If you thought the fire-breathing burlesque dancers and thrilling circus acts at the peacock-inspired nightlife spot Ophelia were wild, you haven’t seen anything yet. Officially soft opened this past weekend, renowned Bangkok-based designer Ashley Sutton has joined forces with local hospitality group Dining Concepts once again to shake up Hong Kong’s nightlife scene with another elaborately designed concept — this time inspired by Japan’s eclectic, underground nightlife scene.
The fourth collaboration between Sutton and Dining Concepts (following Ophelia, boutique speakeasy J.Boroski and the fairytale-like Iron Fairies), Yojimbo — named after the classic 1961 samurai movie — seems to have all the right ingredients to become Hong Kong’s next big nightlife destination, with avant-garde performances, international DJ sets and a cool Japanese-inspired cocktail programme. Having designed several clubs in Japan, Sutton is taking inspiration from the stylish underground bars of Tokyo’s Ginza district for this latest concept; with the designer extraordinaire’s exquisite attention to detail and whimsical imagination, we can only imagine what he has in store.
“Japan has some of the most sophisticated, vibrant and outrageous nightlife in the world,” says Sutton. “I particularly love Ginza, which is home to hundreds of incredible bars, each with their own weird and wonderful design elements.”
Similar to Ophelia, Yojimbo unfolds itself more and more as you wander deeper you into the club. Stepping through the doors, guests will first find themselves in an intimate cocktail lounge, where Japanese-inspired cocktails will be on offer from Head Bartender Alberto Aldave, who previously worked at The Rivoli Bar at The Ritz London. In addition to a premium selection of Japanese whiskies, guests can sip on top-notch tipples such as the Yojimbo, a refreshing mix of sake, gin, yuzu juice, grapefruit bitters and Champagne decorated with edible flowers; Geisha’s Aphrodisiac, a fruity blend of calvados, Grand Marnier, peach purée, lemon, vanilla, grenadine and red currant; and Ninja Shadow, a sweet and savoury concoction of caviar-infused Belvedere vodka, lemon, white port, elderflower and plum bitters.
As for the music, guests can expect a mix of hip-hop, trap, booty breaks, dancehall and electro-rock from international DJ Aaron James. The soundtrack will be powered by top-of-the-line equipment: a six-speaker system delivering 24 kilowatts of power, as well as Hong Kong’s first state-of-the-art Model One Mixer. As the night progresses, the space will be lit up by an enormous Rising Sun-inspired LED light installation, meaning like it or not — you’ll be partying until the sun comes up at this Japanese-inspired fantasyland.