April 12th, 2012
The Upper House is an outstanding small luxury hotel that opened in Hong Kong in 2009. Conceived as an expression of refined, understated luxury, the location atop one of the towers in the prestigious Pacific Place provides a calm and quiet refuge from the urban bustle below, yet offers the convenience of immediate access to heart of the vibrant Central business district of Hong Kong. The Upper House features exceptionally large rooms ( starting at 68 sqm – reputably the largest in Hong Kong)- and with a total of only 117 rooms and suites, the intimate scale of the property ensures a highly personalised level of service.
Located within The Upper House- the Cafe Gray Deluxe– is described by the hotel as a ” 21st Century grand cafe”. The space on the 49th floor comprises the main cafe dining room, plus the adjoining Bar and Lounge- all with spectacular views over Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Island. Headed by the acclaimed Chef Gray Kunz, the kitchen at Cafe Gray Deluxe creates a contemporary European cuisine, combining classic dishes with a selection of signature dishes, reflecting Chef Kunz’s lifetime cooking experiences in fine restaurants across Europe, Asia and America. Attaining a Michelin star in its second year of operation was recognition of culinary excellence and consistency. The Bar and Lounge is a splendid example of a stylish, contemporary cocktail bar. Expert mixologists create a repertoire of uniquely crafted cocktails, certain to tantalise even the most discerning cocktail connoisseurs. With seating options at the stunning long bar counter, discrete semi-private settings, and in the separate lounge area, the Bar and Lounge at Cafe Gray Deluxe presents a sophisticated but relaxed atmosphere conducive to social engagement and after-work libations.
The Upper House is operated within the Swire Hotels group- a division of the famed local Swire Pacific conglomerate – which has diverse operations in Hong Kong extending from property, to aviation( Cathay Pacific) and shipping.
The impressive entrance passage and reception at Cafe Gray Deluxe
The dining room at Cafe Gray Deluxe
The design of The Upper House- and Cafe Gray Deluxe– was the work of highly regarded Hong Kong architect Andre Fu. Briefed to create a small luxury hotel that would exude the essence of a private residence – within the upper floors of a prestigious high-rise tower- the result is a serenely elegant interior of understated luxury. Meticulous attention to detail is evident throughout- and the spacious interiors are complimented by an extensive collection of Asian artworks and sculptures.
The design of the Bar and Lounge is highlighted by the featured long bar counter- extending from the entrance at over 14 metres in length- it asserts the serious clout of an eminently stylish hotel bar. The bar counter is topped with white travertine, and comfortable leather and dark timber high chairs line the bar front. The long narrow space overlooks the harbour and cityscape below through full height glass panes- with a series of semi-private alcove spaces positioned along the window frontage. At the far end of the bar, behind a curving, wave shaped timber slatted screen is the Lounge space. The sleek lounge features high ceilings, modern furnishing of plush leather arm chairs and lounges, a long curving dark grey leather banquette, and dark timber tables.
The Bar counter with Lounge area at far end of the bar
Semi-private window alcove spaces extend opposite the bar counter
The sleek Lounge section located beyond the end of the bar
The Drinks Menu is headlined by the impressive selection of unique and classic cocktails. Superbly crafted by in-house mixologists, the cocktails are based on the finest premium spirits and fresh tropical fruit ingredients. A number of the ultra-premium spirits can only be found in Hong Kong at Cafe Gray Deluxe. Cocktails are grouped into several categories- the signature creations termed ” DELUXE COCKTAILS” include SOUL HAPPINESS- Copa Imperial Organic tequila, watermelon, lemon, orange bitters; and UPPER-SOUTHSIDE- Hendricks gin, lime, mint, cucumber. The “CLASSIC CAFE” cocktails feature the ZOMBIE- featuring 5 Rums, grapefruit, grenadine, absinthe, falernum, lime, Maraschino- such is the potency that strictly one Zombie per person per night is the prescription.
Oriental themed cocktails are presented in the “CANTON COUTURE COCKTAILS”- HONG KONG HIGHBALL- Belvedere Raspberry vodka, ginger, honey, lemon, cassis, Pomegranate, Champagne; LYCHEE- Shanghai White vodka, grapefruit, lychee, lemon bitters; and HONG KONG FUEY- Four white spirits, Midori, Green Chartreuse, lemon, lime, champagne.
Other beverages offered include a concise range of wines and NV champagnes by the glass, complimented by an extensive wine list. A wide selection of premium and ultra-premium spirits are showcased in shelving behind the bar.
Gourmet bar snacks are available in the evenings- including classic bar bites such as FISH & CHIPS; COLD CUTS; CAFE GRAY CHEESE BOARD; and SEASONAL OYSTERS, LOBSTER CLAW & SHRIMPS.
A solid brass press creates spherical ice balls from hand cut cubes of ice
Deleon Tequila, Gosling’s Old Rum & Jose Cuervo Platino Tequila- all available exclusively in Hong Kong at Cafe Gray Deluxe- served straight-up with large, single ice-ball
Pineapple & Thyme Martini- Ketel One Citron Vodka, pineapple, lemon, thyme- from the “DELUXE COCKTAIL” selections
Grapefruit Julep- Belvedere Grapefruit Vodka, grapefruit, lime, honey, grenadine, mint – from the “DELUXE COCKTAIL” selections
The Martini- Shanghai White Vodka or London No 1 Gin, vermouth, garnished with single olive- from the CLASSIC CAFE selection
Green Fairy- Lucid Absinthe, water, sugar. Pouring iced water over sugar cube- from the CLASSIC CAFE selection
Green Fairy- Lucid Absinthe, water, sugar
After Dark- Hennessy VSOP, Benedictine, bitters, maple syrup, Felchlin chocolate chunks – from the “DELUXE COCKTAIL” selections
See also 2015 update article
Cafe Gray Deluxe- Bar Lounge at The Upper House, Hong Kong
Address: Level 49, The Upper House, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway. Hong Kong
MTR: Admiralty station – 3 minutes walk
Reservations: +852. 3968 1106
Bar & Lounge: Daily 11:00 am ~ 01:00 am
Breakfast: 6:30 am ~ 10:30 am
Lunch: 12:00 noon ~ 2:30 pm Sunday Brunch: 12:00 noon ~ 3:00 pm
Afternoon Tea: 3:30 pm ~ 5:30 pm
Early Dinner: 6:00 pm ~ 7:30 pm
Dinner: 6:00 pm ~ 10:30 pm