The vibe: Ophelia is the much anticipated first Hong Kong venture by Ashley Sutton, the man behind some of Bangkok’s hottest hang outs and known for his unique concept bars. Money, time and effort have clearly been lavished on Ophelia, where the themes are peacocks and the exotic East (for those who like that kind of thing, there’s a back story about a bird collector called Mr Wong and a Javanese peacock called Ophelia).
Interior of Ophelia.
Colours are muted greens and blues, with peacock feather motifs, beaded curtains, giant birdcages and swings on which patrons can pose for pictures. Opulent and lush, the dimly lit, plushly furnished rooms feel as if you’ve strayed into in an exotic house of ill repute circa 1900.
The drinks: coyly entitled Ophelia’s Cabinet of Curiosities, the signature cocktail list features drinks with whimsical names accompanied by daffy quotes. The drinks sounded intriguing – on paper. A good cocktail should be more than the sum of its parts and none of the ones we tried came close to passing that test.
Jewelled Wing “Her dream came upon it” (HK$135, Ketel One vodka, lychee cordial, house infused sake, ylang-ylang mist) was sweet and smelt of ylang-ylang but had no depth or balance. Cheongasm “Her dress caused quite the commotion” (HK$130, tequila reposado, pomegranate cordial, red vermouth, lemon, lime, cinnamon mist) was equally one-dimensional. A small portion of liquor at the bottom of a mountain of ice, it was thin, medicinal and not remotely orgasmic.
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner “On the Wing of the Albatross” (HK$165, El Dorado 8, Blackwell Jamaican, Bacardi 151, grapefruit, Drunken Passion Fruit Spoon, lime, thyme syrup), was helped by a request for less ice (complied with despite the waiter’s huffy warning that it was a “strong” drink). Strong, it was – all you could taste was rum. It would have been better if the half passion fruit floating on top had been mixed in.
The verdict: fantasy fulfilment or pretentious and overpriced – it’s all a matter of taste and Ophelia is certainly packing in punters eager for the Ashley Sutton experience. It seems the no-smoking laws don’t apply in Ophelia-land, judging by the ashtrays on the tables and the number of people smoking.
#RobertReviewFoodAndBeverage (Ophelia Bar, Wanchai, Hong Kong): 8 | 10
Biodata of Robert Chaen
Founder of Robren Mega EMall, Robren Services, ChangeU, CEO-Celebrity Whisperer, Asia’s #1 Change Expert, and the Father of Asian FireWalking
Robert Chaen is an International Keynote Speaker, writer, researcher, and change expert. He is famously known as the "CEO-Celebrity Whisperer”. Through 1-on-1 coaching, CEOs & celebrities whisper their issues and secrets to Robert, and Robert whispers back the best success secrets about business strategies, change tools, office politics & staff issues, and personal branding.
He has transformed CEOs and managers in Coca-Cola China, TVB Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airport Services, VADS, TM, Public Bank, , 300+ MSC CEOs in S.E. Asia's Silicon Valley, etc.
He is the EKing of EMalls, the Founder of Robren Mega EMall, the World’s First Parallel Universe EMall Chian, with 100 City Mega EMalls opening in 2021-2023 (fb.com/MegaEMalls).
He is widely considered as one of the top International Platform Keynote Speakers for Resorts World Genting Senior Management Conference (Manila), 7-Eleven HK, Samsung, Coca-Cola China Mini-MBA @Tsing Hua University, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Jockey Club. He has interviewed PM Tun Dr Mahathir, Datuk Kamarudin (Chairman of AirAsia), Siti Nurhaliza, and other CEOs, Entrepreneurs and Influencers.
He has been widely featured in TVB, AWSJ, CNBC, SCMP, The Star, and Sin Chew. As “The Father of Asian FireWalking”, he coached TVB celebrities (Ekin Cheng Yee-Kin) to walk on 650°C fire; and raised HK$68M in the world’s 1st and only live TV Charity FireWalk (TVB Tung Wah Charity Show). If Robert can coach you to walk on 650⁰C fire, he can inspire you to be the best.
Originally based in Hong Kong for 20+ years, he had worked with top Branding/Ad agencies at J Walter Thompson and Leo Burnett, and was a certified FranklinCovey (7 Habits) in USA, and NLP MasterCoach (USA). His warmth is known to soften the most hardened, resistant skeptics.
Due to an ongoing paranormal encounter of the Angelic kind, he has been an Angel Whisperer 25 minutes before his late wife Brenda José crossed over on 23rd December 2013. Since then she has been sending him countless afterlife signs and he has written many articles and an EBook on his whisperings about The Afterlife and beyond from Angel Brenda.
Updated: 2nd August 2020.