Tag Archives: Hong Kong

Chinese Guan Vase

Ancient Chinese vase set to fetch $7 million in Hong Kong

Chinese Guan Vase

A simple Chinese vase made over 800 years ago and unveiled in Hong Kong Monday is expected to fetch HK$60 million ($7.7 million) when it goes under the hammer next month, Sotheby’s said.

The plain octagonal piece, tinted a milky blue, was created during the Southern Song Dynasty and is just 20 centimetres (eight inches) tall.

Guan Vase Southern Song Dynasty

Despite its simplicity it represents the most coveted art of the period, Sotheby’s said, since it is part of a rare collection crafted for the imperial court, known as “guan yao” or “official ware”.

The vase is from the same collection as a Chinese porcelain bowl which fetched nearly $27 million at a Sotheby’s sale in April 2012 (below). That price was a record for Song Dynasty ceramics.

Imperial Chinese bowl

The Southern Song Dynasty vase is part of Sotheby’s Hong Kong Chinese Works of Art spring sale, which starts on April 7.

Martell 300th Anniversary Pop-up Space

Martell launches “Premier Voyage” in Hong Kong

Martell 300th Anniversary Pop-up Space

The House of  has launched a pop-up space at Hong Kong International Airport (T1) in celebration of its 300th anniversary.

From now until end February 2015, the Cognac house is offering discerning travellers a multi-sensory introduction to the French ‘Art de Vivre’ through the arts of craftsmanship, gastronomy and tasting.

Martell Pop-up Space at HKIA

Martell came into being in a golden era of French history towards the end of the reign of Louis XIV, a period which saw the blossoming of French literature, arts, crafts, philosophy and gastronomy.

Martell Pop-up Space

The pop-up space celebrates this rich heritage with tastings of the refined Martell Chanteloup cognac combined with delicious foie gras, personalised Chinese calligraphy and cognac-sprayed wooden olfactory mementos.

cognac-sprayed wooden olfactory mementos

At the heart of the display, which features evocative items such as vintage-style demi-johns, ‘montres’ bottles, books and other authentic items from the Martell archives, sits the Martell Premier Voyage.

This precious gem is made from 18 eaux-de-vie ranging from 1977 to 1868 aged in 300-year-old oak casks and enclosed in its own specially-commissioned artwork French artist, Bernar Venet.

 Martell Premier Voyage

Two other very rare 300th anniversary limited-edition Cognacs are also available for purchase: the Martell XO 300th Anniversary Limited Edition (70cl) and the Martell XO 300th Anniversary Limited Edition (70cl & 10cl).

Martell XO 300th Anniversary Limited Edition

Tastings of Martell Chanteloup will take place between 10am and 7pm, while pairings with Rougie’s Foie Gras will be available from 11.30am to 1.30pm and 6pm to 8pm.

Foie Gras tasting

Renowned calligrapher Cathy Ho will also be on hand in the afternoon to create personalised bags and bookmarks for customers as a keepsake.

calligrapher Cathy Ho

A perfume workshop will offer travellers a wooden stick sprayed with Martell Cognac as another souvenir.

Vicky Lau

Hong Kong’s Vicky Lau is Asia’s best female chef

Vicky Lau

Hong Kong chef Vicky Lau has been named the best female chef in Asia for creating a menu of ‘edible stories’ at her French-Asian restaurant.

Lau has taken the title of Veuve Clicquot Asia’s Best Female Chef 2015 for her cuisine at the Michelin-starred Tate Dining Room and Bar, an intimate 26-seat restaurant that plays with flavors, textures and colors to create a multi-course dining narrative.

Lau’s background as a graphic designer and artist manifests itself in her cuisine and culinary concept.

Menus are created thematically, written to tell an ‘edible story’ with dishes verging on the playful, philosophical and cerebral.

Tate Winter Menu

The latest ‘Sensualist’ winter menu, for instance, starts with a plate of ‘Winter Sea,’ with black truffle scallop espuma, crab meat, yuzu gelee, jelly fish and caviar.

To convey the wintry peaks of Mont Blanc, Lau assembles a plate of roasted chestnut veloute, pork belly, wild boar ragout and black pepper tart shell.

