Hong Kong

Ping Pong 129 Gintonería

Priding itself for relying on word of mouth, this seriously cool new bar in the depths of Sai Ying Pun is definitely something worth talking about. An innocuous red door with a ping pong bat-shaped window is dimly lit towards the Pok Fu Lam Road end of Second Street. All that really suggests that the space beyond is in fact Ping Pong 129 Gintonería is the queue of well-dressed and artistically inclined creatives that mingle outside. Through the door, a descent down a long staircase leads into a double-height space basked in a neon pink glow from the classical chinese signage hanging above the bar. The columns in the establishment are in their raw concrete form and air-conditioning ducts, as well as pipes, are left exposed giving the space an industrial feel.

The walls are covered with avant garde art and the furniture has been hand selected by owner and architect Hugh Zimmern. Although Zimmern owns the bar, the manager of the establishment is a Spaniard named Juan, who has curated an exhaustive list of gin, from Monkey 47 to dry gins from London and the exquisite GinMare, which is served with a slapped sprig of rosemary. The drinks are stunning and the gin and tonics are exceptional. On the other hand, service is a bit disappointing as often times queues form behind the bar and bartenders find it hard to stay on top of the multitude of drinks that are ordered. Needless to say, Ping Pong 129 is not for the time-pressed, but more for those who like to while away their evenings as their drinks are crafted with a lot of time, detail and attention.