Glamour and glitz from 80’s Hong Kong await at this secret bar
Where would a Sum Yi Tai (meaning “Third Wife” in Cantonese) go for drinks? It has to be somewhere elusive, preferably beyond the claws of the unforgiving matriarchy system, but still glamorous enough to suit the bombshell that the Third Wife is. A place like the bar of Mona Lounge is deemed fit, we’d say.
Paying tribute to the hedonistic era of 1980s Hong Kong, the second-floor secret bar exists something of a safe house for the Third Wife and her khakis, where the intimate space is bedecked with opulent trimmings of beaded curtains and golden accents, twinkling chandeliers, plush settees, and gleaming tabletops sporting mahjong tiles. Remixed Chinese oldies are played in the background. We think Third Wife will be definitely pleased with the arrangement as she is, after all, Mona herself.
Of course, Mona’s Lounge is something of a mystery. You’ll need a lock code to access the abode, which you can get by asking to see Mona at the main Hong Kong restaurant of Sum Yi Tai. That will keep nosey parkers away.
Once you head up the spiral staircase and eased into a plush chair, it’s time you heard about Mona’s past life through a series of liquid libations.
Creativity shines through the bar’s modernised Asian cocktail menu, where oriental touches to these tipples come both subtly and in your face.
Dangerous Romance ($22)
For instance, Mona recollects her first time falling in love with That First Bouquet ($22), a pisco-based cocktail featuring hibiscus syrup and a Chinese familiarity of sour plum powder. Mona’s Tea ($22) lift spirits with its makeup of cognac, oolong sherry and Fernet Branca. Presented in a teacup, the drink’s potency is balanced out with a touch sweetness via an accompanying piece of salted egg chocolate.
Then, we have the brazen Dangerous Romance ($22) – a deceptively sweet tequila-based concoction that is garnished with tomato shrub and a single piece of crocodile ba kwa. The latter is described to be a tribute to the two classics of the bloody Mary and the Margarita.
However, it is the Songstress ($22) that commands your attention. Housed in a literal pipagao bottle, the cocktail is modelled after the Old Fashioned, where the cough remedy syrup and angostura bitters are blended with whiskey to leave the taste buds with a sweet herbal-kissed menthol aftertaste.
Bar bites are also delish here. Keeping to the theme, nibbles consist of Hong Kong classics curry fishballs, prawn wanton tossed in chili, carrot cake and even crispy roast pork. There’s also the artery-clogging pork and chicken skin chips for munching, only if you’re keen though.
Address: Level 2 of 25 Boon Tat Street
Contact No.: 6221-3665
Operating Hours: 6pm to 1am (Monday to Saturday)