Tate Winter Menu 2014

“This award rewards her skill, imagination and artistry, and recognises the originality and verve that Vicky brings to Asia’s dining scene,” said editor William Drew, of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Watch Lau explain one of her culinary odes to Belgian surrealist artist Rene Magritte, a green candy apple made with blown sugar and orange

Tibetan tapestry

Tibetan tapestry fetches record $45 million in Hong Kong

Tibetan tapestry

An ancient Tibetan silk tapestry has set a world record for Chinese art after it was sold for $45 million at a Christie’s auction in Hong Kong.

The 600-year-old artwork, called a thangka and embroidered in vivid hues of red and gold, was bought by Liu Yiqian on Wednesday and will be displayed at his new museum in Shanghai, the auction house said.

The sale broke the world record for any Chinese work of art sold by an international auction house.


The piece — which depicts the meditational diety Raktayamari, known as the Red Conqueror of Death, standing stride a buffalo — was created during the Ming dynasty between 1402 and 1424.

It is one of a set of three thangkas from the Jokhang Monastery in the Tibetan capital Lhasa, according to Christie’s.

In April, Liu bought a Ming Dynasty wine cup which broke the world auction record for Chinese porcelain in Hong Kong for $36.05 million.

Meiyintang Chenghua Chicken Cup

A taxi driver-turned-financier now aged 50, Liu is one of China’s wealthiest men and among the country’s new class of super-rich scouring the globe for artwork. He is worth an estimated $1.6 billion.

Pradasphere Hong Kong

Pradasphere exhibit to arrive in Hong Kong tomorrow

Pradasphere Hong Kong

The Italian brand’s fashion exhibition, which was hosted by Harrods earlier this year, will arrive in Hong Kong next month.

The Pradasphere event, a brand experience exploring the PRADA universe, is set to launch November 18 and will be free to the public.

Situated on top of Central Ferry Pier 4 on the city’s harbor overlooking Kowloon, the custom-built structure will cover the entire roof of the pier, with the exhibition running until December 5.

Pradasphere Key pieces

Inside, visitors will be able to examine 60 complete looks from the last 30 years of the brand’s collections, with extra focus on bags, shoes and materials, alongside rarely-exhibited artefacts.

There will also be an archive of collections with images and videos created in collaboration with auteurs like Roman Polanski and Wes Anderson, Ridley Scott and Yang Fudong, and Pradasphere will show off architectural collaborations with Rem Koolhaas and Herzog & de Meuron.

pradasphere handbags

There will also be a special VIP lounge overlooking the harbor!

Local Hong Kong Restaurant

Foreign chefs boost Hong Kong’s Michelin stars

Local Hong Kong Restaurant

Michelin’s most affordable gourmet dining scene has become a richer and more diverse destination with the addition of 14 new starred addresses.

In the iconic red guide’s latest 2015 edition for  and Macau, Michelin inspectors awarded three new restaurants with two stars, and 11 new addresses with their first star.

Restaurants Yan Toh Heen, The Principal, and Duddell’s helped expand Hong Kong’s two-starred club to 16.


Man Wah Mandarin Oriental

At the Hotel Intercontinental’s Yan Toh Heen, chef Lau Yiu Fai serves authentic Cantonese cuisine.

Chef Siu Hin Chi also serves traditional Cantonese cooking at Duddell’s, a contemporary and innovative space that describes itself as a cultural and social destination for arty, creative types.

At The Principal, chef Jonay Armas brings international flavors and culinary styles — notably from Spain and Denmark — to Hong Kong with a menu that focuses on color, texture and elegance.

chef Akrame Benallal

In the one-star category, notable inductees include Akrame by chef Akrame Benallal (pictured above), just a few months after gaining a second star for his flagship Paris restaurant which serves contemporary French cuisine.

Likewise, another French chef gained a Michelin star for his Hong Kong outpost. Chef Olivier Elzer, who worked with Joel Robuchon and Pierre Gagnaire, reinterprets classic French dishes at Seasons.

More than 50 types of cuisine are represented in the latest Michelin guide for Hong Kong and Macau, including 21 styles of regional Chinese cooking and starred meal for less than 10 euros.

