While we typically seek out fine wines with dinner, we absolutely love trying out signature cocktails or local drink specialties during our travels. Although often times pricey, many hotel restaurants and bars offer some pretty incredible concoctions that are definitely worth a splurge.
Brett and I had the opportunity to visit the M Bar at the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong last weekend. We booked a dinner reservation at their one Michelin-starred Mandarin Grill (the restaurant legendary chef Thomas Keller recently visited) and wanted to experience the views from their signature M Bar located on the 25th floor. We met up with Geoff Wu, the Social Media and E-Commerce Manager for the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong and took a tour of the food and beverage outlets onsite.
When making reservations for our dinner, we opted for a later dining time so we could enjoy drinks at the M Bar ahead of time. The M Bar is dark and swanky, offering a great view of the harbour and skyline. The M Bar features a comprehensive menu of signature cocktails, beer, wine, and Cantonese tapas.
We started with two signature cocktails — Hong Kong Legend and the Earl Grey Mar-tea-ni. The Hong Kong Legend featured some interesting ingredients — don’t be fooled by the martini glass — this is no “girly” drink. It features vodka, Kuei Hua Chen Chiew, lychee liquor, lychee, lime, and the base of the glass features whiskey gum! Initially, we thought they were part of the glass design, until the bartender said they were edible. The Hong Kong Legend is an understated drink in that the alcohol and fruit flavors ring through without being overly sweet. You are supposed to chew on the gum while sipping the drink, which was also a nice addition.
The second drink was the Earl Grey Mar-tea-ni. This one was definitely intriguing and I am glad it was recommended to us. As you can probably gather by the name, it contains tea. It starts with a homemade Earl Grey infused gin, which is mixed with orange juice and served in a martini glass with a sugar rim. This was probably my favorite — surprising given that I am not a gin fan — but the tea flavor, orange, and sugar all worked quite well together.
We still had a little time prior to our dinner reservation so Geoff suggested two other signature cocktails. These two were on the sweeter side, but absolutely home runs. The first was the Foam Cosmopolitan, which is a standard cosmopolitan served with a cranberry foam they add tableside.
The last drink was the Mandarin Spring Punch, featuring vodka, apricot, cassis, mandarin, raspberry, lemon, and topped with a splash of champagne. The glass is then topped with a few sugar coated fruits — what a great combo!
Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong features a nice array of signature drinks, champagne cocktails, beer, wine, liquors, and even a few mocktails. There are still a number of drinks on the menu I am hoping to try on future visits — the one that sticks out most is the Crumble (brown butter rum, falernum, and pear cider).
If you’re visiting central Hong Kong and looking for a bar with some unique cocktails and a spectacular view, we definitely recommend swinging by the M Bar at the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong! Let us know which cocktail ends up being your favorite!
Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
Address: 5 Connaught Road, Central Hong Kong (M Bar is 25th floor)
Phone: +852 2522 0111