Monthly Archives: October 2011

HK Restaurants: Current List

We’re having a bunch of visitors in the next month so I’ve been working out what to do with them while they’re visiting. And, more often times than I can count, I’ve been asked by blog visitors about our favorite restaurants so I thought I would provide you with my current list… If you’re a local these are probably pretty obvious, but we feel they’re tried and true. I would love to hear about any new spots, too so please leave comments below with any restaurants I’m missing!

China Club: Perfect for tourists. You have to be a member of this club or book with a large group, but usually you can find a broker or AmEx connection or some such to get you in. The interior is filled with incredible Chinese art–lots of colonial paintings and lots of Mao–and has a wonderful old Colonial feel. They serve traditional Peking Duck, have a festive noodle show AND an awesome roof terrace for cocktails. The restaurant is owned by Sir David Tang, who also founded Shanghai Tang, which was sold to Richemont in 2006.

China Club. 13/F, The Old Bank of China Building, Bank St, Central

Zuma: Expensive, but beyond perfect sushi. I ADORE their black cod. Right in the heart of Central. Popular work and social spot. Need resies, even for lunch. Very beautiful interior. Their Sunday champagne brunch is amazing.

Zuma, 5-6/F, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road, Central, Hong Kong, 3657 6388

Shore: A hip spot with great food. Also conveniently located in Central. Awesome outdoor terrace in far back for a cocktail before or after dinner.

Shore, 3rd and 4th floor, L Place, 139 Queen’s Road, Central, 2915 1638

Ginza Bairin: Arguably the best tonkatsu (fried pork cutlet) outside of Japan. Their signature dish is tonkatsu in a bowl over rice, with raw egg on top. It’s DIVINE. Now they take reservations but you have to call weeks ahead of time… and then they like to lose your reservation… and you swear you will never come back… and then you bite into that crispy, yet moist and absolutely tasty pork and of course you come back again.

Central No. 1 Harbour View Street, 3rd Floor, International Finance Centre, Shop 3013, 2295 1112.

Lily + Bloom: A bustling spot right in the heart of Lan Kwai Fong (the going out area) with delicious cocktails.

5-6/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, 2810 6166
(Lily + Bloom is in the LKF tour: go up to the top to Azure’s roofdeck for a drink and great view of Central.)

Yardbird: Another newbie on the list, this Japanese yakitori joint serves up the most delicious chicken skewers ever and they have four different Hitachino beers available. Besides the various chicken parts on offer (wing, skin, inner thigh, gizzard, etc.) don’t miss their KFC cauliflower or their corn fritter. Like everything Japanese, it’s very precise, very small, and very expensive.
33-35 Bridges Street, Sheung Wan, 2547 9273.

You dip the chicken meatball into this sauce and break up the yolk. Yum!!The cauliflower, above, is more similar to candy than to vegetables.

Bistecca: INCREDIBLE steak. They take their very thick meat very seriously. The Mr. is beyond obsessed with this place. He says to trust him and order your steak medium-rare, Chicago-style.

Bistecca Italian Steak House, 2/F, Grand Progress Building, 15 Lan Kwai Fong, Central, 2525 1308

Peking Garden: For the famous peking duck. They serve many famous Chinese dishes — including a delicious sweet and sour fish — family style so you can try everything. And they have a noodle show. Also popular with business types.

Alexandra House, 16-20 Chater Rd., Shop B1 (Connaught Rd.), 2526-6456

After dinner at Peking Garden, walk over (through tunnel) to Prince’s Building for a drink at Sevva (great view).

Madame SixtyAte: One of the newest additions to the list, but also one of the best (which is why I’m giving it two images)! The American-Euro-inspired food here is innovative, but executed perfectly. I adore their bird wallpaper–located right next to the Pawn in Wan Chai, the whole place is just super hip.

Posto Publico: Our go to spot–we go here 2x month. When you’re sick of Chinese, this classic Italian joint will cure you! It’s right off the escalator in a very cool part of SOHO. All produce is locally sourced and they make their own mozzarella which is *super* rare in HK. Very nice staff!