MICHELIN Guide Hong Kong 2015

Here is the final star count:

7 restaurants
16 restaurants (3 of which are new)
52 restaurants (11 of which are new)
Bib Gourmand (good value eats)

The Michelin Guide Hong Kong and Macau 2015 goes on sale October 31.

MOTT32 by Joyce Wang Studio

Hong Kong restaurant named the best interior of 2014

MOTT32 by Joyce Wang Studio

A  restaurant has been named the best interior of 2014 at the World Festival of Interiors in Singapore.

MOTT32” by Joyce Wang Studio beat 60 projects to win the title. It was praised by the judges for its dramatic transformation from a basement storage facility into one of the city’s most beautiful eating destinations.



The restaurant takes inspiration from its heritage as a storage site for expensive Chinese heirlooms, and the décor features Chinese propaganda and industrial materials doubling as furniture and light fittings.

MOTT32 private dining room

The look is combined with a modern industrial aesthetic featuring exposed brickwork, light fittings housed in metal mesh cages and former vaults turned into exclusive booths.

There is an emphasis on raw materials such as concrete and metal.

MOTT32 washroom

“It was a Hong Kong project, it explored Hong Kong culture both past and present, which makes the project such a special one and winning this award even better,” explained Joyce Wang.

MOTT32 restaurant by Joyce Wang Studio

Inside – World Festival of Interiors 2015 will run November 14-16, 2015.

Stephen Hung

Hong Kong tycoon buys 30 Rolls-Royce Phantoms

Stephen Hung

 has placed the biggest ever order for Rolls-Royce cars, agreeing to buy 30 Phantoms to chauffeur guests at a luxury resort he is building in Macau.

Stephen Hung signed the deal with Rolls-Royce executives on Tuesday at the company’s Goodwood factory in England.

The extended wheelbase Phantoms will be used for guests at Hung’s “ultra-luxury” Louis XIII hotel, which is scheduled to open in early 2016.

The resort will boast a 1,860-sq metre (20,000-sq ft) villa billed as the world’s “most extravagant” hotel suite, which will cost $130,000 a night.

Rolls Royce Phantom Extended Wheelbase

Two of the cars will be the most expensive Phantoms ever commissioned, complete with gold-plated accents on both the exterior and interior.

The ‘s list price is about $600,000, but many buyers order custom features that push prices much higher. Customers have been known to spend more than $1 million on bespoke models.

Stephen Hung’s purchase adds up to about HK$155 million and surpasses the 14 Phantoms bought in 2006 by The Peninsula hotel in Hong Kong.

Cathay Pacific Airways First class

Cathay Pacific to serve Mandarin Oriental menus

Cathay Pacific Airways First class

 has teamed up with Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group to offer inflight menus to first class passengers on the Hong Kong to London route.

Until October 31, carte blanche will be given to Uwe Opocensky from Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong.


cathay pacific first class terrine

First class passengers traveling to London will be able to try foie gras terrine, truffles, organic chicken and beef accompanied by crabmeat and caviar.

Dean Yasharian from Bar Boulud of London’s Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park will then take over until December 31.

cathay pacific first class sirloin

He will offer the privileged passengers, between London and Hong Kong, duck liver, British beef slowly braised in a red wine sauce accompanied by mashed parsnips, and sole fillets with lemon and grenobloise sauce.


cathay pacific first class banana split

An increasing number of airlines have recently been joining forces with great chefs to offer gourmet dishes to their business and first class passengers.

Sun Hung Kai Properties' Twelve Peaks

World’s most expensive home goes on sale in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Peak

Asia’s most expensive home per square foot is set to go on sale in Hong Kong, which boasts some of the world’s costliest properties!

The 4,661 square-foot (433 square-metre) ultra-luxury home, located in the Peak district, comes with a HK$819 million ($105.67 million) price tag.

The asking price for the property at the Twelve Peaks development makes it the world’s most expensive house at HK$175,735 per sellable square foot.

 Twelve Peaks project on 12 Mount Kellett Road

This would make it Asia’s most expensive home per square foot if a buyer matches the price sought by developer Sun Hung Kai Properties.


