Meet John Ma, FCC Bar Manager
With more than 30 years of bartending experience, John Ma makes you feel right at home at the FCC.
Tell us about your career!
John Ma: My first bartending job was about 30 years ago. I worked at a really local bar in Tsim Sha Tsui, where I learned how to make classic cocktails like gin and tonics, martinis, Negronis, and boulevardiers.
When did you join the FCC?
JM: A long time ago, in 1992. I almost always work the late shift – and I love it. I actually left the FCC for about two years to go work at a yacht club, but it wasn’t for me. It was too quiet, too calm, too empty… I really missed the FCC atmosphere and all of the members.
How has the FCC changed over time?
JM: We have seen many members come and go. Staff, too. It changes all the time, but I love meeting and talking with our new members. Often, we become very good friends. Of course, when members move away, it can be hard – I really miss them.
What do you love so much about the FCC bar?
JM: The bar is an important place for the community, for friends, for relaxing. I love the energy here – it is a special place.
What’s new at the bar?
JM: We are always working on new cocktails, experimenting with techniques, and adding wines and beers to the menu. We just bought a smoking machine, which we’re using to create new cocktails downstairs at Bert’s. We also introduced beautiful rocks to serve with our premium Scotch and whisky.
So which drinks should we try on our next visit?
JM: Our new smoky cocktails downstairs! For wine drinkers, our House Champagne is well-balanced and delicious. I would also suggest our Headline beer, an FCC signature. And for a cocktail, I’d say our espresso martini. That’s a good choice if you need extra energy after a long week.
What’s your go-to drink on a night off?
JM: A classic gin martini with a lemon twist – it is very elegant and refreshing. In general, I am obsessed with gin. My favourite type is Bombay, because it has a distinct aroma of spice and citrus.
What’s a fun fact about you?
JM: My first job was as a barber. I still have all of my tools. But don’t ask me for a haircut now! It has been way too long… I really loved working with hair, but it was too hard on my hands. That’s when I became a bartender. It was a perfect fit: Just like being a barber, I get to make new friends, create new things, and make people happy.