Adding a welcoming glow to Wan Chai’s bustling Hennessy Road, The Optimist’s Barcelona-chic Bar is a standalone destination that attracts Hong Kong’s fun crowd to the new street-level space. Swing by for a casual meal, after-work cocktails, or a vibrant night of wine and bar bites. It is the place to drink and eat like a Spaniard.
“The Optimist bar is a place where guests can stop by any time, whether for lunch, an afternoon meeting or simply to hang out with friends over great food and drinks that pack a punch,” says co-founder Christian Talpo. The large windows and high ceilings bathe the bar area with natural light during the day making this the perfect getaway from the office for a while. Combined with the trellis design above the bar, lush canopy of hanging plants and peacock green tiles that create the illusion of an outdoor garden pavilion, the space is a nod to 50´s Elsie de Wolfe with a cozy environment where time flies over chatter and drinks.
At the helm of the Bar is the vivacious Isabella Vannoni whose liveliness is evident in every drink she makes. She has created a menu that will keep guests coming back for her original gin and tonics as well as creative signatures that bring back a sense of class to drinking cocktails.
The Optimist Bar
Start with the Black Heart (HKD100) made with Diplomatico rum, muddled fresh fig, crème de cassis, sugar and lime, before moving in for theFrench Kiss (HKD100), a mix of blackberry marmalade, Eden Love Gin, lychee juice and lemon juice. Don’t give up the Ship (HKD110) is a potion of organic Mezcal, agave, lime juice and Cointreau that helps you keep your worries away and stay strong.
Gin and tonic lovers have 24 creations to choose from including the Aviation (HKD110), neutral and floral American gin served with Fever-Tree Indian tonic water and fresh strawberries, and the Eden Mill (HKD90), a refreshing and botanical Scottish gin with a topping of Schweppes tonic water, lemon and chili.
Old Fashioned The Optimist’s way
The drinks list also features nostalgic cocktails from the early days including swizzles, punches, and juleps as well as a range of classic cocktails, Spanish wines, spirits and beers amongst others. Make sure to try Bramble (HKD80), a combination of Bombay gin, sugar, lemon juice, blackberry liquor or Peach & Almond Mojito “Merengue” (HKD90) made with Havana 3yrs Rum, Amaretto, peach juice, mint and lime juice for a refreshing start to the night. The Tinto de Verano Punch (HKD550, recommended for 6-7 people) a blend of Gran Feudo Crianza merlot, cherry brandy, crème de cassis, orange juice, lemonade and fresh fruit, is a great way to pump up the energy with a group of friends. The Optimist also features its own brand of draft beer.
The Optimist – French Kiss
Where there are drinks, you will always find food. Spanish Executive Chef Alfredo Rodriquez has created a Bar menu full of asador-inspired flavours available all day. Choose from the ‘Small Plates’ which include some favourites from the grill, ‘Sandwiches’, ‘Salads’ and ‘Soups’ or ‘Cold dishes’. Perfect items to share are the Iberian ham (HKD90) or Boletus mushrooms (HKD100) croquettes, Spanish sliders (HKD110 for three pieces) made with beef, chorizo, tomato, cheddar cheese and lettuce as well as a serving of fries, Club Sandwich (HKD120) filled with grilled chicken, bacon, lettuce and a spread of mayonnaise, as well as a plate of hand cut 12 month aged Jamón iberico de Recebo (HKD140, 50g / HKD 260, 100g).
Stop by for The Optimistic Hour from 3pm to 7pm every day, a time when everyone feels lucky. Drinks and snacks start from HKD48 up and include a selection of cocktails, spirits, wines, beers and bites.