With four bedrooms the house is compact by luxury standards, but it comes with a swimming pool, jacuzzi, elevator and an exclusive location on Victoria Peak, on Hong Kong island, that offers spectacular views over the city.

victoria peak hong kong

Despite efforts by HK’s government to curb property prices by boosting stamp duty for foreign property buyers, developers are still pricing property projects aggressively to tap into demand from wealthy buyers from mainland China.


The government has in recent years imposed new taxes, raised stamp duty and staged a series of land auctions to boost supply and bring down prices in an attempt to tame one of the world’s least affordable housing markets.


A luxury 6,200 square-foot apartment in a building designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry sold for HK$470 million in August 2012.

At the time of purchase it was believed to be the world’s second most expensive apartment after a penthouse flat at London’s One Hyde Park.

One Hyde Park penthouse

Versace Hong Kong flagship boutique

Versace new flagship store in Hong Kong

Versace Hong Kong flagship boutique

The Italian luxury brand has opened its second Hong Kong store — its first flagship in the city. Located in Harbour City, Kowloon, ‘s new 732-square-meter store is the brand’s largest flagship in Asia.


The design concept, which was conceived by Donatella Versace and British architect Jamie Fobert, blends Classical Italian features with modern touches and features Byzantine-style mosaic floors, perspex walls and shelving, and brass decorative stars.


The store stocks the men’s and women’s ready-to-wear and accessories lines as well as the Versace Home collection and also houses a watch and jewelry corner and a VIP room.


“For me the boutique suggests an uninterrupted dialogue between our past and our future, between me and Jamie Fobert and obviously between Versace and our clients,” observed Donatella.


To celebrate those clients, and the launch of the store, Versace has designed two new limited edition versions of the ‘Signature’ bag in a choice of white or black leather, with only 60 pieces available.


On sale exclusively in the new flagship, the metal mesh version comes in calfskin, while the quilted version is in nappa leather, and all the bags come with a gold and leather ‘Versace for Hong Kong_Limited Edition’ tag.

Versace limited edtion Signature bag black

chef Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay to expand restaurant empire into Asia

chef Gordon Ramsay

 has announced major expansion plans into Asia that will begin with the opening of his first restaurant in Hong Kong by this fall.

The entry into Asia will mark a major expansion for the Gordon Ramsay Group, which already counts 24 restaurants across Europe, the US and the Middle East and collectively boast seven Michelin stars.

Ramsay will plant his first restaurant flag in Hong Kong with an outpost of his British European-themed eatery Bread Street Kitchen that will mirror its London counterpart. Scheduled to open in September, the site will feature a warehouse-style design that mixes vintage and contemporary furnishings.

Bread Street Kitchen

The food philosophy at Bread Street Kitchen is to use seasonal, local produce in dishes like roasted cod with crushed potatoes, artichoke and salted capers, and spiced braised lamb shank with mashed potatoes, baby onions and orange gremolata.

Talks are also in the works to open restaurants in Singapore and Macau.

When Ramsay opens his restaurant in Hong Kong, he’ll compete against Jamie Oliver, who already has a restaurant in Singapore and is poised to open his Hong Kong outpost of Jamie’s Italian this summer.

1600 Pandas World Tour

Papier-mâché pandas to take on Hong Kong

1600 Pandas World Tour

A troupe of 1,600 papier-mâché pandas is set to descend upon  this June, as part of an ongoing campaign by the WWF.

‘1600 Pandas World Tour in Hong Kong: Creativity Meets Conservation’ will see the pandas grace the city’s top 10 landmarks as part of the government’s ‘conserving central’ initiative.

The 1,600 pandas, which come in six different shapes and sizes, represent the actual number of the endangered animals left on Earth.

The result of a collaboration between WWF, French artist Paulo Grangeon and design studio All Rights Reserved, the Hong Kong exhibition will feature four one-of-a-kind specially designed sculptures.

The pandas have been touring the globe since 2008, taking in France, the Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Taiwan, but this is the exhibition’s first trip to the Chinese city.

