The buzz: This infamous bar, tailor-made for finance folks with money to burn, may have moved house, but whether it’s at the top of Wyndam or the bottom of D’Aguilar Street, Privé still maintains its baller reputation. It’s a 25-and-over members only club where exclusivity is everything, attracting mostly bankers and self-proclaimed “elite” clientele. If you’re into schmoozing with Hong Kong’s glitterati, Privé should be your first choice for a Friday night out—only, of course, if you can get in—a feat that is harder than it looks. Our first night, we got caught in a vicious crossfire of pushing and shoving at the door and were eventually denied entrance—even though we were on the guest list. However, during our second visit, which took place on a much tamer evening, the vibe was a lot more relaxed and enjoyable.
The décor: Dramatically different from the old Privé. The bar part of the two-level, 6,000-square-foot space is endlessly long and rectangular—until you reach the circular 360-degree bar with an array of fancy bottles all ‘round. The trendy basement is filled with swanky brown leather sofa booths and colorful revolving disco lights that look classy, not tacky. This lighting, coupled with a state-of-the-art Funktion One sound system, creates the ultimate club atmosphere and fully equips them to blare the latest top-of-the-chart hits over the weekend.
The drinks: Reserving a table and ordering bottle service is de rigueur here. But if you don’t want to splurge with the whole bottles 'n' models thing, you can stop by for an a la carte cocktail or two during the week. Talented bartender Arjun shakes up funky concoctions and creates new ones regularly. Like every other club, Privé has signature cocktails, though these are not nearly as interesting as other ones Arjun mixes, like the Bubblegum Martini, made with Bazooka-infused vodka, or the Privé Bellini, made with Japanese plum sake and calpis (a Japanese soft drink similar to Yakult). The latter two are featured mainly every Thursday on ladies’ night, when they also make summery cocktails, using ingredients like elderflower liquor, cucumber, lime, blackberries, grapefruit juice and much more.
The food: We didn’t eat any, but the food did look tasty. Their snack menu features bites such as truffle fries, mini sliders, chicken wings, fried calamari and crab cakes. These bites are available during happy hour (Mondays through Fridays from 6pm to 9pm).
Why you'll be back: Let’s face it—you’ll probably end up here sooner or later. We’d recommend it for a chilled-out after-work drink… unless, of course, you are willing to max out your credit card on a table and numerous bottles of Belvedere and bubbly. In spite of our discourteous initial impression, the second visit definitely turned things around. The snazzy cocktails alone are enough to keep us coming back.
By Celine Mahtani