April 11th, 2012

Since its opening in 2000, aqua has become recognised as one of the outstanding dining and nightlife destinations in Hong Kong. Taking full advantage of the prime location on the uppermost floors of the iconic ONE PEKING building near the Kowloon waterfront, aqua  presents guests with spectacular views through the soaring glass walls, looking out across Victoria Harbour, and to the Hong Kong Island skyline and beyond.  An accomplished combination of outstanding contemporary interior design, and a sophisticated dining and nightlife concept, aqua provides a memorable experience for the most discerning global travelers or local residents.

Occupying a cavenous, glass-encased space within the upper two levels of the tower,  the restaurant is located on the lower level, with the bar and lounge areas situated on the floor above. The restaurant at aqua serves from two kitchens- aqua roma offering the finest modern Italian cuisine; and aqua tokyo presenting an inventive  traditional Japanese cuisine.

The chic nightspot- aqua spirit- features luxurious bar and lounge seating- and with nightly performances from high-profile resident and international DJs, aqua spirit is one of the most glamorous nightlife venues in Hong Kong.

The iconic flagship of the Aqua Restaurant Group, aqua shares its glamorous DNA with other renowned Hong Kong venues such as the recent collaborations with the Giorgio Armani design empire that have created the outstanding  Armani/Aqua and Armani/Prive in Central Hong Kong.

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The stunning night harbour views from inside aqua- sitting atop the ONE PEKING building

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The bar at aqua spirit- serving the bar and lounge areas on the upper level

Towards the end of 2011, aqua re-emerged after a brief period of closure whilst undergoing an extensive transformation under the direction of globally renowned London-based interior design and architectural firm, David Collins Studio. Maintaining the essential layout and functionality of the previous design, the venue has been given an impressive  make-over, with luxurious new furnishings and decorative details creating an inspired sense of sophisticated luxury within a vibrant, contemporary space.

The updated interiors of aqua and aqua spirit feature dark blue timber floors that blend with the custom-made midnight blue leather that is utilised throughout on the sofas and chairs. Antique yellow brass is extensively used to provide contrast with the blue leather, and the dark timber panelling of the bar and lounge space.  Antique nautical style brass lamps suspend from overhead, with the exquisitely detailed chandeliers one of the signature design highlights from the David Collins Studio. The iconic aqua logo based on the ancient “ankh” symbol is deployed extensively throughout the interior, and features as the signature motif of aqua.

On the upper level, aqua spirit has been expanded with the provision of additional lounge seating areas, and the series of tall round “perching tables” that extend along the length of  the waist-height glass wall along the front of the floor space facing out over the restaurant below.

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 The “perching tables” at aqua spirit- perfect for taking in the spectacular views

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Luxurious blue leather sofa seating in the expanded lounge area of aqua spirit

In keeping with its prominent ranking amongst Hong Kong’s most celebrated chic, sophisticated nightspots, aqua spirit has created a new cocktail menu to complement its sleek new design. Created by award winning London mixologist, Manual Soro, the signature “Aqua Legend” cocktails feature sumptuous innovative concoctions.  Highlights include- “Spirit of Sin” - Zacapa rum, Fernet Branca, Crème de mure & homemade saffron bitters; and “The aqua Spritz”- Aperol, Apricot brandy, St Germain, egg white, lemon juice, Prosecco, oregano & Elderflower sorbet. The extensive cocktail menu includes large selections of Martinis; “Bubbles” cocktails; “Forgotten Classics”; Frozen & Blended; Short & Long Drinks; Shots; and Virgin Cocktails. In addition to the cocktails, selections of premium spirits, single malts ( including a  ”Luxury List”),  beers and soft drinks are available.

Supplementing the drinks menu, a selection of small dishes are offered-  Roma Spirit Bites and Tokyo Spirit Bites – featuring Italian and Japanese dishes respectively.

