Urban Explorer Series: Agung and Laura’s Bar Recommendations in HK
“Hong Kong is very vibrant and from the moment you step into the city, there is a very different energy here.”
Agung and Laura’s Bar Recommendations in HK
This month’s urban explorer is Agung and Laura Prabowo, founders of renowned homegrown bars Penicillin (which is listed as #71 on the World’s 50 Best Bars this year), Dead & and their newly launched cocktail bar Lockdown. We sat down with the dynamic duo to talk about their secret ingredient for success, on maintaining such great chemistry both personally and professionally, but most importantly, their favourite bars in the city. Here’s what they recommend to us (three of them are theirs and there’s a good reason for it):
Inspired by Alexander Fleming’s discovery of the antibiotic penicillin, this very first sustainable bar in Hong Kong is filled with gadgets and wizardry one would find in a laboratory. The bar itself consists of four chamber elements: the laboratory, the main bar, the kitchen, and the fermentation room to carry out its recycling and upcycling.
Its commitment to sustainability is reflected in the bar’s aesthetics – from the recycled paper on the chemical bottles displayed on the feature bar wall to the custom-made recycled cotton uniforms. Penicillin bar also utilises local and upcycled ingredients to create unique and delicious concoctions that change throughout the year according to the season’s best ingredients.
2. Dead &
Located on Wo On Lane in the heart of Lan Kwai Fong, the most bustling district in Hong Kong that features some of the hottest bars and restaurants on the scene, Dead & is an open and approachable dive bar that offers affordable tasty cocktails and a friendly neighbourhood vibe that keeps the party going. The energy of this neighbourhood bar echoes the seating area at the Amphitheatre just next to it, and it even has a vending machine that dispenses crafted cocktails and beers – a popular outdoor drinking space for late-night revellers. If you are looking for a crazy night with cheap and cheerful cocktails after a long week, this is the place to be.
Lockdown is a pandemic-inspired speakeasy nestled on Hollywood Road in the Central district, paying homage to the social-distancing rules in the city. This chic and stylish bar serves up the traditional classics using cutting-edge experimentation to create 25 handcrafted concoctions, divided into three categories: Experimental, Vintage, and Remastered Classics. Only a minute’s walk from Penicillin, this bar is the hottest new concept from Agung and Laura.
Coined one of Asia’s 50 Best Bars, Quinary brings forth a truly unique multi-sensory drinking experience that plays with different aromas and textures. This renowned establishment features everything from old-school classics to refreshingly modern cocktails that showcase Antonio Lai’s exquisite taste and careful attention to detail. Quinary is definitely at the top of our list. When you are here, you definitely have to order their signature, Earl Grey Caviar Martini. As their best seller, the cocktail comprises of a mixture of sweet and sour tastes with cucumber, red apple juice, lemon juice, and elderflower cordial topped with Earl Grey tea caviar and Earl Grey tea air.
5. The Pontiac
This is a New York-style dive bar that Agung and Laura highly recommend for its chill vibe where you can enjoy a delectable cocktail and just be yourself. The bar’s fun and lively atmosphere and quality classic cocktails, such as its delicious Run Rabbit Run cocktail that includes unique ingredients like fernet hunter, purple carrot gin, cassis, lime and nutmeg, is what keeps its guests coming back again and again. If you love rock and roll and a good time, then this is right up your alley.