Address: It’s a secret.. shhhh (G/F, 1-7 Ship Street, Wan Chai )
Ship street, a popular destination for expats and a weekend chill-out sesh’ with friends, houses many bars and restaurants. Amongst them is Ham & Sherry by British Michelin Star Chef Janson Atherton. Whilst the tapas bar and restaurant can be clearly spotted and identified by a beautiful blue, Spanish tiled wall, the back bar is well-hidden.
As you enter the restaurant, you notice a tinted-glass wall behind the counter, and wonder what could be behind it. Backtrack to the entrance, you notice a small alleyway just before the restaurant on the right. Lookup, and the sign ‘Backbar’ is brightly lit pointing you toward the bar. At first, you feel a bit hesitant as you walk down this small dark street, but then you find a modest steel door. Push in, and you arrive at a dimly-lit bar surrounded with trendy 20 somethings chatting away.
Sitting down, the staff hands you a cup of salted and spicy popcorn (very addictive) and a treasure map. The map features drinks with ingredients from specific countries, bringing you around the world through cocktails. If you still can’t find a drink that tickles your tastebuds, the Mixologist can whip up something completely original, just for you. And in case you get hungry or are in need of a snack to help with the addictive and delicious cocktails, there is also a bar menu featuring Spanish tapas-style dishes.
Here are some of the drinks we tried (names according to picture order):
1) Chiang Mai Thai (HKD 110): Mekhong spirit, Del Maguey Vida, galangal, lemon grass syrup, coriander, pineapple and lime.
Served in a copper mug, Chiang Mai thai is refreshing and perfect for cooling down the summer heat. The galangal adds a slight kick and the lemon grass syrup adds sweetness, and acts as a postmark as the iconic flavour in Thai food.
2) Pine-ing for the Fjords (HKD 110): Absolt vodka, Linie Aquavit, pine liquor, smashed cucumber, salted dill syrup, apple and lemon.
Representing Scandinavian simplicity, fresh yet complex notes, this cocktail is my favourite of the 4. The slight nuttiness of the pine liquor and freshness from the apple and lemon is just right to calm you down from a busy day at work or the hot summer days of Hong Kong.
3) Pisco Fever (HKD 110) : ABA pisco, banana liqueur, lime, cardamom-honey, mini banana, condensed milk.
Disco in a cup with a light changing ice cube; it was very sweet, and brings you to the Caribbean with flavours of banana and coconut.
4) Colonial Cousins (HKD 110) : Beefeater gin, Lillet Blanc spirit, coconut water, lemon, Indian takeaway syrup.
Another refreshing cocktail with an air of sophistication, Colonial cousins is served in a tea cup with intricate designs; a great accompaniment to small Spanish bites.
Ham & Sherry Backbar serves cocktails with premium prices, but are addictive and don’t have an alcohol aftertaste, which is definitely worth every penny! I highly recommend it as a destination for (first) dates and friendly catch-ups!