Intoxicating Art

Indecisiveness is an attribute we often identify with the fairer sex; we’ve all done dressing room jury duty; we’ve all walked at a snail’s pace down Pottinger Lane thanks to a pair of 15-inch Louboutins; and most of us have spent the first part of a night on the couch channel surfing and waiting for our significant others to pick an outfit.


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Intoxicating Art

Ok, so we’ve collectively come to the realization that not all coolers are created equal.


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Here We Go Again

It’s that time of year again, when you get bent over the barrel by consumerism in the name of romance. But let’s face it, home-made cards and pop-tart breakfasts in bed only work in the movies; there are expectations to manage and El Nino-sized sexual droughts to avoid, so gently, gently gents. Fortunately, NecesCity, your digital wingman, has done some of the thinking for you.


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Intoxicating Art

So you’re rebuilding your home bar after it was violated by those you hold dearest over the festive season.


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Bringing Floats Back

This might have slipped the nets of your passion for trivia but did you know the ice cream float was created by Robert McCay Green in Philadelphia in 1874?


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Time to Clean Up

For those of you who might not have spent much time in the Land of the Rising Sun, an onsen is a Japanese hot spring.


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Cool Has a New Home

Japanese cuisine has come a long way in Hong Kong, which is just as well.


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Keep Your Cool

Man has longed for warm nights and cold drinks for as long as we’ve had fire and rivers within proximity. The irony is that the hotter the weather the harder it is to keep your beverages cool, which is why some of mankind’s greatest minds have tasked themselves through history, not with curing cancer or exploring the cosmos, but with innovating on the eskie and other chilling appareil. Wine buckets were the obvious choice as far back as the 1700s – there is even a priceless antique item from 1753 in the MET – but they weren’t particularly portable and you still needed ice in the first place.

The wine bags by Hong Kong’s own Joy Vino are just the ticket for keeping your wine, or any other liquid, cool on those first-of-the-season junk jaunts. Fill the disposal bags with your wine or perhaps a craft cocktail, and stick it in the fridge until you’re ready to make for Pier 9. Then wedge it into its own cooler cover, which is akin to a wetsuit, and it will stay chilled all day long. It even comes with a handy hook so mother gravity is always at hand to help that health-giving nectar reach from in-built tap to your waiting palate, and afterwards simply fold and toss it into your waiting beach bag.

Just brilliant.


 

Wine Bags by Joy Vino
HK$250

2142 5233;
joyvino.com


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Acclaimed Hong Kong-born chef Vicky Cheng has teamed up with mixology maestro Antonio Lai to create VEA, an innovative open-kitchen concept that pairs fine-dining with imaginative cocktails. He talks to NecesCity about the challenges of cocktail and food pairing, his culinary influences, and the difficulties of incorporating cod fish sperm into his dishes.


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The Need for Speed

So when you were a little lad, there’s even money that you, like many of your little-lad mates, wanted to be a race car driver. The speed, the adrenalin, the adventure, and the pageantry of the racing scene is enough to seduce most would-be gearheads – remember this was the era of Top Gun and Days of Thunder and that awesome Audi scene in Ronin, when it was all about a close encounter with speed and not an endless car chase sequence starring a drooling Vin Diesel.

Time to live your childhood fantasy, with SpeedVegas, which opens in March and is now accepting reservations. This 100-acre complex just off the strip features a 2.4-kilometer Formula One-inspired track on which you’ll race everything from a Shelby Mustang GT500 and an Audi R8 V-10, through to a Ferrari 458 Italia or a Lamborghini Aventador. The ultimate pre-festivities addition to a bachelor’s party or weekend away add-on, the centre offers both day and night driving for anyone with a valid international licence, and while you rip your way around the course, your mates can either grace your rear vision mirror or watch on from an outdoor observation deck.

"If you’re not first, you’re last, " -- Ricky Bobby, Talladega Nights


 

Speed Vegas
From US$49 per lap

2142 5233;
www.speedvegas.com


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Death Defying Without the Sweat Stains

We can all agree that the Belgians know a thing or two about making beer.


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Death Defying Without the Sweat Stains

Remember those carefree days spent cruising the streets on your Powell Peralta or mile wide cruiser?


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Make a Sound Statement

We’ve all seen them; those guys cruising down the street with their chunky ass headphones wrapped around their melons.


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Winter Warmer with a Kick

Christmas can be an odd time in Hong Kong. If you’re not headed to the homeland (which ever one you recognize) or are not part of the Phuket-bound exodus, then you’re here, enjoying the city’s second quietest spell (the first comes a month or so later) and its flirtation with “winter”. It’s also great time to learn that the Fragrant Harbour wasn’t designed for the cold, so take advantage of the lull and make the most of the silly season by ordering one of these soul-soothing-but-oh-so-manly tipples tonight.


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Cocktails on the Go

Picture this for a moment: you’ve survived a day of meetings and are hoping to hop an evening flight home.


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Searching for Spanish Gold

The South Americans know a thing or two about red meat. The Spanish word asado is used in countries like Argentina,


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Time to Impress

It’s almost Christmas and New Year’s, which means the party season is almost upon us. It’s a great time to stock up on grooming essentials that will ensure you look your best during those office parties and family gatherings. Here are some of our new-found favourites.


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Be a Good Host

Ah, the morning after, one of life’s potentially challenging entertaining opportunities.


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Chicago Athletic Association

Guys are naturally pack animals. We’re drawn to the group dynamic; we like to create bonds and associations, rituals and fellowships. In the Windy City, one of these institutions was the century-old Chicago Athletic Association. The ultimate old boys club, this Venetian Gothic-style retreat has towered over Michigan Avenue since 1893 as the perfect halfway house between a private members lounge and a track meet.

