by Eelee Soo
Have it all in
After a good eight years,I revisited Hong Kong and was certainly blown away by it's vibrancy. While many have commented that Singapore and Hong Kong have many things in common - geographic, land scarcity and strong economy etc. -, I believe there is still an authenticity in Hong Kong's culture that remains it's own.
This trip, I had a chance to catch up with old friends, meet new ones and find out their favourite hangouts. With such a hospitable and warm presence, it is no wonder so many expatriates are finding all means and ways to be a part of this bustling city that embraces diversity at it's very core.
It's all about the food...
Fine Dining – SPOON by Alain Ducasse
Hong Kong is neither short of millionaires nor Michelin-Starred restaurants. During our short trip, we managed to check out 1-Michelin Star SPOON by Alain Ducasse, one of the world’s most raved about chefs.
Despite the spectacular view overlooking the Victoria Harbour, the restaurant remains sophisticated yet unpretentious, which is essentially important to diners like myself. The brunch menu placed a strong emphasis on the traditions of the French culture, built with the foundation of Hong Kong’s local ingredients. Adorned with the likes of truffle eggs, sous vide fish, roast beef, a selection of cheese and a fantastic wine pairing, there was little to complain about. What surprised me the most was the selection of desserts. The variety and intricacy of each pastry instantly brings one back to Paris. It was that stunning.
InterContinental Hong Kong
18 Salisbury Road
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Nearest station: Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel: +852 2313 2323
Local Favourites – Australia Dairy Company and Sing Heung Yuen
Not just a favourite amongst the locals, tourists too can vouch for the hype at Australia Dairy Company. Similar to many Cha Chaan Teng in Hong Kong, this establishment is simply fuss-free. Expect minimal service and a very simple menu, of which, the scrambled eggs and the steam milk are a must. The eggs are fluffy and flavourful, while the smoothness of the steam milk basically sums up your experience here at this local joint.
While the Australia Dairy Co. is great for breakfast and lunch, Sing Heung Yuen is my personal favourite for a hangover remedy, taking into consideration its proximity to Lan Kwai Fung. This open-air food stall is as simple as its famous Nissin noodles in tomato broth. While it may sound effortless, the humble dish is rich in flavour and has tomatoes that are so soft it almost feels like it can melt in your mouth. While there are many different combinations to choose from, sausage, egg and pork cubes remain one of my favourites. Want to make sure you get rid of the hangover? Finish off with salty lemon sprite, a local recommendation to get rid of “heat” and sore throats.
Australia Dairy Company 澳洲牛奶公司
G/F, 47-49 Parkes Street, Jordan, Hong Kong (MTR Jordan Exit C2)
Opening Hours: 7:30am – 11:00pm (Closed Thursdays)
Nearest station: Jordon
勝香園 Sing Heung Yuen
2 Mei Lun Street, Central
Mon-Sat: 08:00-17:30; Sun: Closed
Nearest station: Sheung Wan / Central
Like a melting pot, Hong Kong's F&B scene is bustling with new restaurants, concepts and fantastic food. Here are some of our favourites!
Best Coffee – The Cupping Room
Shop LG/F, 299 Queen's Road Central, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
+852 2799 3398
Best Late Night Snack - 27 Kebab House Turkish Restaurant
Shop D-E, G/F, 27 Hollywood Road, Soho, Central
+852 2795 2727
Best Ice Cream – Emack & Bolio’s
26 Cochrane Street, Central District, Hong Kong
+852 2505 6626
Best Fusion – Kikusan
Shop B13-16, Landmark Men, B/F, Landmark Atrium
+852 2521 3344
Best Ramen – Ichiran
Shop F-I, G/F, Lockhart House, Block A, 440 Jaffe Road, Causeway Bay
+852 2152 4040
Best Chinese – Hung’s Delicacies
Shop A, G/F EGL Tower, 83 Hung To Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon , Hong KOng
+852 3107 4111
Watering holes . . .
Clubbing City – Dragon - i and Drop
Hong Kong has always been known for her vibrant party scene. From exclusive members only clubs to secret underground ones, Hong Kong seems to have managed them all pretty well.
One of the most exclusive clubs in Hong Kong would be the Dragon-i. From models to the wealthy rich business men, it is definitely not an easy task getting access to this club, not even on a weekday. But if you somehow manage to get in, you can be rest assured that you will be having a blast of a night. Dark, chic and heavily Chinese influenced, the place is definitely a place you want to dress and impress cause you never know who you will be bumping into there.
Another of my longtime favourite is Drop. This quaint little underground club is a great place to let loose with good music and a few drinks. Though small, the club features small pockets of floor space for you to rock and dance the night away. So if you are into anything from nu-jazz to garage or classic house, be sure to pop by!
Dragon - i
UG/F, The Centrium, 60 Wyndham St, Hong Kong
Opening Hours: 5:00pm – 04:00am
Nearest station: Central
B/F, On Lok Mansion, 39-43 Hollywood Road, Central
Opening Hours: 9:00pm – 06:00am
Nearest station: Central
Drunk by cocktails – The Woods and Le Boudoir
As proven by numerous successful cocktail bars including Bar Stories and 28 HK Street, Singaporeans are big on cocktails. Just when I thought Hong Kong's cocktails will be on par at best, the cocktail scene had me absolutely blown away.
Visit The Woods, a stylish underground cocktail bar, for a truly intoxicating journey of food-inspired drinks that are both innovative and delicious. The bar features a variety of liquors, some which are pretty rare, to bring out the flavours of the season's freshest ingredients. The menu is quirky and fun with "set meals" featuring cocktails instead of food.
My absolute favourite cocktail in Hong Kong can be found at Le Boudoir. This delightfully conceived cocktail bar instantly transports you to a 18th century French palatial residence. Despite the ambience of nostalgia, the menu is in fact very experimental and full of surprises. Expect some unique French ingredients, exotic Thai red chillies and fresh spices you never thought would go so well in a cocktail. Trust me, I had 8 cocktails and couldn't find a single problem with any of them.
L/G, 17-19 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong
Mon - Sat: 6:00pm – 02:00am
Nearest station: Central
B/F, 65 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong
Mon - Sat: 6:00pm – 03:00am
Nearest station: Central
Hike away . . .
With all the eating and drinking, there's bound to be consequences. In this case, weight gain.
Fret not. Hong Kong is full of great views that are perfect for a morning walk or after lunch stroll. With our local friends, we've decided to conquer Mount Cameron at Wan Chai Gap on this trip. Do not be intimidated by the name, from what we know, this is one of the easier hiking trails in Hong Kong. We were also told that this route is frequented by many HK celebrities! The entire trail takes between 2 to 3 hours depending on your pace. At the peak, you will enjoy the magnificent view of Ocean Park, as well as the homes of the many rich and famous in Hong Kong.
Also worth checking out would be Stanley Beach and Repulse Bay. While Hong Kong may not boast of the best beaches, it’s no doubt a good spot for a breath of fresh air, away from the bustling city rush. The two locations have a somewhat European vibe to it and are great for café hopping and sunset watching with a beer in hand!