May 16, 2014

Grand Slam

Unless you have been living under a rock, you will no doubt have been exposed to – or perhaps even partaken in – Hong Kong’s perpetual rat race to find the newest hot spot in town. It is no secret that everyone who lives here feels that never ending itch to discover places before the masses, and the hip area of Sai Ying Pun is a gold mine waiting to be unearthed. If you are someone who takes pride in being a ‘pioneer’ in your social circle, then you will no doubt have found yourself sipping a fashionably delectable Gin & Tonic at Ping Pong 129 Gintonería, Sai Ying Pun’s newest kid on the block.

Hidden behind an ominous-looking red door, Ping Pong 129 is tucked away on the fairly local Second Street. However, the hustle-and-bustle of the street disappears as soon as you enter and walk down a flight of stairs, which leads to one of the chicest lounges ever to grace Hong Kong. Modeled after what can be described as an eccentric bachelor pad living room, leather couches and arm chairs are scattered across rug-draped floors, while pop art celebrating Hong Kong hangs on the outstretched walls courtesy of the super high ceilings. The bar features a green shelf stocked with liquor, and a red lit-up neon sign with Chinese characters which we were told translates to “Train Your Body”. Despite the modern touches that the new owners have given to the space, glimpses of its former life as a ping pong studio can be seen through the vintage tiles, airy windows, and railings from game days gone by.

The wonderful thing about Ping Pong 129 is that the drinks and food do not disappoint. A lengthy wine menu featuring wines from different regions in Spain will satisfy after-work sophisticates looking to relax, while an inventive gin-centric cocktail menu with a dedicated ‘Spanish’ and ‘International’ gin section will transition partygoers into the night. A selection of Spanish beers hailing from various regions from Ibiza to Galicia are a perfect complement to the traditional Spanish tapas dishes. The food menu is still undergoing a trial period given that Ping Pong 129 very recently opened, however, we had the chance to indulge in a charcuterie platter consisting of the finest jamón from Spain, a manchego platter, croquetas, and battered Padrón peppers. The one thing we could not get enough of was the simply executed romesco sauce with toasted bread ‘chips’, which we highly recommend you try if it’s available.

If you have yet to explore this new gem in Sai Ying Pun, we recommend you get yourself there stat! A place as cool as Ping Pong 129 commands a following, and you want to make sure that you get there in time for a table… you know, before everyone from Central sets up shop here.

Ping Pong 129 Gintonería 
129 Second St, Nam Cheong House
Sai Ying Pun
+852 9158 1584

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