Where It’s Always Half Past Ten
I recently wrote a review of my favorite pub/bar, Carnegies. So I thought I would do one of my favorite cocktail lounge, Half Past Ten. Located above Lan Kwai Fong and below Caine Rd. at 10 Glenealy St. in Central, it can be hard to find but that’s part of its charm. If you get lost looking for it, grab your cell phone and dial 2869-9089 for directions.
In fact, if we hadn’t moved to a flat around the corner from it, we would have never discovered it ourselves. We wandered in one evening after telling ourselves, many times that, “We should check this place out.” We finally did, met Flora, the hostess and server, and Paddy, the bartender, found out that Happy Hour is two for one on drinks and were hooked from then on.
Flora and Paddy at the Bar
The problem, for me, with Hong Kong cocktail lounges (as opposed to pubs or bars) has always been that they were either in hotels and mostly patronized by tourists and business people besides being very pricey or they were places where I didn’t feel welcome because I didn’t speak Cantonese. Half Past Ten has neither of those drawbacks. It’s not cheap, but with a half price Happy Hour, Pam and I can drink and gossip for an hour or so for about the same cost as regular time in a pub. Flora and Paddy go out of their way to make us feel welcome. They leave us alone when we want that, too.
The ambience is intimate and comfortable with couches along the walls and a small bar. The place is divided into a number of small rooms and alcoves so that, even when it’s crowded, privacy is possible. The sound system is excellent and the music is usually made up of old standards, jazz, soft rock and blues later in the evening.
It has an excellent selection of whiskeys and a good selection of mixed drinks and martinis. I particularly like the Flirtini – champagne, cointreau, vodka and pineapple juice and the Crantini – Triple Sec, Dry Vermouth, Vodka, and Cranberry Juice. Pam usually drinks wine and they have some really good stuff at reasonable prices. They also have some very good stuff at higher prices. I’m still looking forward to trying some of the “Signature” drinks. I’m waiting for the right time. They also have “Mocktails” and juices for those who abstain from alcohol.
We usually drop in early so I can’t speak for its late-night ambience but they stay open as late as they need to depending on customer demand. They open at 5:00 PM but it’s best to show up closer to 5:30 or 6:00 so they can get their act together. They’re open every day.
As with Carnegie’s, I have no financial interest in the place nor am I trying to impress anyone. Pam and I just like the place a lot.