Know Thy Rum

Hong Kong is a city that doesn’t like to do things by halves and the result is we can come across a little showy, a little arrogant, a little cliché. Look at the wine scene for example; you’ve got guys peddling very average drops at sky-rocket prices, and sommeliers and chefs making up the pairings as they go along, so long as the bottom line keeps the investors happy.


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Know Thy Rum

You might have noticed Hong Kong is in the midst of a newly-forged love affair with rum. This year’s RumFest, held at Mahalo, was packed with bartenders and barflies alike, looking to hone their knowledge on this timeless spirit and the many soul-soothing concoctions it can complement.


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Hong Kong is notorious for its fast-paced and stressful lifestyle, which gives us gents every reason to sneak over to Macau for a spot of he-pampering. From anti-aging facials that make you look as young as you feel to aromatic body massages conducted by a bevy of well-trained beauties, here’s our favourite spa treatments in the Vegas of the East.


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More than Meets the Eye

You might not know this but the humble jerry can was created by the Germans in 1939, just before the outbreak of WWII. Originally named Wehrmacht Kanister and available in four colours, each designated for a different liquid – diesel, petrol, kerosene and water – they were quickly redubbed by the British after their favourite nickname for German soldiers.


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Glamping Comes to Bali

Many of us grew up camping. Whether it was with our dads, the scouts, school friends, or that weird uncle that let you finish his beers, these were special moments when we could leave the city behind and commune with nature, if only for a wee while.


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Because it’s Not Too Late

Ok, so you might not want to talk about this touchy topic, but that doesn’t make it go away – some of you, some of us, might be losing our hair. It’s a perfectly natural process (unless you’ve been standing too close to the microwave) yet there is still a certain degree of social stigma attached to male baldness.


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Asia’s First Stock Market Bar

When the Wolf of Wall Street, the ‘dramography’ of stock broker Jordan Belfort, hit the big screen in Hong Kong, we’re sure there were plenty of black suit-wearing gents (and quite a number of talented ladies) high-fiving themselves all the way to the popcorn counter.


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She Is At Your Fingertips

A recent report found that Hong Kong singles are the most desperate in the world. According to the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong users of dating app Coffee Meets Bagel log on more often than users anywhere else in the world. Whether you’re looking for a fling or finality, dating apps just might be the ticket. Here’s out pick of the top online cupids.


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Food Finds Balance

Our feelings on Hong Kong’s dining scene – we’re talking the reality, far from the glitzy opening parties and flowery press releases – have been well documented here.


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Pass the Pastrami

We’ve all seen them, those television shows that follow “celebrity chefs” around the streets of Manhattan looking for the most iconic, the most monstrous, the most endearing culinary classics.


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Take the Show with You

We’re sure you’d be impressed to know that the first projector, named The Magic Lantern, was developed in the 17th century by Christiaan Huygens.


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Become a Rock God

We all know that if there’s any profession that’s going to have you on your back and straddled like a prize-winning racehorse, it’s a rock and roll musician.


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Time for Some Self Love

We know your idea of a detox might be sticking to spritzers during the week or perhaps replacing your martini olives with lemon twists to cut down on sodium, but sometimes we need to take things to the next level, to really flush out the toxins of urban living.


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Keep it In-House

You may not know it but the history of the humble cocktail – the original mind, not frozen drinks topped with a rainforest garnish – is far less illustrious than you might imagine. In 1600s England, under King William of Orange, most people died of water-borne pathogens.


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In-Ear Headphones

With our hectic schedules and long working hours, portable music seems to be the easiest entertainment we can get during our everyday commute, and as such, the quality of sound is of utmost importance. Here’s our pick of the high-performance in-ear headphones every audiophile should be packing.


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Coastal Cruising

There’s just something about summer that draws us to the water, to the coast, to the beach. We love the sand between our feet, the sun in our hair, the lack of clothing worn by the fairer sexy – it all just comes together perfectly.


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Tag It or Lose It

Airlines are making significant headway in the war against that most terrible of travel burdens – the lost suitcase. According to reports, airlines globally mishandled 46.9 million bags in 2007 – the number has since halved and much of that gain can be attributed to better technology.


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The Insider's Guide to Asia

Many of us get that hankering, that subtle but undeniable itch for travel and exploration.


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NecesCity talks with James Sharman, former Noma chef and Tom Aikens protégé about his new semi-nomadic private kitchen concept One Star House Party.


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Service to a Tee

There have always been things that, as we grew up, we were told to take care of.


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Top Six Summer Cocktails

 

Summer Antidotes

It’s that time of the year again to hydrate yourself with loads of liquids. These breezy summer-themed cocktails by some of the acclaimed bars in Hong Kong would be the perfect elixir to get you through the sizzling summer months in vogue.


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Service to a Tee

As a younger gent you probably had a go at tennis from time to time – hell, you might have even been a force to reckon with. However, playing regularly in Hong Kong, with its hectic, demanding lifestyle and space shortage, can be a little tricky. And then there’s golf, the one sport where business talk and a certain level of intoxication is not only tolerated but expected. If you’re looking to brush up or learn either of these notoriously white collar sports from scratch, help is on its way.

