Tag Archives: Hong Kong

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.

Andy Lau stars in new Cartier short film (Video)

andy lau

Cartier and Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau celebrate the launch of the Tank MC watch with an exclusive short film as fast-paced as their philosophy of time and life.

“To emulate the fast-paced reality of life of a celebrated actor-singer, the majority of the film was shot in the bustling district of Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong.”

“The production team, led by director Baillie Walsh, also made sure that each shot lingers no longer than two seconds. In some 50 scenes, a series of flashbacks and memories of Lau’s career and childhood was inserted to unfold the story while Lau hurries forward to his next performance at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre at default watch-ad time 10:10pm.”

Source: blouinartinfo

Chinese tourists

Most popular travel destinations among Chinese tourists

Chinese tourists

Paris, Dubai and Rome have emerged as the favorite travel destinations outside Asia among Chinese tourists, the largest outbound travel market in the world.

According to TripAdvisor China, visits to Paris in July and August this year spiked 360 percent compared to the same period last year to become the fifth most visited destination in the top 20 list.

After Paris, visits to Dubai — which took sixth place on the overall ranking of outbound destinations — grew 210 percent this summer, and visits to Rome (11th place) rose 180 percent.

Not surprisingly, Hong Kong emerged the top travel destination for its proximity, duty-free shopping, family-friendly attractions, and as a pit stop en route to other international destinations. Phuket, Taiwan and Bangkok follow Hong Kong, while Paris made it into fifth place on the global ranking.

After surpassing the US and Germany to become the world’s largest source market for outbound tourism by expenditures last year, tourism offices around the world have been aggressively trying to woo Chinese travelers with money to spend.

Here are the Top 20 most popular outbound tourist destinations among mainland Chinese travelers in July and August this year. Percentages reflect growth rates over the same period last year.

1. Hong Kong, China (50%)
2. Phuket, Thailand (250%)
3. Taiwan (350%)
4. Bangkok, Thailand (270%)
5. Paris, France (360%)
6. Dubai, UAE (210%)
7. Macau, China (50%)
8. Seoul, South Korea (180%)
9. Singapore (170%)
10. Bali, Indonesia (310%)
11. Rome, Italy (180%)
12. Chiang Mai, Thailand (180%)
13. New York, United States (280%)
14. London, United Kingdom (120%)
15. Jeju Island, South Korea (570%)
16. Boracay, Philippines (360%)
17. Kyoto, Japan (580%)
18. Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia (550%)
19. Hanoi, Vietnam (510%)
20. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (190%)

Eiffel Tower souvenirs

Hong Kong’s rich turn to handbag-backed loans

luxury shopping hong kong

Hong Kong’s ladies-who-lunch are indulging in a smart new trend — cashing in luxury handbags for quickie loans in the Asian style capital.

Luxury purses by brands like Hermès, Louis Vuitton and Gucci can all be used to secure a loan in less than half an hour, with specialist pawnbrokers providing cash at up to 80% of a bag’s value.

Yes Lady Finance Co. offers the first specialized loans against pricey purses in Hong Kong, a city with around 200 licensed pawnbrokers and nearly a thousand shadier backstreet operations.

The company’s “brand name handbag loan” provides cash in half an hour in exchange for genuine luxury bags from big name brands. Customers then have to pay off their loan at 4% monthly interest within four months to get their arm-candy back.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Yes Lady recently lent one client $20,600, which was guaranteed with a famous Birkin bag by French luxury label Hermès.

Another happy customer, office worker Angel Yam, received a $1,550 loan for her Chanel bag. “I have too many idle handbags at home,” Yam told the Wall Street Journal, saying she used the money to travel and buy stock and wasn’t too concerned whether she got the bag back. Other clients use the loans to cover school fees or holiday costs while avoiding lengthy credit checks and banking delays.

Luxury goods loans are growing around the world: in Australia the Cash Now Perth loans company also provides loans guaranteed against “luxury cars, boats, jewellery, art and anything of value.”

Expect to see plenty more specialist services popping up, helping cash-strapped luxury lovers take advantage of the assets in their closets.

1897 Red Revenue Small One Dollar

Rare Chinese stamp sells for $890,000

1897 Red Revenue Small One Dollar

One of China’s rarest stamps sold for HK$6.9 million ($890,000) at auction in Hong Kong, the auctioneers said Wednesday.