Music at aqua spirit is under the direction of aqua music manager Hallex M- an internationally acclaimed House Music producer and remixer. On Wednesday to Saturday nights aqua spirit’s international resident DJs perform themed after-dinner beats,  transforming into one of  Hong Kong’s hottest late-night venues for music and dancing. Feature events include guest appearances by visiting international DJs.

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 The aqua spirit bartenders preparing cocktails

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The reception area on 29th floor welcomes with a warm golden glow and luxurious brass detailing 

The menus from the two kitchens- aqua roma and aqua tokyo- have also seen the addition of new items to the previous menus. The culinary concept remains unchanged- creating a truly memorable dining experience with dishes prepared from the highest quality, freshest ingredients, by skilled and creative kitchen teams.

The aqua roma kitchen is headed up by Chef de Cuisine Marco Medaglia – the cuisine is described as “modern, adventurous Italian”. Signature dishes include Insalata di Aragosta, Gamberi e Scampi con gelatina di limone basilico- Catalana style Lobster, Scampi and Prawn Salad with Basil and Lemon Jelly; and Controfiletto di Manzo marinato al Olio extravergine sale marino e rosmarino con verdurine grigliate fiori di cappero e salsa Tonnata- Striploin with Smoked Sea Salt and Rosemary Scent with Grilled Baby Vegetable, Capers in a Tonnato sauce. The menu also features classic Italian dishes – antipasti, hand-made pastas, risottos, thin-crust pizzas, and fresh seafood and prime meat cuts.

aqua tokyo has a menu developed by Chef Tatsuya Iwahashi – featuring authentic traditional Japanese cuisine updated with a contemporary inventiveness. Highlights include the impressive selections of sushi and sashimi- flown in fresh daily from Japan and other global fisheries. Signature dishes  of note include- Mizuna, Pot Herb and Mustard Leaf Salad with Grilled Bean Curd Skin and Crispy Bacon Drizzled with a Mirin, Sake, Soy, Sesame Oil and Chili Dressing; Baked Black Cod and Taraba crab with Burdoc & Crab Sauce; and Cold Inaniwa Udon Noodles with Australian Wagyu Beef Shabu Shabu and Onsen Egg.

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The main restaurant floor of aqua- with the window front tables, and blue leather curved booths

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Close-up look at one of the luxurious dining booths

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Two of the signature design details of aqua- (l) the “fresnel lens” inspired nautical brass lamps; and  (r) the signature aqua motif- the “ankh” symbol- ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic representing eternal life

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Glass-encased private dining room at western corner of the restaurant- with custom designed chandelier

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Looking down the length of the expansive main dining floor- daytime and night-time views

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Amore Mio- Cognac, Cinar, homemade almond & Grand Marnier syrup, green tea bag, lime leaves and Grapefruit bitters, served with amaretto biscuit & a flower to nibble - from the bespoke AQUA LEGENDS cocktails

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 My Sweet Pear- Grey Goose Pear, lemon grass, Canton, Averna, lemon juice, Agave nectar with a cinnamon-sugar crust- from the bespoke AQUA LEGENDS cocktails

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Minced angel prawn, lotus root and yuba bean curd skin rolls tempura with a spicy mayonnaise- from aqua spirit “Light Bites” menu

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Yellow tail Konbu Tsuke style with avocado and ginger- from aqua spirit “Light Bites” menu

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aqua  & aqua spirit

Address: 29th & 30th F, One Peking, 1 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Kong Kong
MRT Station: TST Station Exit F-  5 minutes walk,  or TST East Station Exit L5-  50 metres walk
Reservations: +852.34272288
Website:  www.aqua.com.hk
Facebook page
Opening Hours:
Bar-Sunday to Wednesday 4:00 pm ~ 1:00 am     Thursday to Saturday  4:00 pm ~ 2:00 am
Restaurant-
Lunch    Monday to Friday  12:00 noon ~ 2:30 pm    Weekend Brunch  12:00 noon ~ 3:30 pm
Dinner   Monday to Sunday  6:00 pm ~ 11:00 pm
October 2010 asia-bars.com review