Sipping in the City of Light

Trivia time: did you know that some of history’s most endearing cocktails have their origins in the land of berets, baguettes and Bugattis? Next time you order a drink, you should think about the vital contribution France has made to today’s mixology scene. If it wasn’t for classics like the French 75, a tipple created during WWI said to have the punch of a French 75mm artillery piece; The Sidecar, made for a flamboyant military officer who’d arrive at Harry’s New York Bar on a motorbike with sidecar; and that blissful hangover cure The Mimosa, created by Frank Meier at The Ritz Paris, we might never have moved past gin and tonics.

Fortunately, Le Boudoir, that most French of all Hong Kong speakeasies, is reviving classic French cocktails with a series of concoctions inspired by the City of Light. Made with either classic pours or, for the purist, vintage French ingredients, five new additions to the bar’s menu have restored L'Art de Vivre to Wyndham Street. Try the Pink Squirrel, a drink once made with ice cream and now interpreted with equal parts heavy cream, crème de cacao and illusive Crème de Noyaux, a rare liqueur made with the stones of apricots, peaches and cherries. Alternatively, the robust Tremblement de Terre, or ‘Earthquake’, is a powerful blend of cognac and absinthe created by famed French Post-Impressionist painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec that will either have you bouncing off the walls or cutting off your own ear. Enjoy these classic drinks amidst the Chinoiserie-punctuated Belle Époque grandeur of Le Boudoir’s chandelier-lit salon and toast to alchemists and mixologists past and present.

“A man's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another drink” ~W. C. Fields


 

Le Boudoir’s New Classic Cocktails
Basement, 65 Wyndham Street, Central; 2530 3870.
www.french-creations.com/boudoir


Read more...

When Worlds Collide

In case you haven’t scrubbed up on your Peruvian immigration history recently, 7,000 Japanese workers descended on Peru in 1889 with the promise of gainful employment.


Read more...

Fresh Pasta, Done Right

You may not know this, but pasta has its origins in Asia. Although many countries have their versions, from German spaetzli and Greek orzo to Polish pierogi, we usually associate pasta with Italy, where it was introduced from China by that wandering vagabond Marco Polo during the 13th century.


Read more...

Bringing Style to a Mountainside Near You

So you fancy yourself as an outdoorsman, but you have a certain style to maintain, so the last thing you want to do is sport the type of psychedelic hiking pack usually found on the backs of sunburnt cash-strapped backpackers.


Read more...

Time to Treat Your Mouth Right

While the rest of the world – including Hong Kong – is steadily catching up, there’s little doubt that the contemporary craft beer movement has its origins in North America, where rather unimpressive, mass-produced lagers have ruled supreme since the 1950s, leading to a consolidation of breweries and a homogenization of product.


Read more...

California Dreamin’

You may not have thought about it much but the bag you carry can define you as much as those expensive shoes, that vintage watch, or that flashy haircut. You may have just stepped out of a Thai boxing session but if you’re sporting a backpack with that pinstripe suit, you might as well be wearing trainers and a pocket protector.


Read more...

California Dreamin’

It’s easy to dismiss Californian cuisine as health-conscious, salad-driven hippy fare that’s become a favourite with LA tai tais and San Francisco hipsters, but you might be surprised how many influences Californian cuisine – a term only created in the past decade or so – has, and just how satisfying it might be for lads with an appetite.

You can delve into the contemporary Southern California foodie scene at Commissary, which has opened at Pacific Place. JIA’s Yenn Wong has teamed up with Aussie chef Morgan McGlone and Cali culinary guru Adam Shoebridge to bring the zesty and vibrant dishes of the Golden State, many with touches of Latin America and the Southern US, to the Fragrant Harbour. Heralding the state’s move towards farm-to-table dining and its dedication to fresh locally-grown produce, Commissary’s menu is packed with light and fragrant Southern California favourites, from tuna poke tostada and kingfish crudo, to fried chicken burgers with spiced fries, and moreish, Baja fish tacos. Open three squares a day (as well as doing a mean brunch menu), look out for highlights like house-smoked meats, pickle platters, and killer homemade BBQ and fermented hot sauces, all served amidst rustic retro interiors by Siew Hui Lim that expands out to al fresco seating that’s the perfect spot for after work Cali-concoctions or a glass of wine from the Artur Aronov-curated wine list.

Almost worth singing about.
 


 

Commissary
Shop 405, L4, Pacific Place, Admiralty; +852 2602 0707 
www.jiagroup.co


Read more...

Time to Set Hearts Aflutter

It’s that time of the year again, when you strive to fill the brownie points coffers with your significant other, stashing away that credit for the numerous times you’ll mess up in 2017. Fortunately, we’ve done the hard yards for you with our seven picks for an uncliched Valentine’s Day that won’t break the bank.

