By Johannes Pong http://online.wsj.com
The world’s highest restaurant may still be at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, but in the new Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, Ozone takes the title of the world’s highest bar. It sits on the rooftop—the 118th floor—of the International Commerce Centre in Kowloon at a height of 488 meters.
From the hotel’s expansive 103rd-floor lobby, a dark, narrow elevator upholstered in black leather takes you up to the top floor, where the swanky lounge appears dramatically in front of your eyes. It’s a 10,000-square-foot space with an unrestrained view of Victoria Harbour, the stunning skyline of Hong Kong Island and the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront in Kowloon.
There are wraparound bars of geometric shapes and open tables to sit at while trying bites of chef de cuisine Bryan Chin’s pretty Asian-style tapas from the open kitchen and sushi bar. The cold and hot Asian tapas menus include bites such as crispy calamari (65 Hong Kong dollars, or about US$8), dungeness crab fritter (HK$75) and a dish called “yellowtail jalapeno” (HK$105), which comes with papaya relish, kaffir lime and cilantro. Try one of the bar’s signature cocktails, like Senses—Hennessy V.S.O.P. cognac with fresh orange juice, cranberry, a splash of Chambord, Monin vanilla syrup and crushed blackberries (HK$95).
Two DJs run the music on alternate days of the week—Helen Ting and Mr. Sit—playing funky house, nu-jazz and ’70s soul.
But the draw is the scintillating night vista from the outdoor balcony. Ozone owns the most impressive panorama of Hong Kong in town and wind streaming in from its alfresco area act as natural air conditioning. It will be chilly even in the summer at that altitude, so bring a jacket or a shawl for warmth, and mind the bar’s casual-chic dress code.
Ozone is open for lunch and dinner during the week, and opens at 5 p.m. on weekends. Reserve in advance, especially if you want the corner couches on the balcony with the million-dollar view.
Ozone, the Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong; ICC, 1 Austin Rd. West, Kowloon. Tel: 852-2263-2010