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Izakaya Den

March 16, 2014

Thumping, thronging, and often spilling out onto the streets, a buzzy nightlife is one thing that Hong Kong boasts in spades, but when the mood calls for a little privacy and understated elegance, aside from the city’s high-rise hotel bars, options on the ground in Central can be scarce. Enter Nocturne – a modest two-storey Japanese bar tucked up the quiet end of Peel Street and set behind an unmarked concrete wall and heavy sliding door – the ultimate minimalist nook for jazz beats, dimmed lights and quality sips, unsurprisingly reminiscent of a modern izakaya.

Behind the smooth polished concrete bar dotted with warming tealights, one of the few things that isn’t minimalist in this establishment is the range of whiskeys on offer, with over 50 to choose from like a Yamazaki single malt, and a heavily peated 18-year-old Hakushu both from Japan and shelved alongside a healthy representation in Scottish malts including an aged Bowmore scotch from Islay. However, if whiskey’s not your bottle, totter upstairs to browse the vintages in a top of the range humidity and temperature-controlled wine cellar or plump for one of their many classic cocktails like a meticulously mixed Old Fashioned or a frozen sorbet champagne cocktail. Kanpai!

35 Peel St / Central / +852 2884 9566 / 6pm-midnight Mon-Sat