G/F, 28 Elgin Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2577 7160

Din Tai Fung: This Taiwan-based international chain has dumplings down to a fine art. Not only is the food delicious, but you can watch their factory-like, assembly line through glass windows. 

Photo courtesy of Sassy Hong Kong.

Hometown Dumpling: This place has amazing dumplings amid bright floral, plastic lawnchair furniture. It’s extremely cheap and BYOB. Come hungry and don’t look at the kitchen until you’re done!

102 Caine Road, Mid Levels, Hong Kong, 2517-0969

Peak Lookout: You can’t go to Hong Kong and not take the tram to the Peak. And this spot is not so touristy, serves Asian, Indian and Western fare, and has nice outdoor dining with a view of the South Side. Nice raw bar.

121 Peak Road, The Peak, Hong Kong, 2849 1000

City Hall: You can’t come to Hong Kong and not have Dim Sum and this is traditional cart-style dim sum in a giant banquet hall.

City Hall Low Block, Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2521 1303.

Café Gray: For fine dining with a view, Cafe Gray gets my vote. I had the best pork chop of my life here. Their bread dip and cocktails are both equally addictive.

49/F, Upper House, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, 2918 1838.

La Fleur

This is a hidden French (seems very Italian to me though!) gem tucked into the hip Star Street area. It’s quite romantic for a little date!

16 St. Francis Yard, Wanchai, 2866 7337.

Nha Trang:
This tasty Vietnamese is so worth waiting for–they don’t take reservations. The restaurant itself has bright modern decor, but the food is downright traditional. I love how they put a giant basket of fresh herbs on your table.

88-90 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2581 9992

Kaya:

Korean BBQ is a really fun, group dining experience and the food here is deelish!

Kaya, 6/F, 8 Russell Street (building is directly opposite the Time Square movie theater entrance), Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 2838 9550.

Xiao Nan Guo:
Dining on the 12th store of a giant office/mall is part of the Hong Kong experience and this is traditional Shanghaiese food at its best.

(12th floor, Times Square, CWB)

Are you stuffed yet?!? What am I missing? When it gets right down to it, Hong Kongers LOVE their food and like most other cities… it seems like eating is the main tourist attraction!


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33 ways to stay creative.

I am going to do no. 31 and no. 27 right now!

By way of Design Crush by way of Shiny Squirrel.

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Housewife cards.

Leslie Graff captured my favorite time of day perfectly!

Every day I so look forward to getting the mail. Whenever I see anything in the box, no matter how much of a rush I’m in, I have to stop and get it.

I also love arranging flowers.

And ironing can be strangely satisfying. See more of Leslie’s domestic series here. They are available as notecards and prints–a pretty wonderful gift for your favorite housewife! By way of Caitlin Creer.

Readers, what’s your favorite time of day?!

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Travel party favor: Travel tips

In the RSVP card for my travel party I asked all the guests to reply with their favorite travel tip or recommendation. Here is what everyone came up with. Enjoy!