With just 32 recorded copies, the Qing Dynasty “1897 Red Revenue Small One Dollar” stamp is “China’s rarest regularly-issued stamp”, Interasia Auctions said in a press release.

The bright red stamp, symbolising luck and good fortune in Chinese culture, is rare because the characters “Qing Dynasty postal service, one dollar” were considered too small, prompting the printing of a second version.

The stamp was part of a three-day auction of Chinese, Hong Kong and Asian stamps which ended Monday bringing in a total of HK$71.9 million, Interasia said.

“Philately has a special place in Chinese culture, with rare stamps regarded as important cultural icons and treasures, just like art,” auction house director Jeffrey Schneider said in the statement.

A pair of rare stamps bearing an accidentally inverted picture of Chinese nationalist leader Sun Yat-sen sold for more than $700,000 in Hong Kong last October.

Mainland Chinese are regular buyers of the top lots at sales of art, jewellery and wine as Hong Kong positions itself as an auction hub for Asia as well as the gateway to China’s vast market.

Arshad Mahmood

HK$1 million suit sold in Hong Kong

Arshad Mahmood

British Pakistani Master Tailor Arshad Mahmood has produced a suit that he claims to be one of the world’s most expensive tailor-made suits priced at $129,000.

Arshad Mahmood, who has offices in London and Hong Kong, originates from Mirpur in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, and learnt the art of tailoring originally in the city of Karachi in early 80s.

With 22-carat gold stitching, a gold waistcoat and diamond-encrusted gold buttons, the one-off was sold in Hong Kong on May 29 for HK$1 million. According to the South China Morning Post, It took Apsley Tailors 200 hours to make the suit from the finest wool, with gold woven into the fabric.

The world’s most expensive suit is believed to have been made by Stuart Hughes and Richard Jewels of Manchester, England. The R. Jewels Diamond Edition is made from a blend of cashmere wool and silk, contains more than 480 diamonds and costs $890,000.

Apsley’s suit beats what was apparently the world’s second-most expensive suit, luxury designer Alexander Amosu’s $103,000 creation with nine diamond buttons set in 18-carat gold.

Paddle Board

Shanghai Tang X MOOR’S SUP Board

Shanghai Tang Paddle Board

To celebrate the Spring Summer 2013 collection of Summer Bright, Shanghai Tang Menswear designer, Armele Barbier, has created a Limited Edition Luxe Stand-up Paddle Board (SUP Board) in collaboration with MOOR’S Surfboards.

A SUP Board is more flat and wider than regular surfboards which allows riders to be more stable and to perform easy moves that both experienced surfers or beginners can have fun with this summer.

Stand-up paddle surfing is usually performed in open ocean with the participant paddling and surfing unbroken swells to cross between island or journey from one coastal to another.

Shanghai Tang X MOOR’S collaboration is pairing the “know-how” of an emerging dynamic surf brand making top edge surfboards and surf accessories with elegance and sophistication of dark wood and Shanghai Tang’s iconic bright orange colour accent.

Paddle Board

The logos are discreetly facing water while the top deck features Shanghai Tang’s “福 Fu” stamp, meaning good fortune or happiness in Chinese.

The Shanghai Tang X MOOR’S SUP Board is made of bamboo epoxy and the Paddle is in carbon performance material, hand-shaped as a 10 feet longboard, perfect for riding the waves.

The luxury Board is available in Hong Kong and Singapore and is priced at HK$12,800 ($1,650).

Armele Barbier

cruise terminal

Hong Kong launches new luxury cruise terminal

The Mariner of the Seas

Hong Kong opened a $1.1 billion cruise terminal at the site of its former airport on Wednesday in a bid to become Asia’s hub for luxury liners.

The new terminal, built on the runway of the old Kai Tak airport, will be able to accommodate the largest cruise ships in the world — liners of up to 220,000 gross tonnes.

“Kai Tak was the site of our legendary airport and is now turning a historic page by connecting Hong Kong with the rest of the world through the seven seas,” Commissioner of Tourism Philip Yung said.

“With the addition of this new facility, Hong Kong is in full gear to receive mega cruise ships,” Yung said.

