Good times, Hong Kong-style: Music, beer and Yakult
Like a matador who gracefully sidesteps an angry bull's charge, Phonograph manages to avoid all of the worst things about the Tsim Sha Tsui bar scene.
This tiny Austin Avenue space, with its open front and dark, loungy interior, is neither hairsplittingly slick nor a boozy dive. Instead, it's relaxed, with a crowd of musicians and other creative types who enjoy the low-key atmosphere and the indie tunes pumped through the bar's sound system (last time we visited, it was twangy Japanese folk-rock.)
Three solid beers -- Hoegaarden, Tetley's and Tsingtao -- are available on tap, but the menu's real focus trains on its wide range of reasonably priced, if inordinately sweet, cocktails. Hong Kongers particularly love the long list of cocktails made with their favorite pro-biotic drink, Yakult -- it tastes healthy, but can make you a drunken idiot just the same.