The Hong Kong Golf & Tennis Academy will open in sunny Sai Kung at the end of the year, combining two world-renowned names in the games – the Jack Nicklaus Academy of Golf, directed by Billy Martin, and the Bruguera Tennis Academy, directly by Bastien Liveriou. In a world first, these two competitive forces will offer players of all ages tailored programs to bring out your true (and sometimes deeply hidden) potential. The golf academy has a total of 75 hitting bays, three coaching studios, a 9-hole putting green and a 6-hole short game (your favourite, right?) as well as swing analysis and some cutting edge tech support, including the FlightScope X-2 Elite radar aid and K-vest 7 + K-Player sensors. If love and deuce is more your thing there’s seven outdoor courts and an International Federation standard indoor course for those T8 sessions, as well as Hong Kong’s first padel tennis court. After a hard match, treat yourself to a spot of sports massage, a dash of nutritional advice, or even a medical consultation if you pursued your return to stardom a little too enthusiastically.

Game on.


 Hong Kong Golf & Tennis Academy
81 Tai Chung Hau, Sai Kung
www.hkgta.com


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Good Sound, Naturally

Unless you’re living in an apartment that would make Patrick Bateman squeal with ecstasy (and who knows, right?) chances are you like to live somewhere that's a little reprieve from the big concrete jungle outside your door. You might have a houseplant or two (perhaps one you’d prefer the neighbours didn’t know about), some art on the walls, and earthy, soul-soothing tones throughout;  colours and textures that tap into your animal psyche, that say “this is my den, I’m safe”.

We think the Apollo Dual-Driver Bluetooth Speaker by LSTN Sound might slip into that overall homage to nature like a pair of Playboy bunnies into silk sheets. With its ebony wood accents, which not only look sexier than hell but make for outstanding tonal qualities, this sleek speaker unit combines good looks with raw power – kind of like you, right tiger? You’ll get the party started thanks to twin 45mm drivers and dual passive radiators providing hi-fi sound to life’s little soundtracks, and stay connected thanks to Bluetooth 4.0 and an auxiliary-in jack for blessedly easy plug-and-play. You’ll also be able to roam freely within your domain, thanks to 10 hours of battery goodness, and after the fun and games, you’ll sleep well knowing your purchase has helped the Starkey Hearing Foundation, which provides hearing aids for the hearing impaired.

So we can all enjoy the sweet sounds of nature.


 Apollo Dual-Driver Bluetooth Speaker
US$299.99
lstnsound.co


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How Do You Take It?

Coffee; it’s the lifeblood of many a manly lifestyle, but it does so much more than just keep you awake.


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Sexy Has a New Home

We all like to indulge in a little fantasy from time to time. Whether you’re day dreaming about being a pro-motocross rider whilst riding the MTR, or acting out a multi-scene homage to Caligula in your living room, it’s fun to leave the real world behind and let your imagination take you on a journey.


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Variety is the Spice of Life

We all like a bit of variety in life; whether it’s a martini with a twist instead of an olive, a different route home, or the introduction of organic, edible body paints in the bedroom, variety is an essential element of a life well-lived.


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Time to Get Your Tiki Together

So you’ve decided, after many sleepless nights of deep contemplation, that you’re going to drink more rum this summer. In fact, you’ve decided you need to do more than drink it. You need to know it. You’ve decided ignorance is no longer an excuse and that any modern man worth his salt should know his agricole from his spiced, his Dark n Stormy from his Hemmingway Daiquiri. We don’t blame you. Trends are cylindrical, and the Tiki culture pioneered by Southern Californian Don the Beachcomber in the 1930s has made a triumphant return, with bartenders and consumers alike sipping as many rum drinks as they can get their greedy mits around. Now it’s your turn.

Building on the success of the Hong Kong Rum Fest, now in its fourth year, self-confessed rumophile Max Traverse, the smiling mug behind Honi Honi and Mahalo, has created the Rum Run, running May 1-21. During this time aficionados and rum newbies alike will be able to sip on one of three signature rum cocktails (HK$100 a pop) at any of 26 designated bars – everyone from Boujis, Frites and Ham & Sherry, through to My House, On Dining and The Continental – across the city. Each bar has crafted their ultimate rum tipples (they’re all entered in the Rum Fest comp so you’ll be drinking well) and each tall, colourful concoction, encrusted with pineapple wedges and umbrellas, will get you a stamp in your Rum Run Passport. Fill your passport like a drug mule and you’ll go into the draw to win a host of rum-themed prizes. The first 20 to fill their passports will win invitations to an exclusive master class with global rum ambassador Ian Burrell at this year’s Rum Fest. Hosted by Mahalo in Wan Chai, this event promises to exhibit a staggering (literally) 151 rums. Of these 20 initial winners, one will also win HK$2,000 (which is just an Uber to the airport shy of what you paid for your cocktails). There’s a host of other rum-related prizes up for grabs and if you really catch rum fever get along to the May 28 Rum Fest, where you can pick up tips from World Flair champ Nicolas Saint-Jean, and rub shoulders with top mixologists like Georgi Radev, Dre Massi, and Davide Boncimino, while you practice your pirate lingo.