 



Want to avoid packed restaurants but aren’t confident in the home cooking department? InterContinental Hong Kong’s Culinary Stars Class for couples, on February 18 (we know, it’s a bit late) will be taught by NOBU executive sushi chef Kazunari Araki, who will empower you with the skills you need to please her palate every time. The class will include a light breakfast and lunch with wine or champagne.

www.intercontinental.com

 

InterContinental


 


Named for the prize offered by French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, an acclaimed general but also famous lover, to anyone that could devise a method to preserve food for his armies, 12,000 Francs offers the convenience of SoHo, combined with innovative cuisine from the couple that brought you Madame Sixty Ate. The innovative Valentine’s Day menu includes king salmon tartine served with horseradish, complete with a barrel-aged cocktail. You can opt for a special wine matching package, which include Janisson and Fils champagne, a brand recently made available in the city, for a more tasteful meal.

www.12000francs.com.hk

12000 Francs


 

If your woman’s the whole package, get her the Suite Escape Package from The Peninsula Hong Kong, which will extend your short Tuesday date with a three-hour night-time tour in a chauffeured Mini Clubman and a staycation in one of the acclaimed hotel’s Superior or Deluxe suites. After a romantic night complemented, get your energy levels back with a breakfast buffet at The Verandah; recharge at the Fitness Centre; or take a dip in the Roman-style swimming pool with its harbour views.

www.hongkong.peninsula.com

Soul Train


 


If you’re looking for an elegant dinner served amidst modern Art Deco-inspired interiors, head to The Continental at Pacific Place, which will offer a sophisitcated Valentine’s Day menu that kicks off with two dedicated cocktails, For Him and For Her, followed by an indulgent four-course meal featuring Hokkaido scallops and yellowfin tuna crudo. End the romantic meal with a luxurious dessert: strawberry tart matched with champagne coulis.

www.thecontinentalhongkong.com

The Continental


 

Fancy some privacy? This Valentine’s Day, Conrad Macao will offer the ultimate romantic dinner, served in an individual, flower-filled cabana next to the hotel’s pool. Musicians will serenade couples as they sip on rosé champagne, and enjoy a six-course meal, including a special Valentine's themed dessert. The great thing is, if you’re feeling frisky, the guest rooms are within sprinting distance.

conradhotels3.hilton.com


Macao


 

For a true escape from Hong Kong, W Singapore - Sentosa Cove’s imaginative Valentine’s Day Programme “I Lawn for You” offers lovers the ultimate glamping dining experience. The eclectic menu of seafood dishes includes Fine de Claire oysters and Alaskan crab, which are served inside a tent located on the urban resort’s extensive lawns. This luxurious evening meal is exclusive to only eight couples.

www.wsingaporesentosacove.com

Singapore


 


Couples can dance the night away at St. Regis Bali’s Cloud Nine Chapel, after enjoying a Moonlight Romantic Dinner backdropped by the pristine Indian Ocean. Limited to 10 passionate pairs, this meal includes a La Boutique present for her, a bottle of champagne, and live music.

www.stregisbali.com

St Regis


 

 

Read more...

A Lullaby for Your Face

You know, sleep is a hell of a lot more important than you may think. Sure, we can conjure up a few good reasons for a late night (and even an early morning escape) but you may not be doing your body any favours burning the candle at both ends, especially when that late night is spent in a foreign time zone (as the best always are). The lads in white coats have found that a lack of sleep leads to a reduction in memory retention (not always a bad thing); an increase in your waist line as your metabolism goes haywire; and an increased risk of illness. Anyone who’s lain in bed at 3am, wide awake thanks to the Jetlag Fairy, will also testify that good sleep is one of the most important components of successful international travel. Fortunately, there’s a solution that will have you sleeping soundly in no time.

Neuroon isn’t your average sleep mask. Laced with sensors, computer chips, and LED lights, Neuroon is a ‘wearable technology system’ that not only tracks your sleep thanks to advanced software that links to your smartphone via Bluetooth, but gives you tips on how to get to sleep quicker, sleep better, and wake easier. Personalised light therapy sessions while you sleep can help boost energy levels when you wake or ensure you sleep in enough to wake refreshed, and insomniacs can learn when they wake in the night and why. If you’re passing through time zones Neuroon helps you fight drowsiness and exhaustion thanks to its Jet Lag Blocker and Light Boost features, and uses its Biorythm Adjuster to get you in step, wherever in the world you might be slipping under the covers.

You’ll be counting sheep in no time.


 

Neuroon
US$299
https://neuroon.com


Read more...

Madness in Madrid

Once in a generation, a hotel comes along that helps define a city; that puts a destination on (or sometimes back on) the map for trend-driven travellers looking for the sharpest point of the cutting edge.


Read more...