The hidden Japanese bar in Tsim Sha Tsui offers rare whiskies and bespoke cocktails
Butler may be small, but it is not short of character. With atmosphere like a classic American bar, this quiet drinking venue is the watering hole of choice for Japanese salarymen in Hong Kong, and the attention focused very much on the drinks. Butler boasts a well-stocked bar with over 200 different types of whiskies and pleasing cocktail creations, features that remind us somewhat of Executive Bar in Causeway Bay. The cosy, understated space has 20 seats and the best are along the long wooden bar, as you can talk to the bartenders, who don Casablanca-style white dinner jackets, and watch them showcasing the precision of Japanese cocktail-making techniques. If you state your preference for a dry or sweet taste, or your spirit of choice, the staff will make you bespoke cocktails from their 2,000-plus recipes. Butler prides itself on fruit-based cocktails, so we tried the off-menu Fresh Blueberry Martini, but the concoction was surprisingly let down by the bitterness and syrup-like flavours. We also tried a whisky sour that was nicely pulled together by sweet orange and tartness of lime. Food-wise, the platter of cheese and cold cuts with honey-glazed Iberico ham are some of the most popular choices. If you come here earlier, more substantial dishes like wafu pasta (Japanese-style pasta made with cross-genre ingredients such as mentaiko) are also on offer to feed the after-work crowds. A minimum charge (HK$200 per person) still applies but the staff might be more easy-going on less busy evenings.