The tour will take in Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, and the New Territories before moving on to Hong Kong International Airport, the giant Tian Tan Buddha, Tsing Ma Bridge, the Sha Tin Racecourse and the Hong Kong Coliseum, amongst other locations.

Apocalypse Postponed art

Absolut to launch latest art bar at Art Basel Hong Kong

Apocalypse Postponed art

Vodka brand Absolut is collaborating with the artist Nadim Abbas on its latest art bar installation titled “Apocalypse Postponed,” which will be open during the Art Basel show in Hong Kong.

Set in a post-apocalyptic environment, featuring custom sandbag enclosures and a blood bar, “Apocalypse Postponed” will draw inspiration from everything from cult science fiction films including “A Clockwork Orange” and “Dune” to 20th century defensive plans and fortifications such as the Swiss National Redoubt and WWII bunker ruins scattered around Hong Kong.

Abbas has also developed a series of limited edition thematic cocktails by working alongside a mixologist, inspired by technologies developed to provide nutritional supplements in specified conditions such as space travel and during wartime rationing. These include the use of effervescent tablets in ‘Ca+’, and ‘2666: A Space Cocktail’, a fresh beetroot cocktail served in a blood bag.

The installation will feature a changing nightly program of live music, DJ sets, screenings and choreographed performances.

“Apocalypse Postponed” by Nadim Abbas for Absolut, 17/F, Soundwill Plaza II – Midtown, 1 & 29 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Hong Kong causeway bay

Jamie Oliver to open restaurant in Hong Kong

Jamie Oliver has been trying to speak Cantonese to promote his new restaurant in Hong Kong – and it didn’t go entirely to plan.

Making a stab at the local Chinese dialect in a light-hearted YouTube video, he announces: “I will open an amazing Italian submarine.” He also promises that the restaurant will be “very slippery”, before collapsing into giggles.

Like other tonal languages, Cantonese can be difficult for new learners as a slight change in inflection can change the meaning of a word entirely.

Jamie's Italian Saint Petersburg

Oliver, 38, has a string of restaurants in Britain, Australia, Dubai, Ireland, Russia, Turkey and Singapore.

He is set to open the first Hong Kong branch of his “Jamie’s Italian” chain in the city’s Causeway Bay shopping district in the coming months.

Hong Kong causeway bay

His first attempt to say “Causeway Bay” in Cantonese came out as “car crash”, while the second sounded like “bronze bed”.

Known for his crusades against unhealthy food, Oliver’s restaurants, TV series and cookbooks have made him a multi-millionaire.

Macallan M decanter

The Macallan M becomes world’s most expensive whisky

Sotheby’s said it sold a bottle of Macallan for HK$4.9 million ($630,000) in Hong Kong, setting a record for the most expensive bottle of single malt whisky sold at auction.

Macallan M decanter

The Macallan “M” decanter is a collaboration between The Macallan whisky, Lalique crystal and Fabien Baron founder of Baron & Baron, it was sold to benefit several Hong Kong charities.

The Macallan ‘M’ Decanter 6-litre Imperiale attracted global interest at a Sotheby’s auction, the firm said in a statement which identified the buyer only as an Asian private collector.

The former British colony has become a hub for auctions of collectibles and rare items ranging from diamonds to stamps, thanks to growing wealth in China and other parts of Asia.

Only four Imperiale “M” Decanters were ever made by the Macallan distillery, Sotheby’s said.


bo innovation scallop

Michelin Hong Kong Guide Adds 3-Star Restaurants

The 2014 Michelin Guide to Hong Kong and Macau has been announced. The big news this year is that there are three new three-stars in the guide.

Sushi Shikon, The Eight, and Bo Innovation join the exclusive three-starred club in the sixth edition of Michelin Hong Kong and Macau, bringing the overall triple-star count to seven dining destinations deemed worth the journey.

At Bo Innovation, Chinese cuisine is deconstructed by “rock ‘n roll” chef Alvin Leung Jr., immediately identifiable by his spiky, punk coif and inked arms.

bo innovation scallop

Traditional Chinese dishes are deconstructed with the fastidious eye of a former engineer who reinterprets dishes with artful precision and a contemporary sensibility.

