Delish Sips: Gishiki Lounge, Tai Kwun Bar Embracing Japanese ‘Noh’ Theatre
by: The Beat Asia
May 19, 2023
Bar history: Opening with fresh optimism in July 2019, Gishiki Lounge brings traditionalism with a concept embracing the art and theatrics of Japanese Noh, a dance-drama practice in the island nation, within the former prison colonial walls of Tai Kwun. A cocktail experience at Gishiki Lounge brings you through a spirited journey with each cocktail, inspired by Noh masks.
What’s the vibe and venue like: The lounge is decorated with plush jewel tones and traditional cypress wooden masks of iconic characters and deities, creating a mystical ambiance that will take your breath away. Bar Manager Billy Lau, formerly of Le Comptoir, and his mixology team will host a ritualistic performance on the raised bar stage to wow guests.
How much are drinks: All signature cocktails on offer in the lounge bar cost HK$138.
What drinks did we get: Hannya, Shojo, Juroku
Hannya: Among our sips of many of our friends’ cocktails, the Hannya stood out to us the most. The pouring of the yellow liquor mix over the skeletal skull-shaped red ice block was cathartic, almost killing off the evil spirits in the bar. It tasted supreme with tea-flavoured sweet notes.
Shojo: The mysterious of the Shojo mask and drink may alude many, but it’s the lemony base and refreshing nature of the sake-powered cocktail that woke me up. You can take hints of sakura, cherry, pineapple, and cane sugar with whiffs and sips.
Juroku: Unlike many of the other cocktails, this cocktail hosts a playful non-Japanese take, bringing an umami-forward rum with pineapple foam that smells of desicated coconut and honey, with an added bit of nutty flavour. The red bean juice painted on the side brings out the fun.
What we liked: Each cocktail, especially the Fudo, knows what it is, holding a strong identity that will make us return for more. The experience matching with the cocktails earns Gishiki Lounge an award in our eyes for a concept bar in Hong Kong that is true to its inspiration.
What we didn’t like: The price beckons an experience fit for a special occasion. It is slightly higher than your average SoHo pricing. The bar can feel packed as the night goes on, due to the small floor space, so come early or very late.
What you should order: Fudo, Magojiro, Shojjo, Semimaru
Location: Gishiki Lounge, LG 103, Block 01, Tai Kwun, Central, Hong Kong
Contact details: +852 2884 0114
This food review is based on a complimentary media tasting provided by Gishiki Lounge in exchange for a truthful review and no compensation. The opinions expressed within represent the views of the author.
Keen for another round? Check out our other Delish Sips reviews here.
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