Pull yourself from your five-star luxury accommodations during your long weekend in Hong Kong and experience one of Asia’s most dynamic and cosmopolitan cities.
By Michael Clements
For the trendy-minded, ask your concierge to book a table at member clubs KEE Club or Cipriani. KEE’s Italian master chef Gianluigi Bonelli trained at El Bulli on Spain’s Catalan coast and London’s Fat Duck, and is highly-regarded. The nightlife is an elegant and eclectic mix of DJs, strong colors, African masks and Picassos. You’ll love the private emerald-green room.
Sushi With a View
Try dinner at Aqua Roma / Aqua Tokyo or cocktails at Aqua Spirit all located in the pointed tip of the 30-story One Peking Place building near The Star Ferry in TST. The romantic low-lit tables face out to stunning Hong Kong Island’s vistas through the property’s three-story glass façade. Two separate kitchens prepare sushi and Italian cuisine … did I hear someone say, “sushi Italian?” The Aqua group also operates Aqua Luna, a traditionally-built floating lounge that sails across the Harbour three times each evening for 45 minutes ($25).
Saddle Up For Shopping
There are two professional sports in Hong Kong: Horse racing and shopping. So, gallop over to the new Armani Collection and Armani Cafe in Central’s Landmark Building. Afterwards, walk or hop a three-minute taxi ride on those all-too-common humid and steamy Hong Kong days over to IFC2. There you can browse through Lane Crawford and others before stopping for a late afternoon tea and dessert at Harlan’s or Café Costa.
Take the Peak Tram up to the top of The Peak overlooking downtown Central Hong Kong and be amazed at how the city has been literally built into the side of a mountain. Then have a romantic dinner, oysters and a fine bottle of wine at Café Deco.
Get a Foot Massage
Too much walking? Try a true Hong Kong tradition: foot massages. Happy Foot (11/F., Jade Centre, 98-102 Wellington St., Central) and Big Bucket Footbath & Reflexology (Shop 1& 2, G/F, Hoi Kung Court 264-269 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay).
Hike the Dragon’s Back
The finest short hike in Hong Kong that end at beautiful Big Wave Bay where you can go for a dip to cool off. After your hike and swim, head over to nearby Shek-o beach for a dinner at the small French Bistro Black Sheep Café. Hiking directions at www.hkoutdoors.com.
Party in Lan Kwai Fong and Soho
Welcome to Bourbon Street, Central Hong Kong style – Lan Kwai Fong. It would take 3 or 4 trips to sample all the restaurants and clubs in these buzzing four city blocks. Club favorites include Dragon I (best time is 11-1am) – try model industry night on Thursday. For dinner then drinks try Finds, Lux, California, Stormy Weather, or Agave, and for live music and a more raucous crowd, there is always Insomnia.
Take Ngong Ping 360, a 5.7km cable car journey, over the mountain’s of Lantau to one of the world’s largest seated Buddhas.
Have a Noisy Dim Sum Lunch
Gather a few friends and get a circular table at Maxim’s City Hall (Central, Low Block, City Hall). If you go at 12:30 on a Saturday or Sunday be prepared to wait 30 to 45 minutes for a table.
Ride the Mid-Levels Escalator
Work your way up the hills of Central Hong Kong as you pass through the “mid-levels” neighborhood of Central. Stop to explore the shopping, arts, restaurants, pubs and clubs of Hollywood Road, Staunton Street, and Elgin Street. The quaint French bistro Brasserie Le Fauchon (G/F 45 Elgin Street, Soho) is local favorite.