Due to COVID, the shutdown of Lan Kwai Fong has been pretty severe, leaving few long-timers remaining besides Circle K and 7-Eleven. However, the pandemic has also given bars in the area the chance to rebrand and attract newcomers to the scene.
Dead& is one of the bars that has made its home in LKF during the pandemic, bringing some serious competition the the block. Founded by pro mixologists Agung Prabowo and Roman Ghale, the bar is headed by manager Jake Erder, who has done a great job in attracting rowdy, thirsty crowds to the area as Hong Kong opens up.
From Thursday and into the weekend, Dead& attracts a younger crowd versus your typical corporate types. It’s a place to walk in with dirty trainers, drink away and throw peanuts on the floor.
The dive bar has a rugged interior, but it is spacious enough to serve the masses with its non-fussy menu of cocktails priced at an extremely competitive $50 per drink – this hidden gem won’t do damage to your wallet!
To start, we ordered a whisky sour, shaken quickly with Early Times whisky, lemon juice and simple syrup, along with a Tommy’s margarita (a classic twist on a standard margarita), made with El Jimador tequila, lime juice and agave syrup. Both drinks are simple and well balanced, with a citrus kick. Note the paper cups!
The all-day, everyday happy-hour prices are permanent, with most craft beers and wines priced from $40–50 – about the same prices as getting a beer or (not so great) Smirnoff Ice equivalent at 7-Eleven or Circle K. For your convenience, there’s even a vending machine at the back of the bar, where you can pick up some canned cocktails, beer or wine to go.
For something fun, I recommend trying the slushie, with the flavour changing daily. My pandan slushie was bright green and not too sweet. Subtle notes of coconut and rum featured in the icy drink.
I also recommend trying the Jungle Juice (left). It might bring back uneasy memories of a murky, mysterious cocktail punch, but Dead& has revived this uni-popular drink with a lighter touch. Made with Nusa Caña white rum from Bali, this easy-drinking cocktail can be a slippery slope for some, but it’s also fruity and refreshing. Dead&’s Jungle Juice contains orange, cranberry and lime juices, along with Lychee Lime Bubble Me (hard seltzer) and Angostura bitters.
We also ordered the classic Dark ‘n’ Stormy (right), shaken with Nusa Caña spiced rum, ginger beer, lime juice and Angostura bitters.
Dead& is one to put on your go-to list to check out for a super-casual night out. I cannot agree more with its goal to kick back, relax and have a few drinks that are shaken with love. Skip your local convenience store and support this neighbourhood bar with its very competitive prices. I can promise you that the drinks here (which incorporate spirits and liqueurs you’ll also find at upscale cocktail lounges) will do you a whole lot of good.
18 Wo On Lane, LKF, Central, 9886 5711 (no bookings)
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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