Best Places in Hong Kong for Tinder First Dates
Tinder changed the game – and blind dates now are a very different affair to, say, what our parents’ generation was used to. Tinder first dates can be nerve-wracking at the best of times – you want to impress your date, have a good time and on top of that, make sure you’re in a space where you can make a swift exit if need be. With our suggestions below, though, hopefully that won’t happen!
For a fun, laidback and unpretentious spot, check out Spanish eatery La Paloma. The restaurant serves dishes good for sharing – and what better way to get to know your date over some crispy croquettes, tortilla omelets and bikini sandwiches, and meaty mains like the signature pigeon, or a perfectly roasted suckling pig?
189 Queen’s Road West, Sai Ying Pun, (852) 2291 6161
Perfect “Escape the Date” Routes: The Sai Ying Pun MTR is just 1 block away!
On Dining Kitchen & Lounge
One-Michelin-starred On Dining Kitchen & Lounge might be a fine dining spot, but that doesn’t mean it’s stuffy or boring. To impress your date, grab a seat bar side. Get cosy with some bubbly, cold cuts, and cheese platters. The vibe is a fun, casual one – a great setting to eradicate any nerves. Tip: get a coveted table on the terrace if you can – the bar boasts the Central skyline from a unique angle.
29/F, 18 On Lan Street, Central, (852) 2174 8100
Perfect “Escape the Date” Routes: You’re in LKF! So even if you’re date’s a pass, you’ve at least 100+ other people to swipe right within a 25-feed radius!
We love Quinary, the OG of molecular cocktails in the city. The watering hole has a sexy, yet sophisticated vibe, and its famed earl grey martini and super-moreish truffle fries also make for good conversation starters. You’re also just a stone’s throw away from some great dining options, should you decide to extend the evening.
56-58 Hollywood Road, Central, (852) 2851 3223
Perfect “Escape the Date” Routes: Who needs Uber? There’s a cab every 30 seconds right outside the bar’s doorstep!
Ham & Sherry
Ship Street mainstay Ham & Sherry does what it says on the tin. Expect some top-notch tapas dishes great for sharing, in an intimate space where you don’t have to yell over loud music just to hear each other. After dinner, head to Ham & Sherry’s not-so-secret Back Bar for a nightcap – here you’ll find creative cocktails in a speakeasy-like setting.
1-7 Ship Street, Wan Chai, (852) 2555 0628
Perfect “Escape the Date” Routes: The back bar speaks for itself. Take the date here, and let them mingle while you slowly contemplate how you let someone convince you to go to dinner in Wan Chai!
On any given night, hidden whisky bar Stockton brings something different to the table. Expect a glamorous crowd, live DJ beats on weekends, and always, a classy, yet hipster vibe in this Wyndham Street favourite. Decked out like a gentlemen’s club from the late 1800s, this place is made for whispering sweet nothings into your date’s ear. Even if you’re not a whisky fan, there’s an extensive selection of G&Ts, plus gourmet bites
32 Wyndham Street, Central, (852) 2565 5268
Perfect “Escape the Date” Routes: If your date’s idea of “whispering sweet nothings” is raving about their current Pokemon Go level, Get.Out.Fast! And don’t worry, there’s a taxi queue just across the street at the Fringe club ;-)
Morton’s The Steakhouse
It’s reasonable to assume you wouldn’t want to drop all that cash at Morton’s the Steakhouse on a Tinder first date – that’s where its bar comes in handy. Tuck into bar bites like four petite filet mignon sandwiches and Short Rib Steak Tacos, and signature “mortinis”, which use gin, vodka, prosecco and just about everything in between to create twists of the classic cocktail. Did we mention that there’s an unbeatable view of the Victoria Harbour? Steak sandwiches and cocktails with a view – that’s a recipe for romance if we ever knew one!
4/F, Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel & Towers, 20 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, (852) 2732 2343
Perfect “Escape the Date” Routes: Say these magic words to your date in Cantonese: Lei Cheng! (Literally: You Pay!), if they say “ummm can we go dutch?”, you’ve just dodged a bullet. Somehow, that Thai shop across from your house doesn’t look too bad for dinner at home, does it?
Can’t handle your liquor? Don’t want to make a fool out of yourself on a Tinder date? Topiary is your answer. The bar specialises in “shim” cocktails – basically drinks that have a lower alcohol content than usual. Fear not, though – less booze doesn’t mean less flavour. There’s a classy decor here, complete with an outdoor terrace adorned with trimmed shrubs, a nod to the bar’s name. This upstairs joint is a snazzy, yet relaxed space to get to know your date.
3/F, Hilltop Plaza, 49-51 Hollywood Road, Central, (852) 2866 6485
Perfect “Escape the Date” Routes: Pour down a few of those “shim” drinks and start pretending to slur your words. Then when you feel like you look “drunk enough”, excuse yourself home. Bonus points goes to the person who manages to fall out their chair! #Commitment
Andrea Lo is a freelance journalist and translator based in Hong Kong. After cutting her teeth in the industry as a staff writer at a lifestyle magazine, she embraced the freelance life in 2015 and hasn’t looked back. She spends her time exploring the best of Hong Kong’s dining and nightlife scene, trialling new fitness trends, and travelling to exotic locales – all in the name of “research”.