 Hong Kong Rum Run
May 1-27, 2016
Facebook Event Page


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Tenashar Drives Us Mad

Singapore’s Debbie Valerie Long, aka Tenashar, is one of Asia’s most sought-after cover models as well as a ground-breaking DJ who has thrilled clubbing crowds across the globe. The Spanish-Chinese financial broker turned award-wining bombshell shares her music inspirations, thoughts on her latest track, and the hidden treasures in the Lion City.

Did you always know you wanted to be a DJ?

From the age of six when I started as a drummer, I always knew I wanted to make music. The DJ console was just a natural progression from the drum kit.

How much did your early days in Spain and Italy influence your music?

Lots! Electronic music was huge in Ibiza but still very underground in Asia when I first started DJing. I fell in love with how energetic and pumping the music was and brought it back to Asia with me. At that time trance was massive in Ibiza and minimal techno was all the rage. By the time I moved back to Asia, a new genre of electronic dance music - progressive house and electro house - had just taken over. I made it a point to introduce my fans in Asia to a range of EDM that I discovered in Ibiza.

To what extent did your modelling background help your DJ career?

Modelling gave me a lot of exposure and confidence in front of large audiences and crowds. You need a huge amount of confidence when you’re DJing and have to hype a stadium full of 200,000 people; I think modelling helped build my confidence greatly.

Have you always been producing electronic dance music; where did you get the inspiration?

I only started producing in 2012. I get inspired when I'm touring. While I'm on the road I get introduced to a variety of sounds from across the world. It's important to keep my music unique and fresh for my fans.

Where do you want to go next?

The next destination I really want to explore is probably Africa, as it's [one of] the only continents I haven't spun in yet (Editor’s Note: Antarctic’s EDM scene is still grassroots). I'm very open to experiencing new cultures, especially since I love incorporating new sounds and vocals into my original tracks.

Can you tell us more about your latest track?

My latest track, which will be released globally soon, has very melodic vocals. However, just to change things up a bit, the track that I'm working on now is hip hop rap vocals layered over a future house beat. It's sounding huge and I'm well excited about it.

It’s ourfirst time in Singapore; what are the three things that we can’t miss?

Chili crab or Pepper crab! I absolutely love pepper crab and even though it's a messy dish to eat, it's just iconic. You also shouldn’t miss the view of the Singapore skyline from the rooftop of Marina Bay Sands; it’s just breathtaking. Last but not least, you need to visit Clarke Quay from where you can try a smorgasbord of Singapore's nightlife.

Where should I check in to make the most of my stay?

You should definitely check in to one of the villas in Sentosa; you'll be surrounded by incredible sights and some of Singapore's best restaurants.

What are the best places to get authentic Singaporean food?

Definitely head over to Newton Circus hawker centre, or Lau Pa Sat market, or The Satay Club for the best local food. I always go to Jumbo Seafood for their famous Singapore Chili/Pepper crab; I just cannot stress enough how good it is!

It’s already 4am; where can I keep the party going?

If you're really up for partying after 4am in Singapore and don't mind someplace slightly sleazy, head over to Living Room at the Marriott for good music.

Is there any hidden gem that most tourists miss out?

The Kilo Lounge, located at Kampong Bugis’ Ture Building, is a club tucked away from the city not many tourists know of. If you like underground beats, dance the night away there.


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So summer is on the way and that means it’s time for seasonal escapes to tropical hotspots. But to be able to pull off that last-moment-nothing-but-a-leather-duffle-and-a-grin look you’re going to need to be weight conscious, and that includes rethinking how you take those essential, jealous-inducing holiday snaps.

Fortunately the brand spanking new Lumix DMC-GX85 mirrorless interchangeable lens camera weighs nearly half of the typical DSLR camera, yet offers shooters plenty of power and performance thanks to a new 16-megapixel Digital Live MOS sensor and a new 5-axis image stabilization system that will take crisp images and video, in all conditions, four beers in. A new Contrast AF system promises super-fast auto focusing, with a host of useful focus functions catering to all sorts of shooting conditions – because you never really know how those summer nights are going to pan out. There’s a widescreen Live View Finder and a three-inch, tilting touchscreen monitor that makes composition a breeze and if you’re looking to make those holiday snaps a little more gritty, a new L.Monochrome mode offers the rich graduation of black and white film – perfect for Instagram. Connect to your smart devices via Wi-Fi, shoot video in 4k, capture low light scenes with a maximum 25,600 ISO, create time lapse symphonies on the go, and even fix focus after the fact thanks to an innovative Post Function focus.

Good things really do come in small packages.


 Lumix DMC-GX85
Available from May for US$799.99, in both silver and black, with a 12-32 kit lens.
www.shop.panasonic.com


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Not All Vodkas Are Created Equally

Despite all the myths and misconceptions there are about the world’s most popular spirit, one thing remains true: there are vodkas, and there are vodkas.


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