Dan Dan Noodles, for instance, are re-imagined with chili pepper, pine nuts, crispy egg noodles, preserved Chinese mustard, Iberico ham, roe and green apple.

Lobster is flavored with Szechuan Hollandaise sauce, chili, leek dumplings and charred corn.

Rounding out the three-starred restaurants are Sushi Shikon in Hong Kong, which serves traditional sushi, and The Eight, which serves haute Chinese cuisine at The Grand Lisboa hotel in Macau.

The latest guide also includes 15 restaurants with two stars and 51 restaurants with a single star.

Jeremy Biasiol

About 20 percent of the guide features local food stalls that serve Cantonese, dim sum, Indonesian, Japanese, congee and ramen fare, making Hong Kong and Macau the most affordable Michelin-grade dining destination in the world.

“Our inspectors were thrilled to find ever increasing quality of the cuisine in Hong Kong and Macau,” said Michelin’s international director Michael Ellis in a statement.

“We are also amazed at the number of international restaurants being drawn in Hong Kong, a destination which is being a magnet for fine cooking from around the world.”

bo innovation caviar

Here’s a list of all the three Michelin-starred restaurants in Hong Kong and Macau:

Bo Innovation, Chinese
L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, French
Lung King Heen, Dim sum and seafood
8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana, Italian
Sushi Shikon, Japanese
Robuchon au Dome, French
The Eight, Chinese

white truffle italy

Truffles fetch three times price of gold

white truffle italy

Eleven white truffles have gone under the hammer in Italy for 274,200 euros ($367,620), including a pair bought by an anonymous buyer in China who paid out 90,000 euros, auctioneers said Monday.

A “famous Chinese writer” bidding by satellite telephone from Hong Kong fiercely outbid competitors for a 950-gram pair of truffles, organisers said, paying three times the price of gold for the white delicacy.

The auction, which took place Sunday in the Grinzane Cavour castle in the Piedmont region of northern Italy, also saw an unnamed buyer snap up a 305-gram specimen to be given as a gift to New York’s new mayor, Italo-American Bill De Blasio.

The sums raised at the 14th edition of the White Truffle of Alba auction will be given to the Piedmont Foundation for Cancer Research. The funds raised by the Hong Kong sale will go to the Mother’s Choice institute which cares for orphans and mothers in difficulty, the organisers said.

Calvin Klein Platinum Label Spring 2014 Runway Show

Calvin Klein Platinum unveiled in Hong Kong

Calvin Klein Platinum Label Spring 2014 Runway Show

Calvin Klein hosted a fashion presentation in Hong Kong on October 24 to celebrate the unveiling of the newly ‘recoded’ Calvin Klein Platinum lines for men and women.

Previously known as CK Calvin Klein, the “bridge” tier for sportswear and accessories has been rethought by the brand’s global creative director Kevin Carrigan.

The rebranding, which was announced in May this year, saw top models Liu Wen, Tilda Lindstam, and Soo Joo Park take to the runway at Shaw Studios to show off the metallic, sporty, minimalist collection.

The event was backdropped by a giant custom structural Mylar screen around 150 feet wide and 20 feet tall, and attendees included Japanese actress and model Tao Okamoto, Hong Kong model Gaile Lai, and blogger Hanneli Mustaparta (the former model helps curate the brand’s tumblr page).

magnificent white oval diamond

White diamond fetches record $30.6 million at HK auction

white oval diamond

A 118.28-carat white diamond broke a world record Monday when it fetched more than $30 million at a Hong Kong auction. The sparkling translucent stone was sold to a phone bidder at the Sotheby’s auction for HK$238.68 million ($30.6 million) following bidding that lasted for more than six minutes.

The egg-shaped stone has been described as the finest of its kind ever to appear at auction. Earlier estimates valued it at $28-$35 million.

The stone, dubbed the “Magnificent Oval Diamond”, was discovered in a deep mine in an undisclosed southern African country in 2011. As a rough stone before being cut, it weighed 299 carats.

The stone, described by Sotheby’s as “the largest D colour flawless diamond”, has been given the highest quality rating awarded by the Gemological Institute of America.