong vibe, with blue and purple lights shining on the stage, and a small bar on the side. A booming sound system pumps out the tunes— although if you’re eating dinner sometimes you have to scream over your food to make yourself heard. If you’re looking for a chat and some fresh air, take the secluded passageway next to the bar to arrive at the terrace outside, where you can drink alfresco on the red couches looking out onto the neighboring rooftop bars across the road.
The drinks: With a slice of red apple perched on the rim of the glass, the Little Apple ($108)—named for the crazily popular 2014 Chinese-Korean pop song— is great for a fruity starter, with a dash of elderflower syrup shining through the summery concoction of Gordon’s gin, grapefruit and lime juice. The naughtily named Juicy Nipple ($108) doesn’t disappoint either: Two fresh raspberries (get it?) sit atop a pale pink pyramid of raspberry vodka and passionfruit slush, adding a cheek-puckering tang to the exotic fruitiness. Don’t make light of the Chocoholic ($118) just because it smells like chocolate milk—it’s one of the stronger cocktails on the menu. The coffee bitterness of Kahlua counteracts the tart citrus taste of Grand Marnier, with a sprinkle of Godiva chocolate powder on top delivering a sweetness at the end.
Why you’ll be back: Forget about wings or popcorn—1563 takes inspiration from dai pai dongs on its late-night menu, with the likes of Tai-O shrimp paste chicken wing lollipops ($108) showered in a generous bath of toasted garlic bits, and spicy typhoon shelter-style fries ($68) with a light mangolime sauce. And with live tunes every night they’re open, there’s no reason not to swing back.
6/F, Hopewell Centre, 183 Queen’s Rd. East, Wan Chai, 2323-2538.