The vibe: Bobby’s Rabble is a snug hole-in-the-wall bar in the cul-de-sac section of Peel Street between Hollywood Road and Staunton Street. Like the street itself, it’s named after 19th century statesman Robert Peel, founder of the British police (hence “bobby” as slang for policeman). The small space is packed with people relaxing after work – judging by the photos on the walls it has plenty of regulars – and there’s a party atmosphere. There’s standing room only unless you’re lucky enough to snag one of the few bar stools. Although this stretch of Peel Street is pedestrian-only, drinkers tend to stay inside. The precarious stone steps leading to the bar and the steep slope of the street itself (two passers-by tripped and fell while we were there) could make outdoor drinking risky, especially if you’ve already had a few.
The drinks: oddly, while craft beers are the focus, there’s only one beer on draft – the pleasant, if not exceptional Czech Pilsner Urquell. However, there’s a good selection by the bottle, with the emphasis on Hong Kong breweries, and we sampled a couple from Moonzen Brewery. The Thunder God pale ale was fruity and yeasty, the Jade Emperor IPA complex, bursting with hops and, at 7 per cent alcohol, of truly imperial strength.
There’s no signature cocktail list, but the bartender will mix you anything you want. The margarita was a little on the sour side but the classic lime daiquiri was nicely balanced and pleasantly potent. All the drinks – beers and cocktails – were HK$50 each, which is outstanding value for SoHo.
The verdict: cheerful and friendly, this is a good, no-frills bar for a few drinks after work. Just be careful going down that slope.
Bobby’s Rabble, 57 Peel Street, SoHo, tel: 9160 6207. Open: Monday to Saturday 5pm to midnight