Hong Kong new cruise terminal interior

Royal Caribbean’s 1,020 feet (311 metres) long “Mariner of the Seas” was the first mega luxury cruise liner to dock at the two-berth terminal, which boasts a 360-degree panoramic view of the city.

A troupe of lion dancers welcomed more than 3,000 passengers as they disembarked the ship.

Kai Tak Airport

The former Kai Tak International Airport was considered one of the most challenging places to land an aircraft due to its central location in the city and tall mountains surrounding it.

The airport closed in 1998 after being in service for over 70 years and was replaced by the current Chek Lap Kok International Airport.

The cruise terminal will open to the public in the third quarter of the year with its second berth opening in 2014.

Kai Tak Cruise Terminal rendering

chocolate macaron

Pierre Hermé Paris Opening in Hong Kong

chocolate macaron

Hot on the heels of Ladurée opening their first Hong Kong store in Harbour City last year, Master pastry chef Pierre Hermé has announced he will be opening his first store in Hong Kong too.

The diverse range of macarons available here will include Arabesque, Crème Brulee, Imagine, Infiniment Chocolat Porcelana, Infiniment Rose, Céleste and Mogador.

The Pierre Hermé Paris boutique will open at the IFC Mall in Hong Kong in May.

Chinese noodles

Cathay Pacific “Noodles of Asia” Contest

Have a favorite noodle dish you think is worthy of being served to thousands of airline passengers on one of Asia’s largest carriers? To celebrate National Noodle Month, Cathay Pacific is inviting fans to submit a noodle dish that will be featured on their in-flight menu.

Until April 19, fans can submit their noodle recipe on Cathay’s Facebook page. Dishes will be judged by Canadian food and travel blogger Mijune Park ; celebrity Chinese chef Martin Yan of San Francisco restaurant M.Y. China; and chef Sang Yoon of gastropub brand Father’s Office in California.

M Y China restaurant

The winning noodle dish will be served to Cathay passengers traveling between North America and Hong Kong. The winner will also receive two round-trip Premium Economy tickets from one of their six gateways – Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver – to Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong Tourism Board will also give the winner a special bespoke tour of the city. Dishes will be judged on presentation, appeal, taste, ease of transportation and practicality as an in-flight entrée.

Chinese noodles

jimmy choo tea set

Mandarin Oriental to Serve Jimmy Choo Snacks

jimmy choo tea set

Designer Jimmy Choo has teamed up with the luxurious Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong for a fashionably delicious offering.

From April onwards, tourists will be able to eat pastries created by Jimmy Choo as well as leave with a pair of his 24/7 collection shoes.

Through May 5, clients at the hotel will be able to discover trays of small cakes inspired by Jimmy Choo’s Spring/Summer 2013 collection (€25 per person).

Guests will be able to enjoy milk chocolate high heels stuffed with lemon, small bags wrapped in white chocolate, raspberry mousse and rose dessert and macaroon lollipops stuffed with mango and passion fruit cream, among others.

From April 2-7, women can also choose the “Jimmy Choo L900” offer ($11,800 HKD per person for the night). Apart from the pastries and a luxurious room, tourists will be able to choose a pair of the designer’s shoes from his 24/7 collection (worth $5,000 HKD/€487) from the hotel boutique.

Information and reservations: www.mandarinoriental.com/landmark

Mandarin Oriental Jimmy Choo

CHANEL HongKong Collection

Chanel unveils Hong Kong beauty collection

CHANEL Hong Kong Collection

French luxury house Chanel has released a new line of metallic beauty products inspired by the one of Asia’s financial and cultural hotspots.

To celebrate the new Chanel store at Hysan Place, the brand’s largest boutique in Hong Kong, Chanel has released an exclusive new capsule collection inspired by the city’s contrasts from deep browns to brilliant whites.

“Exclusive creations for eyes and nails are infused with a metallic glow, evoking the lights of the city as they reflect in the waters of the China Sea,” say the brand.

A deep chocolate and red nail varnish with a metallic shimmer was named Western Light and will retail at $30. The second nail shade, Eastern Light, “evokes the modernity of Hong Kong with a bold shade of opaque white,” according to Chanel.

For $80 you can get five golden blendable eyeshadows designed to replicate the colors of the city. The Pearl River tones ranges through gold, beige, intense peach and deep brown, with a silver white highlight tone to open the eye and brighten the face. The collection is available online.