J.Boroski is the Hong Kong outpost of a popular Bangkok cocktail bar by the same name, with both interiors designed by Aussie Ashley Sutton (of Iron Fairies Bangkok and Ophelia Hong Kong fame).
Despite only opening a few years ago, the cocktails at the Bangkok bar are said to be world class – so how does HK version stack up?
J.Boroski Hong Kong operates on an invitation-only basis, and whilst that might initially seem a bit wanky, it's purely to ensure there's room enough for guests so everyone can be looked after.
Tucked away in a lane off Central, the bar itself is a small, intimate space, and they want to ensure every customer gets the appropriate amount of attention (invitations can be requested by emailing [email protected]).
Just finding the bar was a challenge - the directions were something like "Go down a little laneway, look for the graffiti, go down the hallway, through the door at the end, turn right."
The first thing that strikes you is just how simultaneously exquisite and refined the space is.
It's unique – after all, how many other bars have their walls and ceiling adorned with life-size rhino-beetle tiles?
... but it works brilliantly when coupled with the warm wooden furnishings and comfortable suede chairs.
One look at the backbar – an eclectic mix of American and Scottish whiskies, gins, rums, tequilas, Mezcals, and more infusions and home-made syrups than you can imagine – and you can tell this is a serious cocktail bar.
You might reasonably expect they'd have a pretty incredible cocktail menu too, but you'd be wrong... the bar eschews menus in favour of the bartenders discussing flavours and preferences with customers, and creating a drink to suit.
We love bars that back themselves enough to throw away the menu, and it's done brilliantly at J.Boroski.
Feeling in the mood for something similar to a Negroni to kick things off, our bartender Nathan Tse (previously of Bitters & Sweets) suggested a variation made using a Thai gin.
Slightly smoky, bitter and perfectly balanced, it hit the mark wonderfully - a theme that continued with every drink we tried.
On a later visit our group requested a mix of 'classics' and 'classics with twists'. From the smoked Manhattan-style drink with coffee-infused Bourbon, to a crisp, sharp classic daiquiri, every single drink was spot on.
The team here might be new, but they're already matching the best Hong Kong has to offer.
Drink prices are on par with any other high-end cocktail bar in Hong Kong: expect cocktails to be around HK$150 (A$25) depending on the base spirit.
Considering the thought and effort that goes into each one, not to mention the fantastic end result, and the personalised service, it's a fair proposition.
If you're a fan of cocktails, I highly recommend making a booking and getting yourself down to J.Boroski sooner rather than later. You won't be disappointed, in fact you'll probably be blown away.