If you’re travelling to Illinoi anytime soon, you’ll need suitably stylish digs. Fortunately the Chicago Athletics Association is now the city’s coolest new boutique hotel after an extensive restoration by Commune Hotels & Resorts. With lines by Chicago-based Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture and award-winning design firm Roman and Williams Buildings and Interiors, the beautifully restored building now plays host to 241 elegantly-appointed guest rooms and suites that smack of the former club’s rich tradition, thanks to custom lacquered wooden armoires and bars, Faribault Woolen Mill Co. custom blankets, vintage boxing-inspired robes, and a modern take on 19th century brass beds. However, times have changed and during the summer months you’ll now find the city’s lovelies at Cindy’s, the hotel’s chic rooftop lounge, with its breathtaking views of Millennium Park and Lake Michigan. When the mercury drops head for one of the Land & Sea Dept-conceived restaurants, or to The Game Room, the city’s hottest mixology haunt, with its built-in bocce, billiards and shuffleboard tables.

It’s an athletics club after all.


 

Chicago Athletics Association
From US$269 per night, twin share.
www.communehotels.com


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We’re Swingers Too

It’s almost the festive season, which means you still have time to indulge the passion of your closest male mates, from friends to fathers, with these state-of-the-art additions to their golf ensemble.


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Out of Sight

The trend of hiding F&B concepts from the peering eyes of society is not new – underground supper clubs, private kitchens in the most unlikely of locales, and modern speakeasys that take their cues from the US’s experiment with prohibition – all pride themselves on their discretion, their uniqueness and their hidden charms.

Named for the Japanese word for ‘hidden’ and themed on the latent restaurants of Tokyo and Osaka, URA Japanese Delicacy has opened between Central and Sheung Wan as the newest brainchild of the Chang brothers, owners of nearby Indonesian restaurant IR1968. Inspired by their love of Japanese cooking (and women, but that was a long time ago) URA specializes in contemporary Japanese soul food using ingredients flown in daily. Chefs Takaoka Kouji and Kimura Junichiro serve up an innovative menu that fuses Japanese technique and western concepts – there’s ridiculously fresh sashimi, tuna tartar with egg yolk, onion rings made from fruitlike vegetables from Awaji Island, and a specialist grill selection that’s guaranteed to sate even the most relentless man-appetite. All this is served up in a main dining area that’s part manga, part Meiji era, in the 14-seat private dining room, on the expansive terrace, or at the speakeasy-esque bar, which specializes in private label sakes and hard-to-source Japanese whiskies (they even have Suntory whisky and soda pre-blended, on tap, the only spot in the city to do so).

JSome things shouldn’t stay hidden.


 

URA
2F The Wellington, 198 Wellington St, Central, Tel: 2111 9381;
www.urajapan.com


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Small but Powerful

The fact that Hong Kong flats are miniscule (for what you’re paying at least) is a topic of constant discussion.


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Teach Your Camera What you Like

As the saying goes, time waits for no man, but neither does a keen audience.


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A Meeting of Minds

It’s amazing how well some things go together. The world is filled with examples of great combinations: vodka and olives, running and music, football and hooligans, peanut butter and ladies.


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Rediscover the Ritual

Like many countries in Europe, the Czech Republic, home of leggy ladies and perfect pilsners, has a long and rich beer-making tradition.


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NecesCity talks with marine-turned-barber extraordinaire Peter Tan about style, grooming essentials, and the future of barbershops in Hong Kong.


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Straight from the MotherlandDown

Like many countries in Europe, the Czech Republic, home of leggy ladies and perfect pilsners, has a long and rich beer-making tradition.


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Don’t Let Mother Nature Bring You Down

Winters in Hong Kong might be short lived but they can also arrive with all the pleasantry of a slap across the face. One minute you’re enjoying the warmth, the next you’re feeling the chill to the bone, as you duck from doorway to doorway to avoid the rain. Winter is inevitable, so use the last of the summer warmth wisely.

You might want to head to Repulse Bay, where it’s always summer at Limewood, a restaurant at the newly opened Pulse complex that serves up the best of modern South American, Hawaiian, Southeast Asian and Caribbean cuisine amidst interiors straight out of Cabo. The newest creation of Maximal Concepts, the creative monkeys behind Stockton, Mott 32 and Blue Butcher, Limewood is the perfect blend of beachfront living and urban chic. Kick off with pre-winter warmers like the cucumber and mint margarita, laced with smoky jalapeno; or the charred coconut piña colada, before meandering your way through the appetizers, which include pork skin Chicharron with guacamole, uni, and ikura; scallop and banana tartare with jalapeño sauce; and Vietnamese fish tacos that are so good they should come with warning labels. Assemble the lads to tackle the meat menu, the pinnacle of which is the 24 hour charred beef ribs, served with a mango-infused BBQ sauce. Not only will this dish bring tears to the eyes of manly men, but its also guaranteed to melt away any thoughts of the cold months ahead.

“People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy.” - Anton Chekhov


 

Limewood
Shop 103/104 The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay; Tel: 2866 8668
www.limewood.hk/


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Don’t Let Mother Nature Bring You Down

So you’ve finally found the perfect rooftop apartment, one that’s got enough space to have more than three people on it at a time, but that isn’t atop a 15-floor walkup. Congrats. Next step is to make your own alfresco space user-friendly and welcoming.


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The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Sometimes buying a gift for a mate can be a tricky one. You want to express all those underlying emotions without hitting the absinthe together first.


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