Kim & Danny Wrap nice and or wrinkle-prone clothing in plastic dry cleaning bags for wrinkle-free arrival at your desination. Drink 8 oz of water for every 1 hour of flight time (helps skin & jet lag!)
Lauren & Michael Melatonin for those long flights! Won’t leave you feeling loopy or groggy after arriving at your destination.
Beanie Linen/shoe bags–I buy these wherever I find them and have cute ones from Italy, Vietnam, South Africa + the USA. Not only do they keep my packing orderly, but they’re a lovely reminder of trips past!
Fé & Hector Luxury Home Rental in Paris in Opéra / Palais Royal: www.haveninparis.com/rental/StAugustin.php
Mitra & Matt For an authentic experience, for example, experiencing a particular neighborhood in Paris, use homewaway.com. Use Long Beach, Burbank or Ontario to avoid the hassle of LAX. Don’t forget: wherever you go, there you are.
Monique & Jay If there are sights you want to see or things you want to do, plan out a detailed itinerary in advance so you aren’t disappointed when you skip something because you didn’t allow time for it. But also include a day to be spontaneous and take recos from locals you meet in your destination.
Laura & Dan Favorite hotel: Shore Lodge, McCall Idaho. On the lake, in the mountains, 2-hour drive from Boise… come visit Idaho :)
Natalie & Eric Always pack patience, chapstick (Jack Black, mint!), my fluffy teddy bear, goggles, phone charger, band-aids and clean underwear.
Maddy & Justin Always research your travel spot before you get there and make an itinerary so you don’t miss anything–but–schedule in flex time and don’t be scared to stray from your plans, sometimes that’s when the best stuff happens!
Lindsey & Paul I always bring socks for the plane rides. Don’t be scared of tuk tuks–great way to see the city!
Kirsten & Adam Go vegetarian while traveling in China. Stay at the George IV once in your life for pure luxury and arrive in Paris via the Euro Star + leave from CDG airport. You can NEVER have enough nappies or food when traveling with children. Keep a journal, with so many memories–it’s hard to keep track.
Christina & Hugo The flight into Bhutan is simply breathtaking. Mosquito repellant–Jungle Juice, Skin So Soft (Avon), + Vitamin B1–best I’ve found. And don’t forget Mopidick in case one sneaks a munch.
Dana & Angad Check in early on Cathay as it increases your chance of an upgrade!
Jojo A great travel book: Evelyn Waugh’s “Scoop!”
Nick & Natasha Best once-in-a-lifetime hotel: Palazza Sasso in Ravello, Italy. Best hotel to keep going back to: Casa de Mita in Punta Mita, Mexico. Biking and cooking classes are a great way to get to know a place and its people. For flights, don’t forget to pack: earplugs, saline nasal spray, and a headphone splitter.
Willie Double check your airport of departure: BOS is not PVD.

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Travel party.

I threw a travel themed party last weekend… being in Hong Kong we all travel so much so it was a fun theme to run with. Minted invites by Sheila Sunaryo.

I ordered the luggage tag fabric from Spoonflower and my friend’s helper nicely sewed them right up! The design is from Surly Bird Studios.

I had a lot of fun looking up all these flags on the iPad while frosting away.

I used white frosting at got the color from sprinkles so I had to be very strategic as to what color went first and in what direction I shook the excess.

Besides Mitra’s sugar cookies, I also made Alexandra’s chocolate chip cookies (which rely on overnight refrigeration AND measuring each cookie on a scale… totally worth the extra trouble) and peanut butter cookies. I think the cookies were a huge hit judging on the fact that just a couple were left at 3:30am when the party finally wrapped up! The girls decided to descend upon them all at once in a giant wave… you know how girls like to travel in packs?

Sticking with the travel theme, I served up plane food: chicken and rice and fish and peas and carrots in little mini-airplane trays.

Some of the trays I even ordered off of EBay so they were vintage china from first class cabins back in the good old days!

Besides the plane food, I did a bunch of other dishes from countries around the world PLUS homemade honey roasted peanuts.

I tried to recreate the silverware pack you get on planes and tied them up with airmail twine.

I put old maps from the States (not much use for them here!) on the bar and on our front door to let guests know they were in the right place!

I ordered these map pendants on etsy.

Beers went into luggage turned ice chest.
Cocktails went into a real vintage Northwest beverage tray.
Guests were asked to come in travel-related attire… and people were very creative!
My friend Mitra brought her !!!two-week!!! old baby and the whole family dressed up as Disneyland tourists. I was very impressed to see her out and about!
My nine-month pregnant friend dressed her tummy up as a globe… how clever is that?!
And the Mr. and his two visiting brothers went as the three amigos… hats indicate birth order.

On the RSVP card guests were ask to share a travel tip… tomorrow I’ll divulge the shared knowledge!


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